Thursday, February 08, 2007

And Islands of Sanity

The complexities of this pregnancy have required some emotional acrobatics. In order to avoid being a total nutter each and every day, I create what I call small islands of sanity for myself. These are the places to which I retreat, my private fall back positions. It's fine and I'm relatively okay, as long as I don't lose any more ground.

Well, if I can't have a normal, healthy pregnancy, at least I can rest assured knowing that I'm doing everything I can to bring these girls to viability.
Baby B has a long, hard road ahead of her, but at least it looks as though Baby A has a good shot.
I have to be here in the hospital away from my family, but I'm getting the best possible care -- a level of care, in fact, that most people in the world in my circumstances could never imagine.

And that brings me to a a topic that I'm not even sure how to address. After many weeks here with little to do but think, I've come to realize that I am getting an extraordinary level of care. I will be in the hospital for over 10 weeks when all is said and done. The reason: to have the babies closely monitored in case the start to show signs of distress. In most places in the world, women in my situation would be sent home and told to hope for the best, if they ever got the mono-mono diagnosis in the first place. I did a little back of the envelope calculation and figure I've blown through the amount we have paid into the healthcare system in the form of insurance possibly within the first week or two of my stay here. Although hospitalization is the current standard of care in this country, I can't help but think about the inequities this leads to on a global scale. I'm in no way suggesting that the best care shouldn't be had, I'm just feeling guilty and confused about being one of the very few who can attain it.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Thousand Indignities

I have been here in the hospital for 7 weeks. Usually, there is not much more to do than think (or brood or obsess, as the case may be). For me, adjusting to my stay here and maintaining sanity to the extent possible has required a slow but determined relinquishment of the illusion of control.

If you've never been in the hospital yourself, be aware that hospital rooms are not havens of privacy. Anyone with any pretense of business in your room will knock and enter, enter and knock or just plain enter.

Early in my stay a flurry of entrances would habitually occur and happened to coincide with the time of most satisfying sleep 6-8 a.m. or so. The first visit usually comes from the resident or med student. "Any cramping? bleeding? leakage of fluid?" At least 3 times per day, these questions are posed. The only deviation took place one day when a med student asked, "Is anything coming out of your vagina?" [insert *pregnant* pause here] Some days, the questions are even accompanied by a physical exam, featuring frozen sardines in the role of fingers.

These visits are followed by the delivery of breakfast, clean linens, fresh water, morning meds, etc. etc. Strangers in your room while you're sleeping? Yeah, at least initially, these visits were highly jarring.

One kindly resident once asked me how I was adjusting to my stay here. I told her I felt like a project that was being managed in pieces by many people, but that no one was assigned the role of project manager. I certainly didn't feel like the manager.