Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It is early Wednesday morning and we have officially been in the hospital for one week now. Although we have been at the hospital continously we haven't actually stayed the entire night with Matthew because he had one on one nursing while in the CICU (cardiac intensive care unit). We were told that he was doing well and sleeping while we caught a few hours of z's. I now have my doubts and I have an incredible insight into why he is behaving the way that he is: PURE EXHAUSTION!

He is now on the third floor and because the nursing ratio is like 1:4 we are staying with him 24/7. There is a bed in the room and if he goes to sleep, there is no reason why we can't go to sleep. WRONG! Nana left at around 9:00 pm. We both actually got some sleep from 9 to 11 (2hrs worth). Then they came in to do vitals and give him his meds. He threw up. We changed the sheets, the blankets, washed his hair, and put on new pajamas. That took an hour. At midnight the foley had to come out and that whole ordeal took another hour. It was now 2 am. They then started his 3sequential medications that have to be run via IV. Each one ran over an hour. The machines beep like a crazy alarm when they are being loaded, 5 minutes before they end, and then when they end. Then they have to flush the medications with some saline and the whole beeping process goes on again. Finally at 5 am Matthew and I fell asleep. At 6 (before I was completely awake) I see the floor tech taking off all of Matthew's EKG leads so that he can go down for a CXR. Matthew was awake again and crying because, well let me see: HE WAS TIRED. I refused the cxr and told them it could easily be done during the day when he was awake. As soon as I refused the Xray the resident comes in to examine him and his biggest question: How is Matthew's mental status today? Well let me tell you ....HE IS EXHAUSTED! I ask him to please arrange the schedule so that he can atleast have 6 hours of uninterrupted time. He tells me he will work on it and that Matt should be able to sleep until 8:30 when his morning meds are due (ie. we start it all over again). No sooner does he leave when the nurse walks in and tells me he has morning labs at 7:30.

What an eye opener of a night! If this is how his last week in the hospital has been I can sum it up really easy: Sleep deprivation, starvation, disorientation (drugs), and pain. Sounds more like a week at Guantanamo. Its amazing he is alive. Its amazing he is healing.

Final thoughts: Obviously their do not disturb sign needs larger font. Oh, and lets just hope that he pees today. Another 3 hour urology-Foley fight just doesn't sound very appealing today.


  1. Poor little guy! Hopefully they'll let him get some sleep tonight and he will start healing even faster. And hopefully you guys will be able to get some sleep too!

  2. Now, blessings light on him that first invented sleep! It covers a man all over, thoughts and all, like a cloak; it is meat for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, heat for the cold, and cold for the hot. It is the current coin that purchases all the pleasures of the world cheap, and the balance that sets the king and the shepherd, the fool and the wise man, even. ~Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, 1605

    how tortuous sleep deprivation is and may you get some sleep today

    Dixie and family

  3. Man, hospital life is brutal. I know from experience (: I hope that they can get a better schedule for Matthew and you guys as well!! You are always in our prayers. Love, Jill

  4. So inspired by Dixie's note, I will add my own wish for the Tough Guy today. This, from William Shakespeare....
    'Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care
    The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath
    Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
    Chief nourisher in life's feast'.
    May angels lull you to sleep, sweet baby, and may Lightning McQueen greet you with a fun day in six hour's time (at least). We love you, Matthew.

  5. Sounds like Dad is exhausted also. You know in the hospital we always encourage families to get sleep and take care of themselves.

    I'm going to give you the lecture I give my families (with love and concern, of course): "You need to go get some rest. While we're (we being the nurses) here taking care of Matt, Jr. you need to take care of Matt, Sr. We don't want you to get yourself totally exhausted, because he's going to need you when he goes home and we're not there."

    And at that point I would shoo you out to go get some sleep.

  6. This is EXACTLY how it was for us and Erica. EXACTLY. By the end of her hospital stay, we were the talk of the nursing station because we wouldn't let them wake her up in the middle of the night to weigh her, change her dry diaper (etc, etc). In addition, Cameron and I were completely sleep deprived from 10 days of this same scenario... Its AMAZING that babies recovering from major heart surgery are able to survive (let alone recover). Ultimately, we were so thankful that we could be there with her because of the nursing ratio, and because she needed an advocate. There is a reason why children whose parents stay with them are discharged faster than those who don't (don't have the reference off the top of my head). Stay strong, catch the zzzz when you can, and keep up the awesome peacetalks with the residents! The end will soon come. Going home will be very therapeautic despite the new responsibilities.

  7. Little Matthew is lucky he has a Daddy who isn't afraid to speak up for his needs! Best wishes getting the staff to cooperate and on a more mindful schedule. Just because the nurses are awake doesn't mean their patients should be too, right?! Good luck!

  8. Wow--long nights--and days. Now you know why moms just want to go home after having babies--no rest in the hospital--too many bells and whistles! Hope things improve for the little feller! Good luck and get some rest!

  9. Poor little sweetheart! I have always thought that hospitals are two steps forward, one step back, two steps forward, one step back. Hopefully exhaustion will give him the ability to sleep through most of the hubbub. I'm glad to hear he is at least out of the ICU. He is in our prayers.... you all are.

  10. Oh my gosh!! I feel for yall, poor little guy. We are so happy he is talking and doing better. It's so amazing that he just had a heart transplant, crazy to really think about and crazy he is not on oxygen etc etc etc. The human body and mind are amazing. We love yall, each day we read your blog and I can't breath till we are 1/2 way through and see that things are picking up. We've also got a box of tissue, it's hard to hear what yall are going though and Matthew, sweet little guy. But, we are so glad to be able to follow along with the ups and downs.

    Lots of love and prayers,

  11. What a blessing that Matt Jr.'s Dad knows what's what. From my very limited experience, nighttime is not a time of rest in a hospital. Good for you for saying enough's enough. Sleep is a huge healer. Our prayers are always with you.

  12. What a trooper! You guys are amazing. I can't even imagine.....You guys are in our thoughts and prayers! I hope you both get some well deserved rest!

  13. You guys amaze me. I don't know you well but your family has been in our daily thoughts and prayers. This too shall pass, and hopefully soon, your family will be whole and together again. Please let us know if there is anything we can do.

    The Roberts Family :o)