Saturday, October 13, 2012


There are so many thoughts related to grief and God and adoption floating in my head. Children's grief often comes in really intense spurts at the most unexpected times.  I'm sure we will continue to process this in new ways for a long time.   I just can't seem to find enough time to sort any of my thoughts  out and put them down. By the time Claire is sleeping I'm ready for bed myself.

However, so many friends have been praying for us as we entered into the big medical week that I need to do a quick update before I collapse.  This is Saturday and I get to sleep in my own bed while Kelly takes a shift on the floor next to Claire's bed.

Tuesday we went to the dentist for x-rays.  Claire gave us a few determined "no's" about getting them finished up, but she cooperated when she figured out that I could be more stubborn and persistant than her.
She was very   happy with her prize though.  The glasses are white inside and turn pink when exposed to sunlight. 

Wearing them upside down helps keep them on her teeny tiny nose.

Wednesday we spent the whole day at the children's hospital meeting with Dr. Shores.  She won't be our cardiologist long term because she is not going to be working at Children's after the holidays.  However, she decided to see us when she had an opening so that we wouldn't have to wait until December to get in.
Lots of tests, wires, and "stickers on your tummy" kept us occupied.  The ultrasound took a couple of hours. It got really difficult to keep Claire still. She kept telling me to "put your shirt on,"  "drive the car,"  "go in the house."    After all that time, the ultrasound only raised more questions.  Which means that we got to plan more adventures.

Thursday we spent all afternoon answering questions for pre-anethesia.  Nothing happens quickly. You wait in line to get in the parking lot. You wait in line to register.  You wait for an elevator.  You wait for your appointment.   I really hate hospitals.

Friday we had to be there by 8:30.  No food or drink after midnight.  Claire did not understand why I wouldn't let her eat. I did my best but our language skills just weren't up to helping her understand information she did not want to hear.

Check in  was annoying.  They put me down on the paperwork as Claire's "legal guardian."  I told them I was her mother but they weren't buying it.  It took some discussion--yes, I was ticked--but we finally got them to "let" me be her mother.  Then I discovered that they had marked her as "Hispanic."  I told the woman she wasn't Hispanic and she replied, "Don't worry none, honey.  Latino is on the same line.  We got  you covered."  

Take a deep breath. Count to ten.  Remember that stupid people can't help it...

We finally got her to understand that Chinese people are Chinese, not Hispanic or Latino.  Sigh.

We went into the MRI waiting area. There was no one to check us in for about a half hour.  When someone did arrive, we were given papers to fill out.  They had all those questions we spent all day on Thursday answering.  Oh well.  Do it again.

They were running behind.  We didn't get in until 11:30.  During that time people came into the waiting room with their McDonald's bags.  Claire and I walked in the hallway. When we were able to sit back in the waiting room, an accident victim was wheeled in right in front of us. A very bloody accident victim.  Not a great way to help my child not be afraid.

Finally, they took her back.  I got to go with her.  She was awake while they put on the stickers and wires, the face mask and the "squeezy on your arm."  Then she was out. I hate seeing her unconscious and  attached to medical equipment.  I really hate it.  I left when ordered, reminding them to get me so that I would be there when she woke up.

It took 2 1/2 hours.

There was a shift change or something.  No one got me.   When they told me I could come in, Claire was sitting up in a high-sided metal crib in a room with other children in various stages of recovery.  It looked just like an orphanage. And, her mommy wasn't there when she woke up.

The nurse had given her a soda to drink.  Claire hasn't had soda.  She hates things with bubbles.  When I got to her she was making weird little sounds between a burp and a cough.  I told the nurse I wasn't in the habit of feeding my children poison and took the drink away.  Claire didn't want it, but she thought she had to drink it because the nurse gave it to her and told her to drink.  That stupid nurse tried to tell me that Claire had specifically asked for a Sierra Mist.  I could have strangled her.  She didn't even know that my girl doesn't speak much  English, certainly not enough to ask for something she has never seen before. 

I dressed Claire and the nurse had me sign a paper for discharge.  She called the doctor who was supposed to check Claire before we left and I heard her tell him that she looked fine. So, she was released over the phone.

Then the fool woman--sorry, I was out of respect for her profession by this time--told me to leave  Claire there and go get the car.  My baby had already waked up thinking I was gone.  I wasn't walking out again.  I picked her up and carried her.

Oh my, she is heavy to carry out of the hospital, down a block, across the street and through a parking garage.  My back is still feeling it.  But that is okay.  She  didn't need to be left to be afraid again.

It didn't help my attitude toward hospitals when I got to the parking garage and discovered that the nurse didn't give me the parking pass.  I had to pay  for a full day of parking even though patients with appointments aren't supposed to pay.  My admission paperwork and my discharge paperwork wouldn't suffice to prove anything.  I had to have the piece of paper with the parking word on the top. Oh well.

We made it home.  Claire continued with the weird sounds all the way home.  I think she had swallowed way too many bubbles on top of all the drugs.  I know her throat had to hurt from the trach tube, too.

She vomited for a couple of hours, but by evening she was bouncing around again.

She kept recounting the bits she remember.  Today we continue to go over the story.

"Doctor, stickers on your tummy, clip on finger, squeezy on arm, bubble fish on face, poke hand, ouch.
Go to sleep. Big, big circle camera take a picture heart.  Mommy sit chair. Wait a minute, wait a minute.  Claire wake up.  Doctor bubble water, tummy ouch. Mommy drive red car, house."

Then she repeats the part about mommy waiting.  She checks to see if I went anywhere or if I went to sleep.  She is so glad that I just waited and looked at the door until she was awake.

I really hate hospitals and people who are so stuck in "procedures" that they forget that they are taking care of real people.

But, I love my sweet, brave girl.  She has more courage than anyone I have ever met. I'm continually amazed at her ability to face the unknown and the uncomfortable with such grace and cheerfulness.

P.S.  We don't have any information from all this testing.  The doctor will be calling me in a week or so.  In the meantime, we are headed to Burlington ( Uh...that would be Birmingham.  I wish it was Vermont, but that just isn't going to happen anytime soon.) to the adoption clinic for another full day of testing and evaluation. Hope I can be as brave and cheerful as Claire!

Giggling hard while bouncing on her "horsey."

Excited about getting ready to go shopping for new clothes because she has grown 2 inches taller and gained 2 pounds.  The other clothes don't fit so well anymore.

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