Our Nurse, Chuck.

June 5, 2012 at 9:01 am 4 comments

Doing our best to look like we are in jail.

***DISCLAIMER*** Before you read through this know that the nurses and nurse practitioners we have had on “3 West” today and yesterday have been totally awesome.

Late on Sunday afternoon Rex was transferred out of the CVICU and onto “3 West”, or,  as I like to affectionately refer to it, jail.  Yes, suddenly it appeared as though we had been transported from one of the most state-of-the-art critical care units in the country to a supply closet next to the boiler room on the third floor.  While there were seemingly plenty of adequate rooms directly adjacent to the nurses station, they seemed to have filled those with the older, much more able to “push the call button if they need something” kids.  I guess they didn’t want to uproot them and their thirteen brothers and sisters (seriously, maybe it was a birthday party or something but I did actually count 13!) so they decided to literally “store” our baby (with his myriad of tubes, sensors and monitors) in the pantry. I guess the motto up here goes something like, heck, “if a baby cries in a storeroom and no one is around to hear it, does it really make a sound?”

Now the room wasn’t our only issue.  In addition to the fact that Rex (still on 30% Oxygen) was all alone out in Timbuktu, was the concern that he was assigned to a “Chuck”, a male nurse who closely resembled that of Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rainman.  Chuck (who none of the ICU nurses seem to have any recollection of and probably just stayed at a Holiday Inn last night if you catch my drift) also gave us the impression that he had never touched a baby in his life and that he might have been smoking the ‘ole marijuana plant earlier that day.  Clearly we had little to no confidence in Chucks’ ability to serve us, so, as a result when he did finally ask if there was anything he could do for us, Dane quickly responded by asking if he could go out and “grab us some Chipotle for dinner”.  In our opinion NO nurse was better than THAT nurse. Luckily, Chuck’s shift ended thirty minutes later.

Taking matters into my own hands and to score us a better living situation I may have unleashed a little bit of entitled, Petunia-Pickle-Bottom-diaper-bag-carrying (I got it on sale at Marshall’s ;)), “my insurance is better than their insurance” whoop ass on the sweet little Charge Nurse.  To her credit we didn’t have to ask twice to get a new room and were promptly moved to a single room much closer to the action.  While I still feel like a Killer Whale trapped in pool at Sea World with my dorsal fin flopped over, it’s better than nothing.

In all seriousness though, having the nearest nurse, even if it was ‘just Chuck’ miles away just didn’t feel like the type of watchfulness we expected out of Stanford.  At one point we were even thinking about asking to be transferred back to the Roseville NICU. Nurse Sarah wouldn’t have “put our Rexy in the corner!”

Look Mom! These binkies are all rainbow-y and stuff. And they are smiling at me!

So yeah, the disparity in care that we experienced between the rest of the hospital and “3 West” was pretty astonishing (or I wouldn’t be so, well, bitchy).  Prior to arriving here in the upstairs dungeon everything has been extraordinary.  The doctors (Dr. Axelrod), surgeons (Dr. Reddy) and nurses were awesome.  We were lucky enough to have a pretty typical stay at the CVICU with little to no hiccups unlike our time in the NICU. Rex was there a tad bit longer than expected to monitor the swelling in his trachea but after that it was just a waiting game until there was room available in “3 West”.  The only thing we had a bit of concern over was the fact that they might have been a little too liberal with the morphine — the night nurses seemed to have used it more for calming than for actual pain.  Seeing your baby on morphine is not easy.  We are pretty sure that there were many times when Rex was probably on some psychedelic trip with multiple orange binkies in tap shoes and canes singing along to Grateful Dead songs or something. Fortunately Rex got his final chest tube out this afternoon so there is no longer a standing order for these types of narcotics.

Up in “3 West”, even after relocating to a room directly opposite the nursing station, life was/is still, uh, kinda surreal.  I’m not altogether sure why they don’t just send us home at this point because even with the 15+ minute drive from our house to the ER at Sutter Roseville, Rex would be seen more quickly.  I’m kidding of course, but only kinda.  Seeing that all we have is time up here Dane and I went so far as to run our own little test, similar to the test I give the TSA whereby I keep a 3.5oz bottle of shampoo hidden in my luggage.  This time, instead of contraband liquids and gels, we opted to see just how long it would take Rex’s nurse to react when his leads fell off and the monitor was no longer picking up on his vitals.  After about ten minutes we became frustrated with the incessant beeping and gave up, putting the lines back on ourselves.  So far the only thing we haven’t done was to remove the I/V out of Rex’s foot, mostly because he did that one on his own accord.  At this point maybe they should put us on the payroll 🙂

Don’t even get us started on the Genetic’s Counselor.

I guess life in “3 West” isn’t all that bad though (said through gritted teeth).  We do have “free” room service — “free” being the operative word here.  (I’m pretty sure that the scrambled egg (egg not eggs) that Rex ordered daddy for breakfast the other day will wind up costing my insurance company over $75.)  Because the patient (Rex) is being charged for meals regardless of the fact that he is not quite ready to indulge in any Moroccan Grilled Salmon just yet both Dane and I get to take advantage of the bottomless cup of gummy bears and unusually orange, orange sherbet. When they first handed me the menu I thought they were handing me the wine list (because it looked different than the menu next to Rex’s crib) but then I remembered where I was.  I’m also reminded where I am every time I try and access my favorite celebrity gossip website and am denied due to foul language. Oh well.

So here is hoping that we are out of here quickly as clearly I don’t do well with this whole solitary confinement thing. I wish I would’ve taken up needlepoint when I had the chance; that way I would at least have something to do other than just sit around and watch Nickelodeon. My heart definitely goes out to other families who will have a much longer stay here than we will.  Rex is clearly one of the lucky ones and for that, all complaining aside, I am definitely thankful.

Oh and Chuck, if you just so happen to be reading this, my kids name isn’t Rex, it’s George.


Entry filed under: Rex. Tags: .

The Magical Healing Powers Of The Elusive Orange Binky What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dane Thompson  |  June 5, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    “foul” language. “Fowl” describes birds.

  • 2. Grand Ma Self  |  June 7, 2012 at 8:37 am

    That sounds dreadful. And Chuckie sounds like the nurse from hell. They ought to make a horror movie about him. Or something….

  • 3. Grand Ma Self  |  June 7, 2012 at 8:44 am

    By the way, that is one seriously cute baby!

  • 4. What I did on my maternity non-leave… | oursimplertimes  |  November 26, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    […] from meeting our hospitalist (no idea what that is exactly), “Dr. Murray”. He was just as, um, competent as “Chuck” was back in 2012. Luckily he passed the reigns to another doctor two days later who at least had heard of the […]


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