Friday, May 20, 2011

a day in the life (13)

It was 9 pm and time for me to work through my mental checklist for the night meds.

Medicine 1. Filled up in a syringe, 1.3 ml. Put into the J-tube. Helps gut motility.
Medicine 2. Pink smelly liquid, put into the J-tube, all 3 ml. Stops epileptic discharges. Reduces muscle stiffness. 
Medicine 3. Seizure meds. Crushed, mixed with water, put in J-tube. 
Medicine 4. Another crushed pill. Reduces acid. Flushed with 10 mls of water. Given through J-tube.
Medicine 5. Steroid through the nebulizer to open his airway.
Medicine 6. Another steroid through the nebulizer to help his lungs. 

Darryl and I worked as a team, dosing out meds and giving them to Calvin. We sat yawning on the couch together, all three of us. "I feel like I haven't seen you in days," I confided, "let's just sit here and talk." Darryl looked at me blankly as if to say what more is there to say? Maybe I was just trying to say, I miss you. I miss it being just me and you. No offense intended to the little one on my lap.

The day had started at 4 am with a loud shrieking sound from Calvin's apnea monitor. Talk about waking with a start. Good grief! By the time I made it to the alarm Darryl was thoroughly disoriented and wondering if we were in the middle of a tornado or fire. Good morning, honey was what I thought, but I think what came out was "Hit the button, hit the button!"

The rude awakening made me think twice before suiting Calvin up for the machine again tonight. But the docs were waiting on reports from the monitor so, what do you do? Hook him up. I carefully wrapped him up and placed the nodes just right on his chest. Hans from Airway had demonstrated how to run the machine, "It'll let you know if his heart rate goes over 220 bpm, under 60 bpm, or if he holds his breath for more than 20 seconds." He wasn't kidding, it let us know.

It was nearly midnight before Calvin could finally drift off to sleep. With our eyes fighting our own sleepiness we rigged up his machine to the nodes on his chest anxious to climb into bed and be done with another day. I reached over to press on and, "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE".

The alarm was stuck. At smoke detector noise levels. Nails on chalkboard levels. Nothing like a soothing lullaby before bed. Isn't funny how noise can put you over the edge?

Darryl shouted, "Unplug it, take it out, cover up the speaker, press the button," and any other instruction he could think of. "Nothing works, it's busted, what a piece of junk," I ranted while swatting furiously at the buttons, plugging and replugging, "bring it downstairs and get the manual."

"Forget the manual, I'm taking this thing apart," Darryl frantically searched for his screwdriver just to turn it over and find it was safeguarded for that very purpose. "I'm putting it in the garage," he insisted. "No, that's ridiculous, I'm sure there's some 24 hour number to call," I countered as I flipped crazily through the manual.
But no number could be found. And the alarm went on and on and on.

"Don't you feel like the weirdest things happen to us?" I shouted over the noise. "Who gets a busted sleep apnea machine that goes nutsos at midnight?"

"Don't worry, I know what to do, " Darryl (the rescuer) reassured me. He took that machine and stuffed it under the couch cushion and whacked pillow after pillow on top. It didn't help. The alarm was still filling the house. Did they make it to alert the nearest hospital or what? "I forfeit the fight with this crazy thing," I muttered as I made my escape.

Five minutes later Darryl crawled in bed with satisfaction written all over his face. "Ha, you won't hear it now. I put it in my backpack, rolled it up in a sleeping bag, put it in a bin, covered it all up and stuck it downstairs."

It was as if he'd saved the world. 


Albert'n'Carly said...

Wow! I'd have to agree that the strangest things do happen to you guys. I'm glad Darryl found a way to save the world. Well, you gave me and mom our morning laugh over here. :)

KarenKTeachCamb said...

Thanks for the chuckle Kara, although I'm totally sure it wasn't funny at the time. Especially not the 4am wakeup call, or when it goes wrong at midnight! Will hope that you can get it fixed easily, and that you can get the info the doctors want so they know how best to help your precious little one.
I also hope and pray that you and Daryl can get a date night sometime very soon, maybe just so you can have that special one-on-one time that is so important. Love you guys. Thanks for allowing us to chuckle at your frustrations, and even better at Darryl's neat solution to the problem. Love you.

Homeschool on the Croft said...

But you *are* his world, and he saved your sanity.... :)

Rachel Amariah said...

I had to laugh too at your attempt to shut up this apnea machine - oh Kara, you amaze me with the beautiful sense of humor you still have in such a trying time! You have kept coming into my mind in the last few days. Reading your description of Calvin's blueness and low oxygen sure hits home here too, as you know. And so, my heart is with you and your precious boy. I am praying for strength for you. Grace and peace to you tonight, Kendra

Kate said...

I felt terrible laughing...but couldn't help it. Kudos for Darryl. It's all in the small things, huh? Successes and frustrations alike.

Christy said...

So sad that you had to be fiddling with an apnea machine for youf sweet boy at midnight, but I totally loved this story.