We had a variety of Maddie-related tasks to do today – prescriptions, follow-up appointments & consults, and lessons on how to mix her medications – so when I woke up this morning feeling like my appendages weighed 1,000 pounds each I knew it would be a long day. I had a physical therapy appointment at 7am with a different therapist than usual. She couldn’t believe all the knots in my back and neck. In fact, we spent the entire session with her working on my knots, and she still didn’t clear all of them. Luckily my regular therapist had filled her in on Maddie so she didn’t think I was a total stress case. I could use about eight more sessions tomorrow alone!
When we followed up with Maddie’s pediatrician (loooove) today. I laid it all out for her. I told her all about Dr. Lung ordering oxygen before the oxygenation test, how she never kept us in the loop on anything, and how she was always being secretive around us. Her pediatrician (loooove) was pretty appalled, but assured us that Dr. Lung is the best around. She also said that if I ever have questions or doubts about something Dr. Lung is doing, I should call her and she will act as our go-between. I loooove her pediatrician so much, I didn’t even take it personally when she said to me, “you look terrible. You need to get some sleep. A lot of sleep.” Yeah, I had big bags under my eyes. I guess I should have worn makeup today. And brushed my hair. And not worn a jacket with dried spit up on it. Mike is so glad he married someone so sexy.
After I told Maddie’s pediatrician (loooove) about my concerns regarding Dr. Lung, she asked how staying in the Westwood hospital was. I opened my mouth to really let it rip, then thought better of it and said, “well, it’s a lot different than Santa Monica. Or even the NICU.” She laughed and said, “I know what you mean, you don’t have to feel bad. I try not to send my patients there unless it’s absolutely necessary.” The problem with the Westwood hospital is that it isn’t supposed to be in use anymore.
A brand-new hospital is standing across the street, empty. I think the first scheduled time for the hospital to move was in 2006. The date keeps getting pushed back because of construction delays, equipment problems, and pipes breaking. The nurses joke that the new building is cursed. The new hospital is supposed to be AMAZING. All state of the art. Every room is private – no matter how much you like your roommate, it’s hard to make decisions about your child’s health with a stranger listening in – so that’s great. I spent a lot of time this last week fantasizing about the new hospital. I have a crush on it.
Since, at any given time, the move to the new hospital is only a month away, the current hospital has gotten quite run down. All the important stuff works, of course. But it’s worn out. I’d notice that the portible x-ray machines had duct tape up the sides. If a television a room stopped working, that was it. It wasn’t going to be replaced since, in theory, it wasn’t going to be needed for much longer. The paint on the walls is peeling, the floor tiles are cracked, and lights are flickering. I joked with the roommate’s dad that if UCLA medical center was ranked third in the nation, I wouldn’t want to see the hospital that was ranked fourth (and, while I fully disclose that Mike, Maddie’s roommate’s dad and I all went to USC, this isn’t Bruin bashing)! Cleveland Clinic is ranked fourth, in case you were wondering.
All that being said, the most important thing in a hospital is the people who work there. The nurses, doctors, and students work really hard to make everyone healthy again. As much as we complained about things falling apart in our room, we were extremely thankful that so many people cared about Maddie and saw to it that she went home well. We were soooo spoiled by the NICU. We now realize just how amazing the NICU staff is (and we already thought they were awesome), and how lucky we were that Maddie got a bed there when she was born.
For a million reasons, I hope Maddie never has to go back to that hospital. Of course, if she does, at least we can enjoy the cafeteria. Every month there is a different theme of music playing. In November, when Maddie first arrived in the NICU, it was all Michael Jackson. This month it was 70’s funk. The food there is actually really good. Yummy chicken sandwiches, fresh grilled cheese, and an honest-to-goodness sushi bar. Mmm…I’m dreaming of the shrimp tempura roll right now.