The hospital didn’t have a small enough cannula line for Alyssa the other day, to attempt another long line, so they sent off to Sydney for one. It arrived today and they had their third attempt to insert a long line. She’s had one long line before which lasted about 4-5 days – they’re supposed to last more like two weeks, so they were hoping to get this one in and let it be the last time they need to cannulate her before going home but it wasn’t to be. I carried her up to the treatment room, kissing her about a dozen times before being able to walk away from her with wet eyes, and left her there for almost two hours, only for her to be brought back with no long line cannula. They tried two sites in her left arm and I later discovered, once in her left leg as well, with no luck.
Basically, as the nurse explained to me, when you put a hole in the skin, bloods main aim is to flow outwards, so you’re pushing a very light thread against the flow of blood. Our veins also have little valves along the way and if one closes up over the thread, you can’t push through it, so when the doctors are trying to insert these long lines they’re going against valves and blood flow and they need to get up to 20cm of line into the veins for it to work properly. So after three attempts and almost two hours, the doctors and nurses had to give up. It must be such a stressful, upsetting process for them. Alyssa is doped out on sucrose and another muscle relaxant so she’s pretty calm but she’s still confused about what’s happening to her. As it’s done as a sterile procedure, she’s covered up in green dressings and all she can see if the lovely nurse’s reassuring face. Alisha, her nurse today, was obviously quite stressed about the process and said many times she just wanted to pick her up and cuddle her and whisk her away. She also said the doctor finds it really hard to be the meanie inflicting the pain and discomfort. Unfortunately it needs to be done for her though, but it’s such a shame such caring people have to put a little baby through that torment. Poor little Alyssa doesn’t know any better, and as a doctor said to me the other day, ‘she probably just thinks this is what all babies have to do’, but it’s just not right because all babies don’t have to go through this. My heart bleeds for her.
So now she’s left with her little cannula until it kaputs and they’ve left a good vein in her right leg for the next one and hopefully they’ll only need a couple more before she is right to go home.
As for going home, we were pretty gutted when they told us early last week that she would need two more weeks of antibiotics. Yesterday we realised that only left one more week until home time. Today we asked the doctors if they had any ideas on when we ould take her off the IV antis and take her home and they’ve decided that most likely she will need at least 10 more days!!! We’ll only have her home for a couple of days before we have to fly off to Melbourne again with her to review with the metabolic team and have her MRI to check for brain damage. So now we’re just left to hope that 10 more days really is the final number they’ll draw and that we will be spending christmas at home with our little girl in our sights and in our arms for that special day.
I’m struggling to know how to pace myself through yet another 10 days. Alyssa turned 6 weeks old today and she’s spent almost all of it in a hospital room. It’s so hard when we’re stuck inside a little room with almost no stimulation for either of us, knowing that the rest of the world is just whizzing along without us. This is, by far, the hardest thing I’ve ever lived through – and I’m just riding alongside Alyssa, keeping her company while she braves her way through the torment. She’s my hero! I’ll never be as brave as she is….