April 11th, three years on

“I’ve noticed I’m finding it a little harder to write each day now and I’ve been wondering why that is. I know it’s not because I have less to say about Oscar…I could talk about him forever and never run out of things to say. It’s possible it’s connected to me having less photos to work with now. In his first days I photographed everything, but as time went on I took less pictures. It just seemed that it was something that I kept forgetting to do. You would think that sitting next to an incubator, I would have lots of free time. I never seemed to. I had books and magazines with me that went unread, and time just seemed to pass really quickly. I think I spent most of each passing hour just staring at Oscar. I never got tired of just watching him, of talking to him and of holding his hand (and of course stroking his face like he loved.)I wonder if me finding it harder to write has anything to do with me knowing that as each day passes there are fewer days left to write about. The ending of Oscar’s story won’t be a surprise, and neither will the day it occurs on. It won’t be a happy ending, but it is a day I feel I have to write about. I’ve thought a lot about what to write then, and perhaps that is why I’m struggling more now. I’m not sure I want that day to arrive as quickly as it surely will.

Back to April 11th, and it was today that Oscar changed bays within the PICU again. The bay he had been in was for post surgery patients, and as recovery occurred patients were moved to the other bays. For Oscar recovery obviously wasn’t happening, but he wasn’t so unstable that he needed to be in the post surgery bays.

At some point during the day he was moved across the PICU in his incubator. As you can imagine, this wasn’t just a case of picking him up and putting him in another bed. In fact he didn’t actually change beds, his bed came with him.

All of his medication pumps were unplugged from the mains and attached to the framework of his bed, to temporarily run on battery power. He had to be disconnected from the ventilator and a nurse had to manually bag him. He had to be attached to a portable monitor as the monitors are fixed in each bay. They also had to draw up some more medications to be carried with us as they moved him about 25 meters across the PICU in case of an emergency while they moved him. Oscar was also still attached to saline bags that were on a drip stand next to his bed, these were connected to his stomach and had to be pushed along as his bed was moved….and as we found out part way through moving him, the stands needed to be lowered so that they could fit under the curtain rails that surrounded each bay.

And once he reached his new bay, they had to connect everything back up as it was before.

Knowing Oscar, you may be surprised to know that he managed the trip with as little drama as possible (perhaps a first for him) other than needing his airway suctioned when he reached the new bay, before going back on the ventilator.

This new bay was tucked in a corner, and other than poorer phone signal wasn’t really any different from the old one.

Todays pictures are from the old bay, I didn’t take any once we had moved it seems.”


Or not:

“The collection of blood on the side of his chest, is actually underneath a clear dressing. It is from where they had removed his chest drain (the heparin causing him to bleed more than is usual.)

Also, note how his blanket is slightly over his head. I think the look on his face is him letting us know that he isn’t entirely convinced that isn’t a hat!”

“We came back from lunch to find his toe sticking out from the blanket. Like any good parent, I took a picture before moving the blanket!”

Looking back, it always surprises me that I didn’t take more photos. Those that know me, know I take photos of everything. Yet, on April 11th 2014 I took just 4. The three posted above and this one:

Now I love the above photo: Oscar hand and a little posh finger, it does make me realise that there will be no big revelations for previous readers of my blog. You aren’t going to see any new amazingly different pictures or likely read any new stories. There aren’t any. I believe I’ve told them all. All I can hope is that you keep reading, because sharing Oscar is my favourite thing. And Oscar stories and pictures will never become any less special to me. 

I remember having to move bed well. During the move Oscar was ventilated by a nurse (or actually a doctor I think?) using a bag and mask. That was scary. That made me so aware of how dependent on others he was. All that person had to do was make a mistake and Oscar could have been harmed. Of course no mistakes were made, and that person was very well trained, and he was no more vulnerable than when on the ventilator for that short period of time, but I still felt much safer when he had his ventilator reattached. 

Moving bed also felt a little like maybe hope was being removed. After all, we were still waiting for that second half of his surgery. If that was likely to be soon, then there would have been no point in him moving beds. He would have needed that surgical bed. 

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