Tuesday, September 05, 2006

~:N O • S M O K I N G:~

Doug has brought many trinkets, etc. from home to my hospital room in an effort to make my imprisonment feel less restrictive and cozier. Things like plants from my kitchen windowsill, pictures of my family, my favorite Aveda hand creme, etc.

One of the objects I get the most use out of is a vintage red tin ashtray that was Mom's for years, then mine. I keep it by the sink with a pretty bar of soap nestled inside and I'd rather use it than the liquid stuff mounted on the wall. So I do.

I am told by the nurses that my room is ever so distinctive and cozy compared to other patient's rooms. This does not surprise me. I am a genius, ya know. Eh hem.

So! This morning I get a new sonographer to take those fun snapshots of Bimp you've seen me post. She comes in and sees the ashtray.

"What's that ashtray doing in here?"

"Excuse me?"

"The ashtray. Do I need to yell at you for smoking in here?"

"Um. There's a bar of SOAP in it."

"So I don't need to yell at you for smoking."

"No. I quit years ago."

"Oh. OK."


OK people. How stupid does one have to be to:

1. Smoke while pregnant.
2. Try to light on up in a hospital.
3. Smoke as a PATIENT in a hospital.
4. Smoke in open view of the millions of nurses and techs who come to my room every day to asses me on a fucking HIGH RISK PREGNANCY floor.

and my favorite...

5. Be so dense as to ignore all of the above and the fact that the ashtray is being used as a container for soap.

ON top of this, I have a new highly annoying nurse names Kim who is one of those "talkers" you can't seem to get rid of. Honestly, I spend more of my energy placating these nervous chatters than I do growing this baby. Kim comes in after the smoking police to assess how my sonogram went. They always check for the same stuff like movement, heart rate, how much amniotic fluid is there, and cord blood flow. It's pretty standard for me and non-threatening. Plus, for holding still, you get more pictures of your baby, which is more than fun!

So Kim comes in and says,

"So you had the sonogram."

"Yes. I had the sonogram."

"And it went well."

"Piece of cake, Kim."

"That's great!."


"And everything looked good."


"And your placenta wasn't torn or ripping from the wall of your uterus or anything. And you didn't see any pockets of blood or anything."

"WHAT? It can DO that? They were looking for that? I thought they were just looking at the baby???!!"

"Well, you have a previa and that's one of the things they look for."

Sheese. Yeah I know I've got a previa and I've been here for 2 weeks and I don't want any more alarming info that I don't know what to do with. I was clearly relaxed when you entered the room Kim and now you've just ruined it. Thanks.

I really hope I don't bleed today cause I don't want you touching me again, especially when I'm nervous and thanks, by the way, for leaving me on the monitor too long this morning and starting at 11:00 when you said you'd start at 9:00 and thanks so much for REMINDING me that I have a previa AND for interrupting my monitoring that was going so well to "let me know" that I could be having contractions, but wasn't and that I had a little uterine irritability, but not to worry about it, which I already know. Like I don't know what that looks like by now after being monitored twice a day, every day, for the past 2 weeks, which you already know.

If everything is fine and all looks good, just SAY SO and don't give me more information about what COULD go wrong if it obviously isn't already happening.

Tired of my complaining?

Something that HAS gone well today, though, and for which I am grateful, is my meeting with the psychologist. I mentioned to her my moments of panic and terror at the thought of an emergency, a flurry of nurses, that big blue screen during a c-section, the sensation of pulling they describe, IVs, having my arms strapped down while awake.... It's terrifying. She said it's like I'm playing this movie in my head over and over of what it might be like. It's the facing of the unknown that terrifies me, that no matter how many times it's described to me, my questions really can't be answered.

The fear of the unknown is killing me. The not knowing how this event will go down is killing me. I've got at least 2 more weeks to wonder about this. Me and my thoughts in this room together. It's maddening. Little distractions like food, TV and the internet can only do so much. It's unnerving.

I've had medical procedures done to me in the past. I have always found them less painful and scary than I had imagined them. I work myself up into this frenzy every time. But I've found that when in the moment, it's not nearly as scary as I had thought it would be. It happening to me now, and right now I've got something tangible I can react to and deal with and face.

More importantly, I can make PEACE with this experience because we're finally together. And I'm not alone any more. It's me and the sensation. It's me and the experience. I have something to work with and to reframe in real time.

Fear of the unknown. Fear of the event. Those fears go away when I'm there, when the UNknown becomes a known. A glorious, blessed, this-is-what-life-is, KNOWN.

Because the people around me are not perfect, like I am, I am having trouble trusting them. Most of them, I don't respect. Most of them are sucky communicators. Most of them can't even BEGIN to listen. How can you trust someone you don't respect?

I am starting to think that as cathartic as all this whining is for me, I am here to learn something. Like that I am not the center of the universe and that I bring issues with me wherever I go. But then I also think that a lot IS being asked of me, so why WOULD this be easy? Why wouldn't I complain? I've got more time than ever to be critical, to judge, to asses. Maybe the worst is just being brought out in me.

Maybe when you put a person in a room for a month and tell them to prepare for the worst, but that not to worry, because you're in the best place possible for the worst to happen, they can go a little nutso.


Mary Campbell said...

Um. I think I may have changed my mind about wanting to "run out there and pro-create." Being an aunt is JUST FINE...nurses, bleeding, rocking chairs in my uterus...that all sounds like way more than my delicate psyche could handle.

Anne, you are a better woman than I am....I would no longer be in the maternity ward and would've, a long time ago, been switched to the psych ward.

minus five said...

i think i would be throwing things at people by now. if they asked me if i was smoking, i'd be like, "heck yeah, am i not supposed to?" i would answer every question with sarcasm until they ceased asking me any other dumb questions.

do you want me to put a hit out on kim?

Tania Rochelle said...

Dang! that Steve Uhles guy is smart.

Anne Elser said...

Mary - I think this is a combo of the maternity and psych ward. And a rocking chair in your uterus is spurisingly comfortable.

M5- A hit out on Kim would do the trick. If you could also leave her a VM on her cell, posing as my Dr. with isntructions to "wrap it up" and "economize her words" when talking to a patient, that would be even better.

Steven? You're cracking me up over here. THANK you! Maybe we should install a basketball hoop or put those 1st, 2nd and 3rd base plastic thingies on the floor or bring in a pair of roller blades?

They do have a no candle rule though. Stupid, I know. So I don't think the explosive thing would work.

Tania - he IS smart. Too smart for his own good, tho.

minus five said...

if you give me her cell # i'll definitely do it. i love prank calling people. i'll be waiting for her # to show up in my email so that i'll have something to do later today.

Collin Kelley said...

Damn...you've been in there two weeks already? Obviously your a little stir crazy - to go along with normal crazy - but it seems like the blog is helping you work out those frustrations, rather than splashing poo and pee on Kim. :)

I'll keep thinking good thoughts for you and Bimp.


Tania Rochelle said...

Hey Collin, what a great idea!

"Oops, Kim! I'm sooooooo soooorry."

Nancy said...

what are those plastic floor mats you kids had? the one's with the colored dots? "right hand red, left foot green..." Put one of those on the floor. I'll get one for you....can't wait for Kim's reaction. Oh this is going to be good.