Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Orlando I heart NICU nurses!

Drove to Orlando yesterday once again for a doctors appointment for Jacob. He seen Dr. Banks regarding his hypothyroidism. Nothing new. Levels are good and he will continue on the same dose of thyroid medication that he left WPH on.


Driving toward Orlando on I4 and seeing the hospital my babies were born in brings back so many raw emotions. Most are not happy. Many of me being scared and feels of uncertainty. The taunting ups and downs of Logan's health. I miss some of my favorite nurses. While I was riding with Jack to Jacob's appt I just closed my eyes and the conversations, happy, and sad moments that stood out in the almost 7 months WPH was apart of my life came back to me once more. I can see Evelyn's smile and feel the comfort she gave me when I knew she was going to be with Logan. She was like his 2nd mother. I knew she would always fight for him. I miss Adelyss and Valarie. It was always special when Adel would tell me "Logan is my favorite, but don't tell anyone" I'm glad she was there during his final hours. She was there to support my family and cry with us as we let him go. She was so strong and handled it so well. I heard she got an award for how she handled herself that day something along the lines of her being a newer nurse etc. not sure what exactly the award was, but she needed a trophy as far as I am concerned...not that I would want a trophy to remind me of that day. Valerie had him a lot during his last weeks. She was there the last time I seen him healthy. I liked how she would sit in the room and carry on conversations with me. We would laugh together and she always tried her best to make him happy. It was important and touching to me that they all 3 took the time out of their lives to be at his funeral. What these nurses do is wonderful. They have the most rewarding, yet saddest job in the world. My heart is still torn about what I want to be when I grow up. One minute I want to get my RN and do the kind of work they do and the next minute I want to be a speech therapist for special needs kids to help kids like Logan and Jacob. Evelyn, Adelyss, and Valerie touched my life in ways they may never know, their faces, voices, and smiles will be burned into my memory for the rest of my life. They were the better part of our journey there. Jack and I discussed how we actually miss going there. Almost 200 trips down I4 to exit 81bc is not easy to forget. It became so familiar to me, that the one thing that kept me going was knowing that every mile I drove was 1 mile closer to seeing my baby and it was epically great when I knew one of my favorite nurses would be there. Sometimes I have to remind myself that he is not there anymore. When I see the big glass building in the distance my heart skips a beat just in hopes that it is all a dream and that I would be heading to the parking garage walking into that building rushing to the 3rd floor just to see my baby boy.

I remember mine and Jack's last drive together to see Logan. Jack had seen him two nights before and me the day before that. We were not able to get up there the night before he got sick. I beat myself up with guilt for the days I "skipped" going up there if I would have know it was the last day he would open his eyes and I could have held him I would have never let him go. I remember the phone call from Dr. Brown that Thursday morning, we were half way there and Dr. Brown called and told me he was very sick. She told me how sick Logan was and how they were switching me him to high frequency ventilation. I remember asking her if she thought he was going to die and I can still hear her voice "It's a good possibility." She was always so emotionless. I know just like my job, you become numb to certain things after a while, but as a mother it hurts to hear that matter of a fact tone, but I guess some people need that so they don't live with false hope. I remember the morning he was dying. That Saturday morning when we went in to see him and just knew his fight was over. She came in to see him and I said to her before she could even speak. I want you to go out to your desk do whatever you have to do and when you can come back to me and tell me there is 100% nothing you or anyone else can do for him, then I will give permission to turn off the ventilator. She walked away from me near emotionless. She sat at the nurses station looked on the computer awhile and made some phone calls. My back was turned when she walked back in the room. I remember her putting her hand on my shoulder and spinning me around. I turned to her and she had her usual blank expression on her face that to me made her look almost uncaring. She had a horse crackly in her voice this time though. She said "I think we were just behind the 8 ball this time. There is absolutely nothing else we can do to save him. We have tried everything." She says this looking down at you like a teacher and you are the 1st grader. Then I remember just taking a big deep breath and I started spouting off my orders. I had them take all unnecessary IV's and tubes off of him, because I knew when he passed they had to leave everything as it was for the medical examiner. I turned everything off but his morphine drip. That IV site soon went bad and I had them take that out as well. Another memory that kept playing over in my head was when Dr. Brown examined him again after our conversation. She had looked at his g-tube with almost a disgusted look on her face. She picked up the bottle that was venting his g-tube and says "he is already bleeding into his stomach." and tossed the tube back onto the bed. I can only imagine how she felt. I make her sound like she didn't care. It was just my perspective at the time, but I think that is how she deals with the death of her patients. After Logan passed and she had to pronounce him dead, he was laying on the crib mattress. I remember her having her left hand on his head and the stethoscope to his chest. She looked over at Adelyss and said he's gone and said the time. 1:15pm Now she has tears in her eyes she tells me how sorry she was hugs me and leaves the room. She told me how honored she would be if she was invited to his funeral and gave me her card. She actually showed up. I remember her walking through the line of people at the end of his service before the procession. She had on a green dress. I hardly recognized her. Though these memories are hard for me, they also remind me how Logan made a difference to other people and how these people made a difference to me. I miss my WPH friends dearly. Maybe one day I will be back there. Not as the mother, or the patient, but on the other side as the caregiver who once stood in the parents shoes. Maybe when I truly decided what I want to be when I grow up this could my sister says to me, "Jennifer, you should know what you want to be when you grow up, your almost 30." LOL I am so not almost 30 FIki I have 3 years you already have grey hair :-)

My rambling is over now. I read a story on facebook tonight about a 2 year old that lost her life on Saturday (I really dislike Saturdays) to cancer. Keep these families in your prays and remember even when your kids really piss you off (or your crazy husband in my case) how precious they are and remember that tomorrow is not promised they could be gone in an instant. Nothing life throws your way is more important than enjoying each day and loving our God, your family and your friends. Credit can always be rebuilt, there is always another job around the corner, a house is just wood and nails, all are replaceable, but your family is not.


  1. Hi Jennifer,
    I've checked back on here sometimes to see how you all are doing. You are absolutely right about appreciating the time we have with our loved ones. I try really hard to remember how temporary this life is. Thank you for the reminder.
    I'm really proud of what you are doing with what you've been through. You have a heart for helping others even in the midst of your pain. You are a strong woman.

  2. Jennifer this is Adelis:) What you wrote about NICU nurses and what you said about me was truly touching. Thank you for that. I can't tell you how honored I was to be able to take care of Logan and to be a part of your family. I thank God for using me in caring for his precious babies. Logan was truly special and he really touched my heart in a special way. I looked forward to the days that I took care of him. He will forever live in my heart and I will never forget him or your family. You are one special person, mother, nurse. God has used you already in a very special way and if you decide to pursue your dreams in either or the routes you mentioned you will succeed in whatever you choose. I can speak for Evelyn and Valerie as well when I say that we miss you too! We enjoyed talking to you and spending time with you in the NICU. I continue praying for your family and for Ava, Jacob, and Andrew! :) xoxox