Monday, June 18, 2007

Let's Review...

I woke the other night to Thomas’s fussing. When I got into his room, I could smell what the problem was. Fortunately, we have tons of hospital gloves around the house, so dealing with nasty diapers is easier than it was before cancer.

I went into the dark kitchen, felt around, picked up a glove. “Oops. That’s a purple one,” I thought, and fished out a blue one (Thomas’s speech therapist uses purple gloves, so we’re helping him get used to them by playing with them during the daytime at home).

Back in his room, I was rolling the diaper into the glove when I thought, “Wait a minute, can I seriously tell the difference between the colors of the gloves in the dark?!?” Yep. I'd never thought about it, but the two have different textures.

Come to think of it, we have a bunch of cancer skills; things I never thought I’d need to know. Let’s review the things I learned how to do, and hope I never have to use again:

Acquired Cancer Skills
  • Change trach in under 1 minute
  • Perform CPR on an infant
  • Identify signs of infection while am in near-sleep state (upped respiratory rate, pallor, slow rate of blood return in extremities, lethargy, and, in Thomas’s case, the whites of his eyes turn grey)
  • Suction trach while driving (I know, I know…)
  • Diagnose rotovirus by diaper odor alone
  • Hide nasty diapers in hospital gloves so that I will continue to like my son
  • Hook up / unhook a g-tube/button extension while am in near-sleep state
  • Set and trouble shoot intravenous/enteral delivery machines while am in near-sleep state
  • Wake up enough to prepare and administer TPN and IV meds (SASH: Saline, Antibiotic or other drug), Saline flush, Heparin)
  • Identify infant’s respiratory distress in my sleep
  • Know the difference between labs and cultures, and how long it takes to get results on each
  • Locate and acquire good coffee and snacks at almost any hour in Children’s Medical Center

  • Read more!


    At 3:15 AM, Blogger Ctelblog said...

    Suctioning whilst driving! Tut tut.

    What about:

    - identify infection from the smell of the trachy
    - assess quality of nurses in under 30 seconds
    - knowing where all the alarm cancel buttons are on varieties sats monitors and feed pumps
    - find the correct catheter suction length in the dark
    - conduct a conversation on the phone whilst simultaneously suctioning and setting up a feed
    - knowing what day of the week it is by colour, smell and texture of poo

    At 7:05 AM, Blogger Rhonda said...

    I think ctelblog said it all.

    especially "assess quality of nurses in under 30 seconds" lol, I got pretty good at that one myself.

    At 7:37 AM, Blogger Thomas, as told to Sarah said...

    Ooh, finding the alarm button in less than 2 seconds is a Highly Important hospital skill.

    At 2:09 PM, Blogger Lizard said...

    Now its time for a whole new set of skills, like mine:

    -can make a superhero cape out of a towel, pillowcase, anything...
    -can untie intricate knots in a rope that is hanging from a bunkbed and you really don't want to know what the 4 yr old was doing
    -can find any size lego piece anywhere in the house
    -can assess cleanliness by smell of boys bodies
    -I know a variety of judo terms
    -can tell the story of every superhero (beware of lab accidents)
    -know Stars Wars like I never did before
    -can replace bike chains

    it goes on and on...

    So, may the FORCE be with you....

    At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hang on, I didn't read anything about replacing a g-tube button after child rips it out with 7cc water inside the balloon, while comforting the child because it hurt so much! (you'd think they'd learn after three times in one week!)


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