Friday, July 12, 2013

Respite

Those close to me may be growing weary of hearing me complain about being exhausted. Jeff doesn't complain much, but I know he's just as tired as I am. How tired? Well, I'm far more tired than I ever was taking care of either of my kids when they were newborns. It's sort of like when you try to do a 18-hour road trip in one sitting. But not just one night. Maybe it's like doing a road trip like that every day for three weeks.

Norah has tons of gear that she needs with her at all times. I refuse to force her to live in her crib, so that means hauling everything from one floor to the next multiple times each day. We have three sets of split-level stairs, though I don't think Norah's been all the way downstairs. In the morning we go upstairs for her bath. Back downstairs for trach cares and getting dressed for the day. Further downstairs for playtime. Upstairs for her nap. Back downstairs for more playtime. Back upstairs after more trach cares and getting ready for bed. Rinse, repeat. Each time we move throughout the house, it takes 2-4 trips to get everything. Of course that all depends on how well my mind is operating, and if I've forgotten something. We've come up with a system for her medical gear, but that's not accounting for extra trips to grab non-essentials. Then in between there is much more stair climbing... Harper has become quite the helper, occasionally retrieving things for his exhausted parents.

I should add that Jeff has been amazing. When he gets home from work he makes dinner. He does the dishes. He takes care of all the things that I intend to do, but rarely have energy for. And when we don't have a nurse, he takes the night shift, telling me that it's more important that I'm able to take care of the kids the next day. I sure hit the jackpot when it came to Jeff. My friends want him to give lessons to their future husbands.

So we've been tired. Super tired. It was to the point that our bodies were hurting because of the exhaustion. So I called our nursing company, and scheduled the respite nursing hours that we qualify for based on Norah's technology dependence. Last night, Norah's nurse came at 9pm instead of 11pm. She was a new nurse with no ventilator experience, so took extra training. You better believe once we were done with training, we pretty much passed right out in bed. Hopefully they'll start coming most nights at 9pm. It made a huge difference. Don't get me wrong - I'm still super tired, but I now feel like I can function a bit better than before. I have a hard time asking for help, but when it comes to Norah, I've learned that I need to. It's not about me. It's about her.

My last post was quite the downer about our home nurses. I'm glad to say that things have been going quite well. That particular nurse and I had a brief but effective discussion the next night, and I felt much better about everything. All of the nurses have been friendly and willing to learn, which is the most important thing.

Sorry about lack of photos lately... but if you are on the web version of my blog, you can see my latest Instagram photos to the right. If you have Instagram, you can follow me @mama_nauna.
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