The Squeaky Wheel

It took 14 hours, but we finally got somewhere.

I bugged every person I could until I got an answer I could live with…an answer I could sleep with.

Our nurse from the previous night (who is quite a character, I must say), who had been with her when her trach plugged and she couldn’t breath for about 3 minutes, stopped in the room to check on us. She asked if I was ok. “I am,” I said, “as long as you don’t ask if I’m ok.”

“Can I get y’all anything?”

“Yeah, a real doctor that can actually do something. Someone other than a resident or intern.” I know, they’re doctors too, but you have to understand my frustration…and truthfully, there are some decisions they can’t make without the attending giving the “ok.”

“I can do that!” she said. “There are some things I can’t do, but I can do that.”

The next thing I know, the head nurse comes in and the resident. We explained our concerns yet again, and were finally put on the phone with the neurosurgeon on call.

Let me just interject something here. Dr. Smith, the peds neurosurgeon I’ve spoken so highly of, was out of town yesterday at a funeral, so none of this reflects on him. Now, if I need to deal with his office again today and get them same results, that will be a different story.

The neurosurgeon I spoke with was not pediatric. He also made it clear that he was there for “emergency situations.” To which I responded, “Well, this is an emergency to me.” To which he was apologetic, but I still felt as if I’d interrupted his precious evening of watching The Bachelor or something. (Perhaps, I was a little too snarky about that).

The resident asked if the phone call had been helpful….and seriously apologized when he learned it wasn’t. I think he was sincerely annoyed by the lack of help as well.

So, said resident, whom we had originally named Dr. Mickey Mouse because of his MM watch (Matt and I give them names like that until we learn their real names…and sometimes even then, the nickname remains), got us on the phone with the PICU attending (why had we not spoken to him yet today?).

FINALLY, someone who had the ability to make a decision and actually seemed to care.

We had a lengthy discussion in which I expressed all my concerns. He seemed genuinely troubled as well…and made a decision.Yes! A decision!

A plan. That’s all I was asking for.

The plan? To keep her on the EEG for the time being and get an MRI scheduled ASAP in the morning.

Was that so hard? It was for me, but I got it done. A decision was made.

I just had to “squeak” loud enough.

Her MRI is scheduled for 11am this morning, and she’s off the EEG.

Incidentally, her hemoglobin went back up last night. Still low, but higher than it was at 4pm yesterday, so they didn’t have to transfuse. Praise God!

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’ve finished my breakfast (that I’m NOT allowed to eat in the PICU….ridiculous if you ask me)…so I’m going to go visit my baby girl.


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