How can I describe to you the feeling of floating in a sea of uncertainty? For the past 10 days I haven't known what our future plan is, when we will go home, whether or not we will be transferred to SunnyHill Children's or Canuck place. Whether or not Anaya will live or die. It has been intense, and yet there was no day as intense as today. Let's call it "Transfer Day".
Basically Anaya is stable now. The new medicine, Keppra, has quieted her seizures and something has calmed her apneac spells. She's breathing now as she did before - still laboured, still wet or dry depending on the day - but normal for her. We had what felt like tens of professionals in and out of our hospital room all trying to make a plan for Anaya, and yet there were several moments of uncertainty and miscommunication. One person said we were going to Canuck place, another said we were going to SunnyHill, another said we were staying in hospital. I was just wide-eyed and overwhelmed. I felt like saying "Excuse me- Hi everyone, I'm just gonna pack up and go home now ok?" I actually did say that at one point and was convinced that the right plan was to go to SunnyHill and have a proper seating assessment done - even though it meant staying there over the long weekend. The Dr. preferred to see Anaya leave the hospital while she was stable in order to keep her healthy. There are several nasty viruses going around.
So we packed up everything and Anaya and waited for what seemed like hours for the Pro's to tell us what to do and where to go. Then we headed for SunnyHill. Sounds nice right?
I left Anaya in the Van with Brent and walked into make our arrangements and find our room. I was welcomed warmly and gently by some very nice women and taken to Anaya's spot in a dormitory for disabled children. There were three beds, 1 padded jail cell of a crib, and a hospital type crib for Anaya. There was a chair next to Anaya's cell for me to sleep in. I didn't even see a spot for me to put my luggage or her clothes really. That's when the panic attack hit. My vision narrowed to a hazy tunnel and the woman showing me the room was saying something...something...I couldn't make out her words. I shook my head. "NO!" I said and spun on my heel and left the room.
"What do you mean?" The doctor asked.
"We can't stay here" I said.
"Why" The doctor asked.
"I just can't! The hospital said your rooms were like theirs. I was told Anaya and I were going to have a room to share because I have to stay with her 24 hours a day because you guys don't have 1 to 1 nursing support. I can't sit with her in there for a week. I just can't.
My heart was pounding, my chest was tight. I was solid and firm in my stance. I'm certain that some kind of panicked fire was blazing from my eyes and I told the doctor.
"I think we'll just go home now." I went outside to the Van. Brent was unloading Anaya's stuff. "You can put all that away," I said "we can't stay here." He looked at me with a quizzical expression, said nothing and started putting the stuff back in the van.
Grant arrived from Calgary to take Solara for the weekend at that moment and he said "What's the plan?" I almost cracked up. Everyone was looking at me. Brent from the rear of the van, Solara from around my waist, Grant from the right.
"What's the plan?" I repeated...and tried to make my mind think.
I called our hospital unit and spoke with our head doctor. Dr. Jen. She's awesome by the way. I explained that I was uncomfortable with the way the accommodations were set up, discomforted by the feeling of warehoused disabled children. I told her I had decided to go home. Gently she convinced me that Anaya's seating assessment at SunnyHill was too important to miss. I agreed but stated that I couldn't stay there. Nor could I leave Anaya there. Ever. The very thought makes me have terrible pain in my chest and a desire to scream. I'm in no way knocking SunnyHill. Every place has it's purpose. I just have a fear of confined spaces and maybe I'm just too used to having my own space with my precious little love. I'm used to sleeping - at least a little bit. I'm used to brightly lit rooms with flowers and music.
We came to an agreement. I would check in at SunnyHill and then take Anaya "Out on a Pass" for the weekend and come back for her to be assessed on tuesday.
I called my close friend Natalie Degoey from the hallway.
"Nat? Me and Anaya are coming to stay at your house for the weekend. Just me and her and the dog. I'm sorry for assuming this but we can, right?"
"Of course you can, Mara." Natalie said.
"I'd be offended if you didn't assume you could stay at my house!"
So we packed up Anaya again and headed to Burnaby. I was in hyper anxiety overdrive. If I were a chimney I'd be puffin up a storm! My emotions were numb, my mind was empty yet agitated, my driving was erratic. We arrived at Natalie and Geoff's house in one piece. Geoff started making food and I tried my best to organize all of our stuff that we unloaded from the van. I separated it into stuff that Brent can take back to Nelson and things that I need to stay here with Anaya for up to two weeks.
That being done I ate. Brent sat with the baby for a bit and then went out to meet a friend. I slowed down by checking my facebook page and answering urgent emails. I've had so little time for that lately.
I told Natalie that I wanted to write a blog post and asked her to hold Anaya. She happily and cheerfully held her, suctioning her every few minutes as she is very wet. Natalie actually had fun with Anaya and the Suction Machine. She would put it in her mouth and Anaya would bite down on it and close her lips, and Natalie would laugh her bubbley heart out. I smiled and kept writing. I stopped to take a picture for you to see.
Tomorrow I need to find a vehicle to get Anaya to her appointments and to get around. I will also need some volunteers for the next week or so who want to give Anaya and I a hand - I can't drive alone with her legally - - or morally. Someone either has to drive or sit in the back with Anaya to ensure she's ok and doesn't need to be suctioned and isn't turning blue. I would also like to hang out with friends that love me and would like to spend time with Anaya and I. We have time. I'm going to also be doing computer work and web design for a few hours each day because I have not been able to focus well on my work and the bills still need to be paid. Thank God for the help that Anaya's supporters have been giving her towards our needs and her needs!
If anyone would like to provide any additional help or support to Anaya and I while we are alone here in Vancouver (Burnaby), please e-mail Natalie deGoey at email@example.com and she will help to organize, as I have NO NURSING SUPPORT AT ALL and will be 24 hours 1 on 1 with my little love.
I should tell you that Anaya did not seem to take much notice of the commotion going on around her. She had a decent day, although she struggled a bit with wet secretions. I hesitate to dry her out too much though - because a bit wet is better than a bit dry. She is content. She had alert moments and certainly enjoyed playing the suction game with Natalie. She has some pain but we've been giving her painkillers to help make her life more comfortable. I can't stand to see her in distress.
I'm certain that there is still so much more to say but I've been writing for well over an hour now and I think I'm tired. LOL.
Love to you all. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you to Katie and to Seana and to Natures Path and to Natalie and Geoff, to the Dr's and nurses, and cleaning staff, and the friendly maintenance guy, thank you to the lady that made my coffee and the woman who asked to pet the dog. <3 - Camara