Thursday, October 23, 2008

Do Not Enter

Do Not Enter means
Do Not Enter. Right?

Today was our first visit to Georgetown University Hospital. We have been to Fair Oaks, Fairfax, Loudoun and Children’s for Brayden (I think I am missing one but I have no idea). Anyway back to Georgetown. As many DC metro people know, there are many roads that lead to the city. What roads you choose can make or break your drive. We have never been to GU Hospital so we reviewed several options for the best route. We decided on Canal Rd. Sounds simple…if you have never been on Canal Rd.

Here is Wikipedia’s explanation of Canal Rd.
Canal Road has reversible lanes to handle rush-hour traffic. From Foxhall Road to Arizona Avenue, Canal Road has two lanes, both of which are reversible. From Arizona Avenue to Chain Bridge, Canal Road has three lanes, of which the center lane is reversible. During morning rush hour, which runs from 6:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., the reversible lanes change to the southbound (towards Washington) direction. During evening rush hour, which runs from 2:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., the reversible lanes change to the northbound direction. At all other times, the center lane of the three lane portion is used as two left turn lanes, one to turn onto Arizona Avenue and the other to turn onto the Chain Bridge.

Did you get that? Canal Rd is complex, we were ready for it. We knew what to expect on Canal Rd. Lots of Do Not Enter signs that you ignore because of the time of day. Double yellow lines that you can actually cross. And then more Do not Enter signs with several signs on top and bottom as to when the Do Not Enter applies. We knew this but we did not know about the side streets. We were not prepared when we came to the streets we needed to turn on. They had Do Not Enter signs but signs on top and bottom as to what time it applies. You cannot read the signs fast enough, in rush hour traffic, to know if you can turn. Well, we missed a few turns but finally made our way to the hospital. A bit stressed from all of the Do Not Enter but we were there.

Brayden met with the pediatric endocrinologist. Then he was set to do an ACTH test. This required him to be hooked up to an IV, receive the ACTH and draw blood work three times during the test. Sounds simple…if you have never tried to stick Brayden.

Brayden is a difficult stick. He has had countless blood tests and IVs. Only two times have people got him on the first stick. It usually takes three. We know this and always push for an expert to come in (head nurse, anesthesiologist, resident). This time they sent a team from the NICU. Everyone uses some sort of light to help see his veins. They came with a light. The light helped them find a vein…poke and the vein was gone. The NICU nurses were patient and would let him rest for a moment then look again, look some more…poke and the vein was gone. This went on for over an hour. Jeremy was holding onto Brayden trying desperately to comfort him and hold him steady for each stick. Finally the NICU team said that they could not try anymore and call a resident or a PICU team.

The nurses also said that we could stop and come back another day. We said stop. The pediatric endocrinologist came in about this time and was suggesting ways that we could have it done today. That moment Brayden vomited his awful vomit. He said stop.

After being there for almost three hours it was decided Brayden will be going back next week to try again. He will be placed in the PICU for the test and can be hydrated before the test to help.

Brayden should have come with a Do Not Enter sign today. Those needles found no place to enter no matter what route was taken. It would be nice if he came with signs and times that worked for him and the best possible route to take. The only clear sign we got from him today was DO NOT ENTER!

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