I miss the NICU. Never thought I’d ever utter those words, but having spent two weeks now in the PICU—also known as the TCU, or transitional care unit—compared to the nursery down the hall, it’s way harder this time around.
In the NICU Nyana wasn’t able to crawl the length of her crib, and pull to standing and tangle in her cords. She wasn’t able to remove her bipap mask and lean over the edge of her crib when no one is looking or sit herself back up when I try to lay her down for a nap. In the NICU I didn’t have to bargain with nurses and care aids to keep her company when I left the room. And she definitely wasn’t able to scream for us to stay when we tried to leave her.
In the NICU Don and I didn’t know how empty our apartment felt without her, how silent our place is without her tackle, or how much we’d miss the schedule of Nyana time when she wasn’t with us. In the NICU I didn’t know just how much I hated the trek across the city to see her, how burnt the Second Cup coffee tastes and how dry the constant hand-washing and sanitizing was making us. In the NICU we had no idea exactly how much awesome we were leaving every night when we closed that door and left her. Leaving her every night in the NICU was exhausting; leaving her every night in the PICU is heartbreaking.
The steroids have run their course and Dr Dee is thrilled with how well Nyana has bounced back from her flu. She’s been asymptomatic for a few days now, and now we’re just assessing the damage and returning to normal. Her pressure settings are back to 12/7 and her oxygen is back down to 2L per minute, exactly where we were before she got sick. Her maskless trials are still limited but we should have those back to normal in another 24 hours. Talk around the unit is of discharge, and barring any extraneous circumstances, we should be home, unscathed, on Christmas Eve.
In light of many culminating circumstances—more on that later—we in Nyanaland have decided to skip Christmas this year; instead focusing our attention and festivities on the little known February holiday, Christmastimes Day (again, more on that later). But for those of you who are celebrating the holiday on Sunday, I leave you with a handful of Nyana photos, a gift to you from the Princess herself. Wishing each of you love and merriment this Christmas day, and health and happiness in the New Year.