We should be out of here tonight...as long as there is no more fever! The blood cultures never showed any bacteria growth and today she received her second round of blood transfusions this hosptial stay. The first round brought her counts up to low, so now this round should bring them up to acceptable. The blood transfusion is only half done and she's humming and making animal noises and giggling. Mom is doing her best to keep Ellie semi-contained... and that's no small feat! It's amazing what red blood cells do for a body.
I got to have an adventure today! Since Mom was here taking care of Ellie, I decided to go downstairs for some coffee. This morning I actually went downstairs for my morning coffee while Ellie was still sleeping (since this trip to the hospital was unexpected, I didn't bring the normal gear...including coffee pot) and it was the first time I'd been off this floor in three days. Heady with such a taste of freedom, I decided to do it again. Before I even got downstairs, I decided to really live it up and go across the street to another hospital. The weather has turned beatifully cool (it always seems to do that when I'm holed up in the hospital) so the air on my face felt wonderful!
There are many contrasts between the two hospitals that always hit me whenever I make the trek. Our hospital is older and is in the process of being renovated. The renovation is going from bottom to top...and as we are near the top, the renovation has not reached us yet. So...I go out the door and into the hall. If I see anyone other than nurses, they are children in varying stages of baldness whose parents have sad, tired, and somewhat resigned eyes. Out the double doors and into the side of the floor designated for overflow from other floors. For days there has been a tiny newborn baby in a room with the door open and never EVER any parents or family to be seen...then a baby in another room with 2 or 3 people ALWAYS there...most of the faces in the hall are anxious and full of questions and concerns. Some of the doors have boxes with masks and gowns in them because there is a communicable illness inside...I try to hold my breath and walk faster. I will occasionally see someone from our side of the floor walking by to the kitchen in slippers...like they've done it a hundred times...like they are at home. I finally make it to the elevators and feel a little bit of pressure lift off my shoulders. When the elevator makes it to the bottom floor I get off into a place that looks a little bit like Disney....there's a castle and Disney characters sprinkled around the lobby...of course there's the obligatory gift shop. Everything looks so cheerful and bright. I go out the door and down the sidewalk. I never get tired of looking at the hospital across the street - the architecture is gorgeous. It is a hospital for women and babies. This is a busy place...cars coming and going...valet parking. There are women in varying stages of pregnancy coming and going with husbands, mothers or friends in tow. Almost every time I go there, there's a woman being wheeled out to the waiting car holding a tiny baby...someone's video taping...there's the careful process of getting the baby into a car seat for the first time...family and friends talking, laughing...happy. This always makes me feel a little sad and wistful...it's such a stark contrast from where I just came from. You enter the building through a glass enclosed waterfall and go into a light airy building. The cafe is wonderful...beautiful with a large variety of choices.
Today I bought a piece of cheesecake and some Starbuck's coffee and went to sit in my favorite part of the building. It looks like you're sitting inside a glass ball full of furniture and trees. You can see the world outside, but it's a toss-up as to which is more interesting...the outside world or the beautiful structure. I savored my cheesecake and coffee until the fire alarm started going off. Poof! My beatiful moment evaporated...into one that was much more interesting! A voice over the loud speaker started saying "An emergency has been reported...please calmly find your way to the nearest stairwell or exit..." Everyone around me looked confused and started wandering around trying to figure out what to do. I was very close to the exit, so after explaining to several people nearby what the voice on the loudspeaker was saying...I went out. Afterall, I didn't want to get trampled once everyone else in the building decided that they needed to get out. I needen't have worried about getting trampled...nobody else came out those doors! Some people were going IN! So much for all of the excitement...I calmly walked back across the street to my hospital and ordered something for Ellie to eat. While it was being made, I went over to where I could see the other building - the fire alarms were still flashing - I could see it through the big glass ball, but there were no anxious people milling around outside...nobody scurrying around...no pregnant women being brought out on gourneys...no fire trucks with lights and sirens. I did see one lone security vehicle parked out front. Sheesh - it was all so very anti-climactic. So I sat down and enjoyed the breeze on my face and was happy for all of the women in labor who didn't have to be told to "hold on a minute while we wheel you out...oops, can't take the elevators...you'll have to go down the stairs..."
Well, my nice outside moment was over (I'm not an outdoorsy kind of girl, so that about did me for the next week) and I got Ellie's food. Back through mini-Disney...back up the elevator...past the baby with anxious family...past sad lonely baby...through the double doors...past little bald girl in a bandanna...and into my home away from home. And that was my adventure...I know, sad...but I totally enjoyed it!
The nurse just came in and unhooked Ellie from her transfusion and handed me discharge papers. Wow! I've got to start packing!! I must go - I'll write more from home...