Monday, December 27, 2010

My New Job as Home Healthcare Nurse

Since I arrived to stay with Hunter this time, I've been confronted with the reality of what my life will look like once Hunter is finally back at home again. While I am super excited to start the new year off with my family intact and no more crazy diagnoses and no awful surgeries or recovery periods or lengthy separations looming in the distance, I have to admit that there is also a part of me that is dreading it. For any of you out there who have had a toddler at any given time, you know what a challenge they can be. Well, my sweet little angel faced lord of the dragons has proven to be no exception to that "Terrific Two's" rule. He is a challenge. And a delight. But he's a challenge. And he keeps me extremely stressed out. Mostly because we don't have a cage or a leash for him. He's climbing on my tables, snatching things up, trying to break 'em. You get the picture.

Needless to say, having this little critter around is going to present a challenge once I have to add Home Healthcare Nurse to my already long list of titles that I hold. Having Hunter at home this time will be entirely different than it's ever been before. Let's see...

For one thing, there is the meds...
All 79 of them. Okay, so maybe there are only like seven or eight but at some point I lost count. But there is one med that HAS to be given three times a day at extremely specific times and it cannot vary. The times are 10 pm, 6 am, and 2 pm. Well, great. I cannot seem to even remember to brush my teeth every day. How in the HECK am I going to remember these meds every day at the right time without screwing up? Seriously. Then, there is the added challenge of figuring out where to put them and where to prepare them so that the tornado doesn't get into them. Really God? You really expect this from me right now? Okay. Fine. But I'm pouting about it.

Then there is the Hickman Line care...
Hunter has a Hickman Line (but he used to have a port). The line has two different things called claves. Every day they have to be washed and then flushed with saline and some other stuff that keeps it from clotting. Once a week the claves have to be changed and the dressing from the incision has to be changed. I've been learning how to do all of this very complicated stuff over the past few days. I think I'm getting the hang of it but it's still a little intimidating.

Because so many things are about to change and I have to adjust to a difficult (though temporary) new routine, I've been working on setting some very simple New Year's goals that will help me stay on track spiritually and as I work towards the goals I set on my birthday.

Here is where you cheer me on and tell me that I can do it because I can do anything. I need to hear that more now than ever. :)


  1. I am not sure if you've seen the "gazelle" commercial...but in his voice (google him, it's worth it) I am yelling "YOU CAN DOOOOOO IT!" I know you can! you are stronger than you realize!! And I'm with you on the brushing teeth thing...the only way I remember things is to put it in my cell phone calendar! I know you can do this!!

  2. You'll get through this!!!

    You can set recurring alarms on your iPod to help remember the meds. Look under the clock icon, then alarm...You get set multiple alarms and even label them.

  3. Oh my goodness. I'd be terrified and stressed too!!

    I totally don't blame you for feeling that way.

    BUT I do have full confidence in you. I think you'll manage.

    I think Sherry's idea of setting up alarms is a good one.

    It's probably better than writing things down. I write reminders on my calender, but then I forgot to check the calender.

    Hunter and Ronin both seem very mature. Do you think they'd help remind you at all?

    You really have your hands full.

  4. I know how you feel - a toddler into the mix can be so stressful! My parents' home caught fire last week and they came to stay with us - everything is smoke or water damaged and the insurance co. won't be out for another two days because of the holidays! I was hoping my home would be a refuge of calm for them during Christmas.... but with a toddler...... :)

  5. You can do it Mama! It does take a few days to get your groove, but it will all come together! We keep the meds in a cabinet in the kitchen. One thing that helped me was to label each med on the shelf in the cabinet, because it was taking forever to look for the name of the med on each bottle. Flushing the lines is a little time consuming, but you just have to make it part of the routine. If the other girls are around I just let them "help" to keep them busy--carry the syringes, play with extra gloves, give them the lids... Story has had her Hickman since July and I have never changed the dressing. We have always had it done at the clinic or when she was in the hospital. I can't imagine trying to change it with the other two girls around-- there is no way it would be sterile! I know Misty is going to be educating you on everything, but if you have any questions or just want to talk call me. Hugs--I'm excited for you guys!

  6. I've held my dead child in my arms and trust me when I say, anything is better than that. I'd do everything you described and then some just to get him back. It might be easier for you if you drop any and all plans that do not directly affect putting food in your bellies and a keeping a roof over your heads, so that you can focus on Hunter's needs. Be mindful of him, be present at all times instead of dreaming of other things (I know this helps in a hard situation but it is an avoidance tactic). You will find strength you never knew you had... Hang in there!

  7. If I could do it (as ADD as I am) you can do it! I KNOW you can! It will be a shock to the system, but God is with you and will not leave your side!

    My biggest tip is to keep him out of the sun, even as he gets better. Long sleeves, hat, and sunscreen. GVHD adds SO many medications. Sun can bring it on...even years later.

    LOVE YOU!!!

  8. I love you, sweet, strong woman. You are enough, just as you are. You are a loving wife, mother, and sisterfriend. You are never alone. Draw strength from those who walk alongside you. Please continue to share specific needs. We want to know how to pray for you and help you in other ways as well. Love you always.


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