The First Night in PICU

When William came out of surgery into PICU he was awake which we were not expecting. The nurses asked us to come in to try to calm him down as he was upset. They were trying to get him settled, take his vitals, do an ECG and chest x-ray. It was hard to see him so upset. We were not prepared for this at all because usually when children come out of heart surgery they are still asleep and slowly wake up. William was trying to sit-up and when he would his IV’s and drainage tubes would pull. He would scream a cry we have never heard from him. On top of that some of the medication he was on caused some hallucinations and normally where we would be able to explain and reason with him he did not understand. I actually had to leave the room because I was feeling dizzy and really upset. I’m not good with seeing blood and seeing the drainage tubes and all the IV’s was really overwhelming. I completely broke down in the hallway. I had a nurse who was walking down the hall check in on me. I then phoned a close friend to chat. William had a rough first night.

One of the biggest things that upset him was he couldn’t drink anything until 8pm or eat because he was on a lung bypass machine. Considering that he had been fasting since the night before and he was the second surgery of the day at 12:50 pm this was a tall feat. He just kept saying you guys aren’t listening. I want water up to the top of the lid, I’m thirsty! When we said no food until tomorrow he kept saying you guys are trying to starve me. I’m going to starve. This went on until about 1:30am. I left at around 12:30 because only one of us could stay the night. I just couldn’t handle it anymore. As a mother you never want to see your child upset and in pain. You want to be able to provide them love, comfort, food and water and all the basic things we all need to survive plus more and during this time I couldn’t. I walked back to where we were staying in the sleet snow and actually went the wrong way a few times. I felt lost in so many ways. My heart broke to leave him like that but I just couldn’t do it anymore. I hit a wall and was breaking down and I knew that Regan would be able to be there in a way I couldn’t.

I slept on and off until 4:15am restlessly because I was wondering how William was doing. I had a quick shower and headed back to the hospital. On the way there I felt dizzy again and actually vomited. When I walked in to the PICU William was sleeping peacefully.  The slideshow is pictures from the morning following surgery.

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