Hi! This is little Lioness aka PipSqueak, Squeeky, Squigy, Squigily, Squig-a-loo, Squig-a-lina, Princess Poo-poo Pants, or whatever else my Mama feels like calling me.
I just had surgery to repair my cleft palate. It was not fun! So I written some words of wisdom for my fellow babies out there.
Waking up at 5:30 and not eating anything, can cause you to be upset and act unruly, especially after arriving at the hospital, surrounded by lots of strange people. If someone offers you a syringe of liquid, even though you are starving, resist the temptation to consume this mystery “food.” It’s called “versed” and makes you feel loopy and loose your ability to walk! Now that you can’t run away or defend yourself, next thing you know a stranger dressed in solid color clothing is carrying you away and your Mama fades off in the distance.
Actually, I don’t remember any of that, because versed makes you forget things. So obviously my Mama is writing this for me. After all, I am a baby, and I don’t even know how to talk, let alone write!
So if you consume the syringe of mystery food, you won’t remember anything, so next thing I know, I wake up and my mouth hurts, and I’m being strangled by a ridiculous piece of fabric, called a “hospital gown.” You’re going to want to take that off as soon as possible! Good new is, my Mama is back!
I want to cuddle with Mama, but there’s a bandaid on my toe. The nurse said it’s a “pulse oximeter,” which is monitoring my oxygen, but my toe is glowing! It’s probably calling aliens to come eat me! Rip that off! Never mind, don’t do that. After several successful removals, the nurse will wrap your whole foot in a giant bandage and put a sock on it, so there’s no getting that thing off ever! I can still see the red light glowing though my sock! And this is not my sock, it’s a hospital sock, and it’s plain white, which is boring. Why can’t I have pretty socks?
Did I mention the giant bandage wrapped around my hand? There is a tube coming out of it, plugged into a machine. It makes your hand feel really weird! The nurse uses it to give you morphine. In case you didn’t already feel strange enough. But the main purpose of that tube, is to pump saline and sugar directly into your blood stream. Is it organic sugar or GMO corn syrup? We don’t know, the doctor just assured us that it’s “sterile sugar.” So rip that tube out as soon as possible, because you will never be able to sleep with all the sugar in your system! Unfortunately, you can’t just rip it out, because it’s taped very well. I tried and failed over and over.
The next plan of action is to squirm, wiggle, and throw yourself around until your Mama can’t hold you. Get her to lay you down on the hospital bed. Now pick one direction and roll! Roll! Roll! Surely this will help you break free of all those wires. Never mind, that doesn’t work either. I just got myself really tangled up.
Oh look, the nurse has another syringe of mystery liquid. Um tastes like sugar! Supposedly it’s tylenol, but the nurse said it has so much sugar, they can’t give it to kids who have diabetes. Must be part of their secret plan to make sure all kids get diabetes? No matter, it tastes delicious! Oh look, the nurse as more for me! Yuck! What is that? Ibuprofen doesn’t takes so good. Note to self: if the nurse brings two mystery liquids, only drink the first one! Seriously, who needs tylenol and ibuprofen at the same time anyway? And only a couple hours after receiving morphine in my IV?
All this medicine makes my empty tummy hurt! The only solution is to writhe in pain, and take short naps. I’m so tired! But I hurt too much to sleep. I’m also cold, because I’m naked and the hospital blankets are NOT soft! Mama brought my favorite blanket, but only a miniature one. It’s barely adequate for hugging, and certainly not big enough to keep me warm.
Then Mama put my onesie on! The long sleeves met the giant bandage on my hand and hide the IV tube under my clothing, where I can’t reach it. I’m warmer now, but my tummy still hurts.
So I beg to get down on the floor, only to discover I still don’t have my ability to walk. I crawl over to Mama’s diaper bag, and pull everything out until I find an applesauce squeeze food pouch. I raise my hand in celebratory victory! Mama asks the nurse if I can eat, and she approves and brings a highchair for me.
It’s hard to swallow, but I’m so very hungry. Stop spoon feeding me, and hand over the squeezy pouch! Mama refuses to let me feed myself. I shall protest by shoving both my hands in my mouth! Don’t ever do that! It leads to the worst “time-out” ever! Mama put “no-no”s on my arms! So now I can’t bend my elbows! I can’t eat anything! I can’t even hug my blankie or my bottle. Mama keeps feeding me and then finally freed me from the “no-no”s. Since I ate my food all gone, my tummy feels a little better, so I’ll just take a nap right here in my highchair.
The surgeon came in to check on me and was pleasantly surprised I ate food already. You’re not supposed to eat purees until the day after surgery. But since I’m eating already, he said I will be released from the hospital in the morning! Woohoo! And the nurse can unplug my sugar IV now instead of waiting until 2am. There you have it friend: eating applesauce is the secret to freedom from the IV! Except they still leave the hand bandage on, so they can plug in antibiotics a few more times. Ugg!
Since I’m free, Mama took me to the playroom! My sister loves playrooms, but she isn’t here. Personally, I think a room full of toys, with no other children is highly suspicious. It’s either a hospital waiting room, a church nursery, or the Physical Therapy office. All of those places are bad news. Seeing as how there are no other children here, it must mean they all either fell victim to the doctors or ran away. Come on Mama, lets get out of here!
And now that there’s no longer sugar pumped into my blood steam, I can finally fall asleep. But there’s still that wire attached to my toe, and I’m pretty sure it’s trying to kill me! The nurse came in and offered to give me something for my pain to help me sleep. Yes please! It turns out oxycontin does not help free my toe, and it makes my tummy hurt more! I guess I’ll just go to sleep now.
I feel all cozy and cuddly next to Mama. Although she did get up to brush her teeth. I’m too tired to care. At least I can still see her.
I slept well, though tossing and turning. At one point I sat up and flopped back down on my tummy. That disrupted the pulse oximeter, so the machine started beeping. Mama dug around under me to find my foot and try to fix it. I didn’t stir at all, which freaked Mama out. She couldn’t even see my back rise and fall, because I was breathing so shallow. (apparently shallow breathing is a side-effect of oxycontin). Mama rubbed my back vigorously to see if I was alive. I moved my hand slightly to ask her to leave me alone. Relieved I was still alive, and with the oximeter fixed, so the beeping stopped, Mama went back to sleep.
At 11:30 pm I woke up to announce it’s time for more pain killers! And the nurse plugged the tube back into my hand to give me more antibiotics. So much for freedom. She also checked my blood pressure! I’m pretty sure that thing is also trying to kill me. She gave me tylenol and ibuprofen. Then 10 minutes later she offered more oxycontin. No! I don’t need all three medicines at the same time! Just unplug the IV so I can go back to sleep!
Back to sleep till 5am for more meds and check my blood pressure. Then another little sleep until 7am. It’s morning, so now I get to go home, right? Right? No, things never happen fast at a hospital, unless you are dead.
First Mama has to eat breakfast, and feed me applesauce. Just give it to me! I can feed myself! Then Dada and sister come. Yeah! Sister likes the playroom, and I am ok with it. I guess.
Mama & Dada order brunch and so rudely eat in front of me. I throw myself on the bed crying. The nurse comes in and offers more pain meds. No! The only thing that hurts right now is my feelings. My sister is eating a banana and she’s not sharing it with me!
Can we please leave the hospital? I will be much happier with no wires on me, less medicine, and soft carpet to play on with my sister.