If I were a superstitious woman, I would say that I never should have accepted that invitation to today's birthday party for a preschool friend of Annika's. Anni has never been to a birthday party, outside of her own celebrations. First off, she doesn't get so very many invitations (I choose to believe that this is due to her lack of participation in many of the traditional preschool networking events, rather than some personality flaw). Then, what attempts we have made to let her experience the other side of birthday partying have always been thwarted by illness. So what in the world was I doing jinxing our homecoming by RSVP'ing to little Lauren's birthday party?
So Annika is now in our least favorite place in the whole entire world, the PICU. CMH in Chicago sent a helicopter to transport her last night. At first she was really excited about the prospect of flying to the hospital. But when she realized that neither Jörg nor I could accompany her, she decided that it was actually a pretty crappy idea. When the nurse came in she told her, "I am not
taking a helicopter to the faraway hospital. I am not
taking an ambulance. I am not
taking a train or a car or a bicycle. I will walk. By myself."
Still, when the helicopter arrived, she grudgingly decided that the transport nurse was actually pretty OK, and she went willingly into the chopper, all bundled up and strapped in.
Jörg and I ran to our car and drove to the hospital, thankful we had our cell phone. Just in case. We had never before been separated from Annika like that. About an hour into the trip, I took the cell out just to make sure we hadn't missed any calls. It was dead. Of course.
So we arrived in record time, even though we had to dodge all the drunk and happy people stumbling out of the bars on Lincoln, which was clogged 2 layers deep with taxis waiting to ferry them safely home. Of course we did not begrudge them their blissfully daring joie de vivre
, but it is nevertheless slightly irritating when you are trying to reach your child alone in a PICU room, carrying only a useless cell phone that has left you completely ignorant of her condition.
As of this morning the word is that she will remain in the PICU until they are more certain of her status. She has, again, had a significant loss of blood. But her heart rate and blood pressure have reassured us that her body is dealing once again with the insult. She is again on the octreotide, which did a very good job of stopping the bleeding last time. Again, though, she is not allowed to eat or drink anything at all as long as she is on this medicine.
So, in summary, this sucks. But it could suck a whole lot more.
(Oh, and Frankie is great. She's at home with my mother, who let her sleep in her bed with her last night. However, Frankie is clearly a bit irritated with us for taking off again so soon. So she has clearly been learning from Annika's feisty example. Good for her.)