During my first two weeks at the hospital I refused to leave. Period. Forgetting the existence of the outside world, I would depart briefly from Sam's bedside only to (a) eat, (b) use the bathroom, or (c) use the lactation room. That was pretty much it. As I stumbled to the lactation room at 2:00 am one quiet morning in the CICU, a kind night nurse took one look at my bloodshot eyes, my unwashed hair, and my wrinkled pajamas, and said, "Honey--why don't you go sleep in the sleeproom with your husband?"
Before I could blow her off the way that I blew everybody off who suggested that I needed more sleep, she told me about a phenomenon called "hospital psychosis," and warned me that I was in grave danger of falling ill to this mysterious mental ailment that creates delusions in patients and people who spend too much time in an intensive care unit. Apparently, the constant alarms, lights, and movement of nurses and doctors take their toll on the body's biorhythms.
I didn't take her too seriously at first, but as I watch the ability of my brain (and my husband's) slowly diminish, I'm starting to wonder if maybe she was right. Here are just a few reasons behind my suspicions that Jason and I may be developing hospital psychosis:
#1: Today, April 2nd, I asked my friends if it was Groundhog's Day. I honestly thought it was, and I wondered whether or not the little animal had seen his shadow.
#2: Yesterday, Jason asked me if I wanted something from the community fridge. I told him that I wanted a chocolate Muscle Milk. A few seconds later, he returned with a cup in his hand and said, "Here's your water." Then he frowned into the cup and said, "No, wait--this is what they used to heat your breastmilk in." To which I replied, "Gross. And I ordered a Muscle Milk, not water."
#3: As I was trying to rock Sam back to sleep around 5 am the other morning, I tried and tried to think of something to sing him. The only song--the only song--that I could think of was "Peaches" by the American Presidents. So I sang that. He seemed to like it just fine.
#4: I perceive my breast pump as an evil dictator who has successfully enslaved me.
#5: Jason and I got sandwiches from Jimmy Johns today, and when I remarked about the how big their pickles were, neither Jason nor I said, "That's what she said."
Remedies for this peculiar disease?
Love from our friends and family. When Maura Moritz brought me the incredibly generous gifts and cards from Arapahoe staff members, I actually burst into tears. I couldn't believe how kind people were. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We also have friends and family who are kind enough to drive out here almost every other day, bringing us healthy food, checking on us all the time, buying us butt paste (for Sam, not for us), paying for hotel rooms, and trekking out here just to go for a run with us. The nurses keep commenting on how popular Sam is, and each time, I think about how lucky we are.
This blog. The process of writing about our experience here makes it less surreal, and people's comments, as I mentioned before, are part of what keeps my head above water.
And of course, the little guy himself. Here are some pictures from today so that you can enjoy him as well. :)
This is Maura enjoying his company. They had a good conversation.
Here he is being burped by Jason for the first time. Not everyone can look cute with vomit dangling from his chin!
He looked pretty cozy in a chair this morning next to his new best friend, Sheepie. He stared lovingly at Sheepie for a full 30 minutes today.
And tonight, I'm off to sleep in a hotel room for five glorious, uninterrupted hours. Nighty night.