St Louis Surgery part 4


When we last left off, we were in the recovery room at Mercy Hospital. Both of the boys were out of surgery. Robert was clearly outpacing Peter with speed of recovery. Peter was hitting people with his cast.

Dr. Marsh talked to me for about 5 minutes about how the boys did and asked if I had any questions. When I didn’t, he shot out of that hospital like he was on fire because apparently we were his “last day of school” appointment and he was antsy to start his vacation. (Of course, right?) I never saw him again.

The boys were quickly wheeled out of recovery and brought up to the pediatric intensive care unit. Considering how well they were doing, it seemed wholly un-necessary. (Just another extra charge on our massive bill, I guess.) But, in hindsight, it was nice to have more nurses more actively involved with them. They required a lot of attention just because they were scared.

When we got up to the rooms, the same nurse who told me the surgeries didn’t hurt started talking to the PICU doctor about what to use for pain management. I held my tongue, but just barely. Pun intended. We ruled out IV drugs because they are bloody expensive and settled on regular Tylenol and Motrin.

Oh, but wait! The boys have a red dye allergy. The hospital doesn’t have dye-free Tylenol or Motrin. Yes, you read that right.

“If you would have informed us of their allergy in advance, we could have been more prepared,” the nurse scolded me.

Yes, because all that paper work I filled out beforehand was for funsies. Why would the nurse read the page with the allergies, after all? Also, aren’t I an idiot! I assumed a major metropolitan hospital would have TYLENOL. Gosh. What is wrong with me? I bet they scold the people who come in with latex allergies, too… Not.

So, I had to go to Walgreens as my sons sat alone in the PICU to buy Tylenol. I’m not kidding.

Yes, it really happened

Yes, it really happened

I mean, I was pretty pumped that Walgreens was running a “buy one, get one 50% off” special on children’s pain relief, but honestly? I was not impressed. (I was even less impressed when I got an additional bill from the hospital for them to administer it. But, let’s not dwell. Yet.)

I was finally back with the boys and they were petrified. The children’s hospital at Mercy is all pretty new so the suites are all single patient. That’s lovely…until you have two children in at the same time. I spent my day running back and forth between the rooms. I would wait until one child fell asleep to bolt over to the other child or listen for crying to choose which room I would spend time in. It was absolutely exhausting.

When I couldn't be in his room, he needed his teddy

When I couldn’t be in his room, he needed his teddy

I made a vain attempt to go back to the hotel for some sleep at one point, but another patient coded and there was commotion, alarms, shouting….yeah. I wasn’t going anywhere. I slept in my clothes on a tiny foam couch in Robert’s room for most of the night because Peter was doing a better job with sleeping.

He kept falling asleep watching Shark Week.

He kept falling asleep watching Shark Week.

This was, unknown to the boys,  the easy day of their recovery. The following day was going to be the day they were forced to RECOVER by their nurse. She wanted them up, drinking, and out of the PICU as fast as possible. I knew they were having a great recovery, but I was still a little unsure how they would accept drinking. I mean, they had feeding tubes in that gave them their medicine and food today. What would they do when they were told to just drink some milk tomorrow?


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