Articles I Have Written
- The Best Books for Kids with Hearing Loss
- Sleep Studies for Kids
- Adjusting to Hearing Aids
- Free Resources for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children
- First Steps When Baby Can't Hear
- When Baby "Refers" on the Newborn Hearing Test
- Water Sports with Hearing Aids
- What is the Newborn Hearing Screen?
- The Best Hearing Aid Accessories for Kids
- Choosing Eyeglasses for Kids
- Great Hearing Loss Simulations
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Finally Up and Running
The Home Healthcare Company (HHC) dropped off Nolan's supplies on Thursday, but we still had no formula. I'll cut the story short, but several phone calls to Rite Aid (our pharmacy) and our surgeon's office left everyone very frustrated. Rite Aid stated they needed prior authorization, our surgeon's office stated they had sent in the prior authorization to the insurance company, and Rite Aid continued to state they didn't have the prior auth.
Sometime on Friday I was so frustrated I started using my Angry Voice. Eventually, we discovered that the HHC had made two errors. Firstly, they were not to charge $500 per month for the pump and accessories, because we had met our deductible. Secondly, they were supposed to provide the formula, because the prior authorization had been set up between the insurance company and the HHC.
The nurse came on Friday afternoon, and I ran to Walmart to buy some over-the-counter Pediasure. It was $10 for three nights' supply, which isn't terrible. Still, that cost would add up over time, and the OTC Pediasure isn't the same as the formula ordered by our surgeon's office. They had ordered Pediasure 1.5, which is a medical food and has a higher calorie density per ounce. The HHC finally delivered the Pediasure 1.5 yesterday.
We ran the pump for the first time on Friday night. It went well, though the feed ran out early for some reason. The alarm went off at 3:30am and we had a steep learning curve ahead of us. Dennis had taped the connections together, because we were terrified something would come apart in the night. As it turns out, this is a bad idea - primarily because you can't get anything apart at 3:30am, and the frustration is worse when you are exhausted. The type of tape used was bad, too - we couldn't get it off Nolan's skin and struggled with it for quite some time. Once we got it off, I went downstairs to rinse everything out and came back to flush his button.
The second night, we worked out the logistics. We didn't use any tape on the connectors (the "Christmas tree" port from the formula bag fits pretty snugly into his Mic-Key extension). We used a tape with less adhesive to secure the tubing to his tummy, so it would come off more easily. I also primed a large syringe with water, ready to flush his tube once the feed was done.
Nolan woke at 2:00am and had to go to the bathroom. My brain was in an utter fog, so I grabbed the IV pole and followed him to the bathroom. I managed to hit our hall light on the way, and I am pretty sure I wasn't entirely conscious. I put Nolan back to bed and he cried out every 10 minutes because he was scared. I eventually put my blanket and pillow on the floor and dozed next to his bed for the next three hours. I couldn't really sleep, of course, but at least I didn't have to sit bolt upright next to him. He was having nightmares and really wanted some reassurance. I disconnected him at 4:45am and that part of the process went very smoothly.
We finally hit our stride on the third night. Yes, Nolan did wake and have to go to the bathroom. This time, however, I had a few more brain cells firing. I put the pump on "hold" and disconnected the boy instead of hauling the IV pole to the bathroom. He went back to sleep after this and I disconnected him when the formula run was done - it took all of two minutes.
We're getting into a routine with the "Grow Juice," as we call it. Nolan has actually asked to go to bed and get hooked up for the past two nights. He likes the idea of growing and has a lot more energy in the mornings. He used to be a rag doll in the mornings and very zombie-like. We used to blame that on the apnea (which could certainly play a part), but since starting the overnight feeds he has been waking without a problem in the mornings and has come bounding downstairs. The slow drip of nutrition overnight agrees with him.
We have not started his C-Pap therapy alongside his overnight feeds. I will try the combination tomorrow: we wanted him to get used to the "Grow Juice" without having the mask over his little face.
Here's to a growing boy!