3 a.m.

Baby, it’s 3 a.m. and I must be lonely…

Whew, what a night! Not in the fun “let’s hook up after a night of drinking” way referenced in the song, either.

Gracie was admitted again yesterday. We tried to avoid the hospital but sometimes things are simply unavoidable.

We’ve been working toward getting Gracie out of the cast. At last Monday’s ortho appointment, Dr. B. decided to use a shorter cast in order to give Gracie the opportunity to use her fingers and start to regain some hand strength. (The casts have been going past Gracie’s fingers since she re-broke her arm in mid-July.) It sounded like such a great idea, such a great way to start transitioning to no cast at all.

You know what they say about the best laid plans…

We ended up back at ortho Tuesday (the next day) because her pinky finger became red and swollen. The PA and I debated back and forth about the cause of the redness and swelling, but ultimately decided that we could try a new cast to see if it was circulatory. Within minutes of cutting off the original cast, her finger looked less red and swollen, so it seemed that was probably the answer. The redness and swelling never went away, though, and throughout the week Gracie developed various bloody sores on the back of her hand.

The coup de grace was on Saturday. We were at Jackson’s first-ever soccer game and Gracie was behaving terribly. She spent at least 45 minutes in a forced time-out in my arms. She wouldn’t stop kicking and screaming and hitting and fussing, so I wouldn’t let her go. At one point she narrowly missed throwing her head into the brick wall behind us. At another point Chad chastised her for rubbing her hand against the bricks (anyone who feels pain knows that’s not a good idea). She was wild and reckless.

Eventually, she calmed down enough to get out of the time-out. We watched Jackson play for a while (he did so well!), then went to the playground. She was having so much fun and finally behaving reasonably. And then, I saw her hand.

The cast hand already had bandaged wounds on the index and pinky fingers. Both of those bandages were bloody and muddy—never a good sign. As soon as we got home I washed them out, soaking her cast in the process. The wound on her pinky was frighteningly deep; it would need daily soaks. I decided to call ortho and spoke to the on-call provider, a PA we’ve seen many times before. He offered to meet us at the clinic (keep in mind it was Saturday afternoon and the clinic was closed) in order to cut her cast back and evaluate the wounds. He didn’t think they looked infected but prescribed her oral antibiotics anyway, just in case.

I managed to get two doses of Keflex in her before I looked at her fingers Sunday morning. The index finger was bright red and swollen, with what looked like streaking under the cast. Crap—time to go to the hospital!

The ER wasn’t that busy, and the doc came to see her right away, confirming immediately that she would need to be admitted. We got up to the room around 3 pm and had a fairly uneventful evening. Gracie had a hard time falling asleep, but she finally passed out around 9. I watched some Netflix and went to sleep around 10:30.

Gracie’s antibiotics were due at 11, and I was drifting into sleep when the nurse came in for that. I sleepily heard her walking around the room, and suddenly felt her hand on my arm. She needed to scan my wrist band because she couldn’t find Gracie’s. I listened as she bustled around the room, laying sleepily in my vinyl bed. The IV infused over an hour, and I heard her come back to stop the infusion, grateful for the opportunity to finally get some deeper sleep. Alas, that was short-lived.

Gracie woke up around 12:30 a.m., moaning and mumbling and generally having trouble getting back to sleep. I snuggled her for a while, but she wouldn’t settle down. I changed her diaper, hoping that would help her calm down, but it didn’t. She got up and went to the bathroom later, but that was not enough to settle her down. We snuggled some more but neither of us could drift off to sleep at that point. She whined and fussed, asking for her iPad, wanting to get up and play, but I wouldn’t let her—it was 2 a.m. and there was no way I was going to let her get up for the day. She was a full-on insomniac last night, and I was helpless to lull her to sleep. The Matchbox 20 song embedded above ran through my head—it was 3 a.m., after all.

Finally, I tried to calm her by telling her a story. I quietly told her a story about a little girl named Gracie who found a giant pillow and fell asleep on it, then started dreaming about floating on a cloud, then dreamed about being a mermaid in the ocean. She was breathing more calmly and finally seeming to settle down—and then the nurse came in. Crap! All that hard work trying to get Gracie calm was for nothing.

It took a good long time for her to get to sleep after that. I have no idea what time it was, because the clock in the hospital room is broken and I didn’t want to look at my phone, but it felt like it could have been almost an hour. The nurse came in again and again after that one time, each time leaving the door open for light to drift in—but also allowing all the loud hallway sounds in too. I silently cursed her each time, praying desperately that she would not wake Gracie.

The nurse came in again at 6:30 a.m. for Gracie’s next dose of antibiotics. This time, she woke both of us. I didn’t even bother trying to make Grace fall asleep again; it was hard enough in the middle of the night and was guaranteed to be impossible when her body clock knew it was time to get up for school.

Today is a waste of a day. Gracie is stubborn and clumsy from sleep deprivation. She refuses to listen to me and also is slipping everywhere when she walks. No amount of bribery can make her lay down with her iPad; she wants to be wild. I am wretched from the lack of sleep; my eyes feel scratchy and near tears, and my brain isn’t processing well. It’s hard to care about keeping Grace down when I can barely manage to get through each moment.

Hopefully we will have a different nurse tonight, one who cares more about being quiet and helping her patients sleep, one who does not feel the need to check on us every other hour. Hopefully I can get Grace to take a nap today so that she will recover somewhat from the sleep deprivation. Hopefully I will not be asked to make any decisions today; that seems beyond me right now. And of course, hopefully this hospital stay will be a short one. That is always the hope.

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