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Friday Quick Takes

1. I’m exhausted. At first, as I blearily drove the kids to dance class this morning, I couldn’t figure out why. Then I remembered: 13 hours at work on Monday, sick as a dog Tuesday, ran non-stop errands Wednesday to get family ready for surgery day, surgery day Thursday requiring an early alarm clock and no nap, “slept” overnight at hospital last night resulting in Little Boy waking me early again this morning.

The boy, on the other hand, is unaffected. He may have been spotted running around the post office with no coat, mittens, or shoes this morning, despite temps in the teens. (Because he removed them himself, that is. Not because I was so tired I forgot them!)

So… a Friday Quick-Takes post it is.

2. We managed an entire calendar year without a hospital stay, but last night broke the streak. I’m slept at the luxurious accommodations (haha) of our local children’s hospital last night. It’s a vinyl-covered pull-out bed in a room 5 feet from the nurses’ station. My youngest received ear tubes yesterday. Normally we’d have been loading him in the van to go home less than an hour after he entered the O.R. But in our case, they are keeping him overnight for observation because of his medical history.

3. Staying at the hospital is totally different with a healthy and active child. I’ve never had a hospital stay like this. Ellie was complicated, wheelchair-bound, and unable to do much even when she was well. We usually just camped out in her room with a pile of movies and CDs.

Little Boy is mostly typical, except for his one medical issue. He flew through the procedure without a hitch and actually recovered faster from the anesthesia than he does from the sedation medicine they use for less invasive procedures. He spent the afternoon strutting around the hospital admiring life-sized Spiderman wall stickers, finding nooks to hide in, climbing stairs, pressing buttons, playing with kids in the activity room, and eating. He loves the over-the-bed tables and room service!

4. I don’t know how nurses concentrate with all the interruptions. They are one-of-a-kind. Our room, as I mentioned, is right across from the nurses’ station. All night long I heard the call bell dinging. All. Night. Long. That meant I felt extra badly when Little Boy discovered the call button on his bed and pushed it five separate times. I have no idea how they actually get anything done. But they do, and they are the sweetest people.

5. We have good medical insurance, but this year the plans changed and I’m seriously concerned about the impact on our budget. Last night’s little hospital stay should have fulfilled Little Boy’s deductible, but we will still pay 10% after that. When an echo (ultrasound of the heart) costs $3500 a pop, I shudder to think what our 10% of last night’s luxurious accommodations will be! We’re tightening our belts and waiting to see how it looks when the dust settles.

6. We need health care reform, and it must include a safety net for people like us. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that the only people in trouble financially because of medical bills are unemployed. Even people with good insurance and a job can go under after just one major medical encounter.

And don’t let anyone tell you that sending our health care to the lowest bidder is the solution either. You think the headlines include a lot of medical mistake stories now.

7.  I decluttered last weekend. It’s so freeing to have less crap laying around and more space in which to play. It took me two days just to sort the toy soup in the basement and find all the pieces to all their various sets.

My next step is to stash some toys away and start rotating them. We’ll have fewer toys out that way, and every couple of weeks we’ll bring out something “new” and hide a more familiar batch of toys. It works really well during the winter blahs. Now if only I could find a tactic like this for my winter blahs!

I also found a few more things to auction for Haiti (our kids really wanted to help so we agreed to put some of their toys on eBay and donate the proceeds to Samaritan’s Purse. I won’t detail the struggles they’ve had deciding which toys to sell and which ones they still wanted for themselves — they are real kids after all. But, they’ve donated $40 so far!


What was your week like?

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