The PICU Edition

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.

Sick babygirl.

A very sick Nyana cuddles on Mum's lap the night before taking her back to the ER.

Toys waiting for the bus.

A bag of toys and clothes and books waits for the bus to go keep Nyana company.

Quiet awake time.

Nyana gets good at the quiet awake time. She was very, very lethargic for a few days.

More sleeping.

More napping. The Batman jammies keep us safe.

On the mend.

Slowly on the mend. Her eyes are still goopy but she's up and cruising now.

Definitely feeling better.

The worst of it behind us, Ny gives some big smiles for mama cuddles.

Nurse Julie visits

And if Mama cuddles aren't enough, our home nurse, Nurse Julie, stopped by for a visit.

Visits from Santa.

Santa also came to visit, but because Nyana is in respiratory isolation, we could only wave from the inside.

Hockeygame time.

On Saturday last week, we put on our hockey sweaters and watched the game on the TV in our room with Daddy.

New toys.

When we get bored in the PICU, we get new toys to play with.

Chew toys.

The new toys in PICU are great for chomping on.

Music therapy.

On Thursdays we can pass the time with music therapy.

Nyana smiles when she hears she'll be going home soon.

Nyana smiles when she hears she'll be going home on the 24th, though she doesn't know why it's so important. Christmastimes Day is still six weeks away!

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About Mrs. B

Wife, mother, marketer--not always in that order. Lover of fine food, good company, and exceptional grammar. Mother of one former micro-preemie and one full-term monster baby. Building childhood memories in Vancouver's suburbs.
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15 Responses to The PICU Edition

  1. Stacey & Lucy says:

    Love Love Love… SSNy Rocks our world… Love Lucy & Me!! Thanks for the needed smiles!!

  2. Jessi says:

    I’m not sure how I found your blog, but I just wanted to say that you daughter is beautiful!

  3. Robyn says:

    Can really see how long and thick her hair is getting in the pics above!

  4. Maggie says:

    I’ll skip Christmas too, if it means we get more pictures of Ny!
    Beautiful album 🙂 Merry Christmas Karen, Don and of course, babygirl Nyana.

  5. Sue Curtice says:

    Why is it I have never even been in the same room, no less the same country(!) but that sweet little girl only needs to look sad, sick, even happy, and I find myself choking back tears since seeing her sweet face reaches down and grabs my heart?! I never spent the amount of time you have with my then baby boy in the hospital, but I can still remember how it felt all those years ago. Then I realize how much harder it has had to be for you! Hoping and praying you all go home as planned and start enjoying Ny time, Ny schedule and just everything routine. Hugs to all of you!

  6. Stacey Feehan says:

    So happy to hear such wonderful news!! A more local friend of mine is on the way home (out of nicu) with her 3 week old baby as I type. He will be need a kidney transplant eventually, but will also get to be home for Christmas. All children should be healthy enough to be home for Christmas, thanks for making my day a bit brighter. 🙂

  7. Nyana transcends borders, timezones, families and just touches so many hearts!

    I didn’t realize that what I needed today was a Nyana fix of pictures; especially the sweet smile in the last one!

    Loving her wardrobe, but will be better when she is home.

    Nyana didn’t used to know the awesomeness she was missing by not being home, but now she does and I’m sure she will re-claim her princessdom with glee.. not to mention her feline fans.

    Sending hugs up your way!

  8. Heather says:

    I love the pic of the two of you cuddling, fantastic. Glad to hear she is doing better!!!

  9. Linda says:

    This blog and the accompanying pictures was the best Christmas present I could ask for this year. Nothing else matters except Nyana’s good health and with thanks to the tremendous staff at B.C. Childrens’ she is back to being as healthy as she can be. Even though you are not going to be celebrating Christmas this year you can still celebrate Nyana at home surrounded by peace, love, happiness and all of the noises that come from Nyana’s tackle. Merry Christmas Karen, Don and Nyana!! Love, Grannie

  10. jodi shaw says:

    Awwww amazing pics Karen, love to you guys over the holidays, our thoughts are with you guys and prayers. I’m so glad I got to meet you at the Kits top 30 mom bloggers, you are truly amazing and inspirational. Love u all! 🙂

  11. Anne Brackett says:

    Glad to hear Nyana is on the mend and will be home soon. The Prayer circle was busy this past week. Merry Christmas Don, Karen and little Nyana.
    Love Grandma

  12. Heidi says:

    Always an adventure with smiles from princess sunshine. Sad to see her sick and in hospital. Love seeing her big smiles with her bright blue eyes as she recovered. Thanks for sharing your words and photos. Can’t wait to see/hear what Christmastimes is all about. Love. xo

  13. Twiggy says:

    I feel the same way as the others. My heart goes out to you all and I’m very glad she’s on the mend now. Sending prayers and hugs.

  14. Susanne says:

    A friend of mine sent me the link to your blog. I can relate to a lot of what you’ve gone through. Our times in the hospital have almost overlapped, my little girl has called the TCU home since Dec. 27th. It really is so much harder being in the ICU/TCU than it was in the NICU. Nayana is so beautiful 🙂

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