I have been going non-stop for a couple of weeks now, and thus no time to blog. Today, the house needs my attention, among other things, but I am taking some time for me. Right Now. I mean it! So what has been occupying my time?
Zach has always had a slight bit of nasal congestion since birth. Normally it is clear, but he has been cursed with my pug nose, so it gets stuck in there. Hey, I'm an RT an therefore a pro at removing respiratory gunk. Of course Zach loathes the dreaded bulb syringe and saline drops, but I get the job done. And because of my professional credentials, John always saves it for me. Translation: I have to be the one to make my baby boy cry. Gah! Well, last Friday we were preparing to take our boys out of town to see their grandparents. Zach chooses then to wake up with a cough. A dry, hacking, non-productive cough. I figured it was from nasal drainage, cleaned him out, and we left town as planned. So we end up 4 hours from home and the drainage turns yellow, the cough starts to happen all day instead of just when he wakes. I wanted desperately to put stethoscope to chest to see what was happening in those tiny premature lungs of his, but alas my steth was on my kitchen counter at home. (Pause here, my cappucino is ready!) So anyhow, we stayed our 3 days, which would have been 5 had my boss not needed me for the holiday weekend coverage. And as soon as I got home Sunday night, I listened to Zachy's lungs. Crackles in both bases. Bad. So I made our first emergency after hours call to our doctor. They know me from the hospital. I told him what was going on, that Zach appeared to be in no respiratory distress, but with it being a holiday weekend, thought they might want me to take him for an OP chest x-ray or possibly call something in. Nope. He wanted me to take him to the ER because of Zach's status as a preemie. Blech, ok.
The ER Visit
We do as told and we get to the ER. Of course Zach is being his charming self, smiling and laughing and cooing at the nurses. They fall in love with him. And he gets his first x-ray. The x-ray techs are amazed that he doesn't cry, but rather looks around, taking it all in. He gets fascinated by the light they shine on his torso to help them place the location of the picture and his brow wrinkles with confusion when the light goes off. He is my perfectly behaved baby. The ER doc is one I have not worked with, and she asks if I have any other children, because she notes I am "remarkably good at this". What a compliment! But it turns out there is no pneumonia, and so we go home with baby in tow, only to follow up at Zach's well-child appointment 3 days later.
We are on our way home from the ER that night. I am in a slight hurry because it is 9:30 and I have to be at work at 11. Of course it is the first Sunday in September in the Cincinnati area. If you aren't from here and know noone who is, you have no idea. Riverfest. Where hundreds of thousands of people from all over descend on the Ohio River to watch the sky literally erupt into some of the most spectacular fireworks in the world. It Is Cincinnati. John and I are usually there on the river amongst the madness, but this year, Zach was just too young, the noise too loud for him, and the crowd too maddening for me to attempt to get through with such a small baby. But what does this translate to? Traffic. Lots and lots of it. So John starts navigating side streets to get us home. We get to our neighborhood, and he makes a turn onto a side street right around the corner from my house because he cannot turn that way onto our street. His intention is to turn around in this cul-de-sac and approach the intersection from a different way. But this is atop a huge hill and you can see the fireworks from there. The street is lined with cars filled with onlookers. Our windows are down because it is a nice night. And that is when it happens: a group of drunk people decide to toss their cups of beer on my car simultaneously. And they manage to soak Evan with beer. They even got poor Zach, soaking his carseat, which was located in the center of my backseat. I yell at John to stop the car, an I get out and give them some choice words, letting them know they soaked my children with thir booze in their efforts to be funny. And they had the balls to shout back. So John gets out of the car then, putting on his Marine Corps DI voice. Nothing good comes from that voice. I know what it means. I have only heard it one other time when Evan hit me during a tantrum and John got in his face and told him that while I was Evan's mom, I was also his wife and noone hits his wife and gets away with it. It is his scary voice. And it means John is so angry that I could see him doing something to get arrested. So I get him back in the car and we go home. But by this point, my interior and both of my kids smell like Bud Light. And I have to go to work as a healtcare provider in that car. Great. I figure it is a good idea to call the police so I have documentation. The last thing I want is for someone to pull me over and think I had been drinking. Or bathing my children in beer. And as soon as the cruiser door opens, the cop says "Wow, I can already smell it!" That is how bad it was. He told me there was a road block around the corner because of the holiday weekend and gave me his business card to show the officer who stops me so they know the boozey smell wasn't coming from me. Lovely. With that, I head into work.
The Epic Disaster
Here I am at work. I have been in the car for 5 hours that day. I have had an altercation with morons, the police at my house, my baby to the ER, and no sleep.
How could I forget that this night was to be my first run-in with the new $80M software program the hospital has purchased? And to make matters worse, I was supposed to be off, but came in to help out my fellow man. So this new system is to encompass all I do at the hospital: pharmacy records, charting, orders, medical records, lab results, x-ray images and reports, and even communication with other members of the healthcare team.It's called Epic. And it is a effing disaster. A complete clusterf###. Seriously. And of course I get the crappiest assignment in the hospital because they figure I am only there for 8 instead of 12 hours. It also happens to be Pediatric Respiratory Night in the hospital. Left and right, children were being admitted from the ER. The problem with this is that kids are seen and assessed every 2 hours. When you have 80 patients, you cannot finish a complete round by then. Plus the e-disaster with the new software. Gah! I should have stayed home! I counted down until my shift was over, only to encounter a catastrophe of another variety upon my exit from the hospital...
The Why-the-Bleep-Does-My-Car-Sound-Like-a-Weedeater Moment
Yep, you read that correctly. It really did. Someone in a beat-up Nova was actually gawking at my car because of the way it sounded. The clencher? My car is a 2009 model. What the %$&^*?????? Seriously? Fo' rizzle! Granted it is slightly over the 36K miles that is the bumper-to-bumper warranty, because for the first few months I owned it, I was commuting to work from 90 minutes away. But still. It's seriously less than 2 years old. There is no reason it should sound like that! But of course with it being a holiday weekend, I have to wait for a couple of days for a Dodge dealer to open in order to have the problem diagnosed.
When we finally get the car looked at by someone qualified for such a thing, we discover that the alternator has a bearing in it that is going out, causing it to jump around inside my car's guts. And they tell me that it could go out in the next 5 minutes or it could last like that for a year. Noone knows. Of course I am most decidedly not okay with this information, and end up thunking down over $500 for the repair. I am pretty disgruntled that I have to do so with my newish car, though. So once I prepay for the expensive part, I call the customer line for Dodge and complain. They take down some info and tell me they will get back with me. The next day, a nice man named Chad calls my house and tells me that Dodge is going to refund all of my money for the repair so long as I can mail them copies of my receipts. Done. I guess the squeakiest wheel really does get the oil.
So there you have it: the reason I haven't blogged. Now you're up to speed.