5.01.2008

The Trickery of Dr. Lung

Sleep wasn't much of an option for me last night thanks to a few factors. The first was Maddie's oxygenation study. I was determined everything would read correctly, so I was up constantly making sure the monitor was reading correctly. I don't think I've checked on her breathing more since the first night she came home from the hospital. The monitor malfunctioned about four times during the night...I thought I was going to go insane. Alarms would start going off as if her heart stopped beating. They are so loud, I jumped out of my skin every time. The good news is, when the monitor was working correctly, her saturation was in the 90's.

The other reason I didn't sleep well was thanks to our new roommates. A four month old boy was brought over from the Pediatric ICU, and his mom was not happy about it. She didn't like that she'd have to stay with her son all the time, since in ICU, the nurses provide all the care. Before he was moved, she and the baby's grandmother came over to check out the room, and they pretty much freaked out by how laid back things are on the floor. The mom told the grandmother that she'd have to stay with the baby because she 'wasn't prepared to.' The grandmother was easily 76. Once he was brought in, the grandmother was totally overwhelmed. At one point, his medicine pump was beeping, and not only could she not hear it, she didn't know that a beeping machine was a bad thing. It was a mixed blessing when the mom stormed in at midnight with a big suitcase and an even bigger chip on her shoulder. I felt so bad for the nurse we were sharing. She had to do everything for the boy. I was up feeding Maddie, and he started to cry. The mom heaved a huge sigh, got out of bed, and came over to the crib where her son was laying. She started to console him when the nurse walked in. The mom said, "oh good, you're here," and laid back down in her bed, leaving her baby crying in the crib. The nurse and I looked at each other like, "what the heck?" and then the mom said, "I think he's in pain. Can you give him some morphine or something? Thanks." And then literally rolled so her back was facing us. I've never met someone more put out by her own child, and this is L.A.

Luckily for me, my mom and Mike came at 7 am so I was able to get a solid hour of sleep before all the fun started. At 8 am, Mr. 5 O'clock from the pulmonary lab came in to get Maddie's monitor. He said it would take at least an hour to download the night's results. We kept our fingers crossed that he didn't have anywhere to go. When a resident finally came by to tell us the results, we were really antsy. She said, "the results were abnormal. The doctor will be by to speak with you," and then she walked out. Seriously, I am going to start a clinic for improving bedside manner. So many residents lack tact.

Dr. Lung came in and said that Maddie's oxygenation study showed that when she sleeps, she dips into the 80's. since we want her to be above 90, that's not good. I questioned the results, since the monitor Maddie was on would sound an alarm whenever Maddie's blood oxygen level hit 90. Dr. Lung said that the monitor was super sensitive and picked up things the alarm wouldn't have. What.Ever. She said that she wanted Maddie to be on oxygen when she sleeps at night, and that she was going to order home oxygen for Maddie as soon as she left our room. We scheduled follow up appointments with the pediatrician (loooove) and Dr. Lung for tomorrow and next week, respectively. Then we waited for the resident to discharge us. That always takes forever. The SECOND they told us we could leave, we grabbed our things and ran. Oh, and we grabbed Maddie, too.

When we got home, Mike told me to listen to the answering machine messages from yesterday. There was a message from a home medical supply company asking me to call back. I assumed they were calling about the nebulizer equipment that we rent from them, since they check in from time to time. When I called, they asked for confirmation of our address and insurance information, and told me that Maddie's oxygen tank would arrive sometime today. I asked about the message from the day before, and the woman said that the only reason she was calling was because of the oxygen. And then it occurred to me - Dr. Lung ordered Maddie's oxygen yesterday, BEFORE Maddie's oxygen study. That deceptive beeyotch!

I've been trying not to get mad about this. I know that Dr. Lung is one of the best pediatric pulmonologists around. I just wish she was more forthcoming. If she'd just said, "Maddie is small, she has BPD and possibly chILD, and I would feel better if she was on oxygen at night," I would have accepted that. I don't know, maybe I have created this relationship with her by questioning everything she says. On the other hand, if I didn't ask what she was doing, what kind of parent would I be? I guess I just have to make sure I ask in a better way, maybe less accusatory. We're on the same team and all of that.

Inhaling this will not make your voice highWe were pretty much stuck at home waiting for her oxygen tank to arrive. Not that we would have been going to a theme park with her or anything. We were expecting small tanks on wheels, but instead the delivery man wheeled in a HUGE tank, at least five feet tall. It has to be in a permanent stand, so we set it up in Maddie's room. That means she will be sleeping in her own crib from now on. Mike and I don't really feel ready for this, but she was getting a little too tall to sleep in the bassinet anyway. I have a feeling one of us will be sleeping on the floor in her room. The helicopter parenting has already started!

5 comments:

Bec said...

Call me crazy, but what kind of parent doesn't ask questions about their child's health care? You'd think she'd be used to questioning parents. I hate, hate, hate being lied to, particularly by a doctor and I'd be inclined to call her on that. I to would have accepted the "she's small etc" reasoning behind having her on oxygen. I don't know what some doctors are thinking.

Gemini Girl said...

Serisouly- I was labled a "difficult" parent at the NICU bec I would constantly call when I wasnt there and asked an insane amount of questions every day. That's what a parent does! I feel so sad for that little boy that shared a room with maddie- he has such a horrible mother. Enough he has to deal with medical problems, but having a mother who seems as thoguh she doesnt care and that it is a burden to her-... shame on her!

Wow, the oxygen tank is quite the eyesore- but at least she is home. Maybe you guys coulD move some stuff around for a while and get a pull out bed so that you could sleep next to maddie? That would be better than sleeping on the floor.
BTW- Sending you an email!

Mommy's Boot Camp said...

Very Excited that you were able to bring Maddie home, even with a little eye sore in her room! What a beautiful room! Fingers are crossed that you can keep her home!!

Kristin.... said...

Hooray for being home! Boo hiss on such an ugly tank. Maybe it needs some decorating. ha. just what you have time for.

Ok, can I come across country and smack Dr. Lung and that obnoxious mother? OMG she needs a reality check.

Hope you get a bit of rest and have a great day.

Bec said...

Gemini Girl - they used to talk about me on rounds :lol: "Erin's mother has asked for a review". I'd ring in the middle of the night, ask the same question over and over of the same and different doctors/nurses to make sure I was getting the right answer the first time. To my mind, that's just what you do when you're a parent. And absolutely, shame on that other mother, the poor little boy :(