The early hours of this morning felt like something right out of a twisted psychological thriller. Oliver’s schedule is pretty off and he was still wide awake at midnight. I lied down in the parent chair next to his bed, put on the tv and tried to rest, hoping he would fall asleep too. We both started to doze off only to be ripped from sleep by his pulse ox alarm. Over and over again for the next hour he set it off, dipping into the low 80’s despite the oxygen support. That feeling of waiting with baited breath for the next disruptive cry of the machine to break the silence makes it impossible to calm my nerves.
I tried everything I could think of – turning down the volume (apparently impossible), repositioning his body and ultimately putting as many pillows as I could find over the damn thing to dampen the sound. Nothing worked. We would fall asleep, the alarm would sound, we’d fall asleep, the alarm would sound. Over and over and over again. Being yanked from the beginnings of sleep when you are beyond exhausted like that is pure torture. Memories from our NICCU stay swirled in my head and my body squirmed with anxiety in response.
To make matters worse, two other kids in the rooms around us were SCREAMING like they too were being tortured. I thought of those parents and the agony they must be in sitting at their child’s bedside unable to soothe them. I’ve been there countless time myself. The screams and the alarms and the hospital sounds joined together to attack my tired mind and for a while I was sure I would not survive this night.
In a last ditch effort to hang on to my sanity, I put on the smooth jazz channel on the tv, laid back down on my little bed, pulled the covers up and tried to believe my own words, ‘You can do this. Stay focused. Don’t lose it.’
And then at some point everything just stopped. Oliver’s alarm gave up on its noise pollution, the screaming children apparently found some peace and the gentle sound of jazz filled my ears. I fell immediately to sleep.
The night was broken but overall almost restful. Each time I woke there was another visitor in our room but Oliver slept through it all. I cannot describe the relief I felt each time another procedure was completed without waking him.
This morning I facetimed my mom so she could talk to Oliver while I took a shower. I grabbed my toothbrush and toothpaste and almost ran to the safe haven of the bathroom so I could soothe my frazzled nerves with hot water. As I stood in the shower the smell of BO confirmed that I did indeed need this bath. But in my haste I had neglected to ask for soap so I looked around for an alternative. I reached for the only thing I had… toothpaste. As my armpits tingled with minty freshness I started laughing. Omg, this is perfect. How did my life get to be such a shit show?! -Insert laughing/crying emoji –
I may be losing my mind today but at least it’s in the direction of humor.
I guess this GIF that I posted on OO a few days ago pretty much sums it up perfectly.