I have a problem. It's a problem that has plagued me my whole life. It is not always a bad problem, but it is one that is hard to overcome. What is this problem you ask? I am a people pleaser. I don't ever want to rock the boat and I often let people or circumstances run over me in an attempt to avoid a conflict. It is very hard for me to speak up or stand up for myself. If it comes to the point that I have to address an unpleasant situation, I will do my best to be as polite, tactful, and non confrontational as possible.
I've never been able to decide if this is a blessing or a curse. Honestly, I think it falls somewhere in the middle. During this last hospital stay it has proven to be a stressful problem to have.
Being admitted at GHS on Sunday, February 24th seemed like it would be a less stressful event than being sent back to MUSC. I could go back and forth from the hospital to take care of my family. Drop off and pick up from school wouldn't have to change. Nighttime routines wouldn't have to change, etc. Seemed like I could get the best of both worlds, have both of my boys get the care they need with our whole family in the same area code.
You would think I would have learned by now that nothing is as easy as it seems. This mystery illness of Brinkley's continued to linger with no mention of when we may be able to go home. The PICU staff at GHS is amazing and I can't say enough GREAT things about Dr Bradshaw, the resident that took care of Brinkley. This makes a stay easier, but not easy, and this is where my people pleasing began to get in the way. One night after getting Reese fed and in the bed I went back to check on Brinkley and meet his night shift nurse. I was not impressed with the nurse to say the least. As a matter of fact, I was a little nervous about leaving him that night.
In the past we have had nurses that I did not care for their personalities but this was different. I was concerned that my child wasn't been properly cared for and I have never felt like that before. I came home and told Bryan what had happened and he too was concerned and we discussed if I should go back. I assured him that I would address the issue with the doctors in the morning and that I tried to point somethings out to the nurse before I left. I'm not sure how much faith he had in me "telling on" someone, but I have a witness to prove I did. When Dr Bradshaw checked in with us that next morning I spoke with her about it and let her know my concerns. She was incredibly understanding and assured me that it would not be a problem again. I was even bold enough to come back the next day and ask her to make sure we were not assigned that nurse again. She gladly took care of it for me.
Friday evening Brinkley was moved from ICU to a regular room in the Children's hospital to ride out the remainder of this mystery virus. Let's just say that we have become a little spoiled with only ICU care and had no idea how a regular room worked. After three days and three nights of us giving B round the clock care I had met my limit. The frustration and stress had reached its maximum. I didn't understand why our lives were being turned upside down to be on machines that we have at home and for me to stay in a hospital room to take care of my child like I do at home. Nurses would give meds and take temps and blood pressure, but otherwise all care was up to us.
Poor Dr Raunikar called the room and I couldn't keep my game face on anymore. For the first time since all of this started, I had a meltdown with someone besides Bryan. Unfortunately for Dr Raunikar he caught me at my moment of weakness and I sobbed and sobbed on the phone with him. He was very understanding and compassionate and quickly sent his partner, who was at the hospital, over to see me. After evaluating Brinkley and asking me many questions, Dr Horne agreed that I could manage Brinkley's care at home just as well as at the hospital. He promptly spoke with the doctors and nurses and we were soon out the door.
Brinkley and I made it home early Monday evening. Yesterday we followed up with our pediatrician and made a follow up appointment with Dr Raunikar. So far so good. Dr Raunikar called yesterday to check on us and I could not apologize enough for my episode on the phone. As is his style, he assured me that I had no reason to apologize and told me about a similar incident he had with one of his own children.
As hard as it is, I am learning that people pleasing isn't always what's best for me or my family. I am having to pray for the courage to speak up for myself (and my family) and the wisdom to do it tactfully. I'm learning more everyday about just how human I really am and that I can't be superwoman all the time. Just like superman, everyone has their kryptonite and apparently people pleasing is one of mine.