Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

April 15, 2004

1 hospital story

Numbers have been at the forefront of my frustrations with the modern medical system lately because I don't think in numbers if I can help it, I just try to go with the flow. This has been an essential tool to develop as a mother, trying not to get anxious about everything. But when I entered the medical establishment's culture Tuesday night (and before that on the phone with various nurses), I entered number world, and culture clash ensued. Eventually I had to capitulate and talk in numbers to be heard. So here is Maya's illness story in numbers:

Days Maya was on antibiotics for impetigo (a bacterial skin rash): 6
Days Maya had mild diarrhea from said antibiotics: 4
Days Maya started having even worse diarrhea and throwing up to boot: 4
Degrees of Maya's fever in last four days: unknown (due to my hand on the forehead method of measurement)
Level of frustration non-measuring mom had trying to convince clinic nurse that Maya needed to go off the antibiotic even if she hadn't used a thermometer: 10/10
Average number of poops per day in last four days: 6
Average number of throw ups per day in last four days: 4
Days Maya had gone without keeping down food or liquids: 3
Number of tears available in Maya's tearducts when she cried for water Tuesday night: 0
Number of Baker family members in the emergency room Tuesday night: 4
Hours from arrival in ER to seeing an actual doctor: 3
Level of dehydration in poor Maya: 10% down (2.4 lbs of water missing)
Number of times IV insertions attempted: 6
Number of departments sending representatives to stick Maya for an IV: 4
Successful IV insertions: 0 (due to tiny, liquid-less veins from dehydration)
Number of times in 20 years her doctor has seen patients this hard to get an IV into: 0
Four year olds watching the beginning of IV nightmare: 1
Four year olds rescued by Grampy Frank: 1
Pedialyte (good liquid for dehydrated people) successfully administered by mouth (by parents) during IV nightmare: 8 ounces
Hours from seeing doctor to insertion of NG tube down her nose to her stomach to send in a doctor-controlled drip of the same pedialyte parents had successfully been giving her: 4
Hours of sleep parents got that night: 1-2 (interrupted often)
Hours spent admitted to pediatric ward for Maya to hydrate and recover: 10.5
Total number of people who wanted to know all about Maya's poop: 22
Number of episodes of administrative confusion based on the Eliana vs. Maya issue: 5

As soon as Maya started perking up, it all got a lot more qualitative. So I'll finish the story that way. Maya was so happy to be feeling better, and to have than darn tube out, that she ran across the room back and forth, did a little dance, wrestled with Billy, jumped on her bed, and generally was a whole different person than the lethargic, miserable little girl that we brought to the hospital let alone the sleepy patient hooked up to tubes and wires only hours earlier. We had some very kind visitors bring us food and toys and clothes. Maya started drinking juice and popsicles and jello and the nurse and doctor decided it was time to go home. And Maya's been improving ever since. She's eating normally and drinking lots and keepng it all down. And as soon as she got home she started saying all these new words: yeah, meadow, bagel, rope, button. It's like she's so happy to be home and felling good that she just wants to talk talk talk and try new sounds just for the sheer pleasure of it. 'Joy gives us wings' indeed.

Billy here.

Yeah, it was a pretty hard couple of days for everyone. I think we'll be having a "Heroic Toddler" party sometime soon! Maya endured, fought, struggled, cooperated, clung, trusted, and finally celebrated her way through this ordeal. I hope that her psyche doesn't bear too deep of scars from it. She doesn't seem to be plagued by nightmares or anything, but her playing has occasionally had a manic quality to it -- which could just as easily be explained by the extra sugar she's been getting in Jello and popsicles as by her worry about being poked and prodded again.

Thank you to everyone who helped us in our time of need -- doctors, family, friends. There are times when our dependence on our fellow human beings is irrefutably illustrated. We love you all, every one. Every little thing people did felt like a mercy and a loving assistance -- from looking up telephone numbers to bringing much-needed food (Maya's first solid food was Strawberry Fields bread and soup (she did her own dipping), which she ate with relish, and which she kept down with determination), to giving Georgia a place to stay away from the ruckus for a day. And everything in between. Everything helped us on at least two levels: the practical, and also the spiritual -- which had a lot more to do with the sense of love and support we constantly received.

Whew! More later! Thanks for letting me write, Bahiyyih!

Posted by Bahiyyih at April 15, 2004 02:49 PM

What an ordeal! Heroic, indeed, and parents as well as toddlers. Having had lots of health problems as a small child, I can relate (especially that IV thing -- bad veins). I'm so glad Maya bounced back quickly and is charging around her life again in good form. It's so true how interdependent we all are on each other. God knew what He was doing, huh?

Posted by: Amy Eades at April 23, 2004 01:00 AM