1. People do not move for ambulances.
After calling 911, the EMTs arrived quickly and stabilized Brayden for the ambulance ride. At this point Brayden was still having seizures and vomiting. I was instructed to ride in the front of the ambulance not in the back with Brayden. The ambulance lights were flashing, sirens were blaring but the cars were not moving. People move! Just think of it as if it was your child or loved one trying to get to the hospital.
2. Medical students start in July.
Upon arrival at Loudoun Hospital, Brayden's room was filled with eager nurses, doctors and medical students. The doctor later told me that they do not see many "complicated" children at Loudoun so many of them wanted to see the process. Then at Children's Hospital we had daily greetings with medical students. Three doctors with four medical students came in each morning for presentations and questions. They love to ask questions.
3. Children's Hospital transport team is cool.
Loudoun Hospital is not equipped to handle "complicated" pediatric patients. We were scheduled for transport to Children's in DC. Children's Hospital handles their own transport. When they arrived, it was like a scene from the movies. Hear the dramatic music and imagine them moving in slow motion. Four people arrived dressed in red and black, some dressed in transport team jumpsuits. They had their own medical gear and stretcher. They looked very official. People stopped what they were doing and turned to see what was going on. It seemed to be the big excitement for the morning. They loaded up Brayden. Their ambulance is fully equipped not with just medical necessities but a TV and DVD player for children to watch movies during transport.
4. Need for Hospital fund
We put money aside for vacations, home improvements and big items. Who knew that hospital stays require so much. Between the gas from Jeremy and I driving back and forth, daily parking garage fee, cafeteria food (which we could have eaten at Morton's by this point) and snacks, we probably could have gone on a little vacation.
5. You get Hospital slime
Have you ever noticed after a long car ride or flight we just feel a little gross and slimy. Being at the hospital you seem to get the same thing.
6. Sharing a hospital room is no good.
If only we were Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and we could rent out the entire hospital wing. Brayden was assigned a room with a roommate. Not only did we have a roommate but the bathroom was shared with the rooms next door to us. That's right, four patients, one bathroom. After hearing some of the sounds coming out of that bathroom, Jeremy and I opted for the bathroom down the hall.
7. Hospitals are void of time
Being the hospital for hours upon hours you loose sense of time. We have no clocks in the room. The tiny bit of sunlight is through a fogged window and overlooks the roof. Hours seem to go by and it has only been minutes. Most hospital stays are all about waiting.
8. I understand too many medical terms
Hearing the nurses and doctors discuss Brayden's condition, tests, blood work was always a blur of big words that I could never understand. This time around, I understood the majority of what they were saying. I had no idea I could retain this kind of information.
9. Blessed to live in Northern Virginia
Living in Northern Virginia, we have options for health care. We have several choices for doctors, specialist and hospitals. People travel to this area for medical needs. We have it in our own backyard.
Jeremy and I have been able to be at Brayden's bedside, someone is there at all times. Many families are unable to be at the hospital, possibly because of location, jobs or other circumstances. Their children are sitting in a room with no parent for comfort or advocating for them. Brayden's roommate was a tiny two month old. His family is unable to be here. They came every few days for just a short time. The nurses do their best to help but it can never be the same as a parent.
10. Blessed to be healthy
Children's Hospital has some of the best specialists around, people come from many different places and walks of life . This hospital is not an easy place to be; just walking the halls or going to the cafeteria you see children hurting, struggling and battling some big medical problems. A child next to Brayden's room would cry out in pain for hours upon hours. It seemed as though the child was in so much pain that he would start screaming and vomiting. It is difficult to hear a child in that kind of pain. You see so many extreme cases. Brayden may not be the bouncing toddler that we thought he was going to be but he is healthy and thriving in his own way. Even this hospital stay was just a small incident in comparison.
Just a few things that we have learned. We are learning more and more each day.