Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Life is good.

(Charlie-Anne and Daddy, 8 1/2 months, Kona, Hawaii)

Well...we made it! And all of us are in one piece! I'm actually writing this from a patio chair that overlooks palm trees that are dancing in the warm, sweet floral scented wind, and seem to be pointing toward the calm, crystal blue ocean just ahead of them, taunting me to come and join it. Ahhhhh, this is the good life.

After my last post, just when we thought we had worked everything out, things got complicated again. Our community health nurse recommended we call Air Canada and ask if they had oxygen on board, which after sitting on hold with them for over an hour, I was told they did...but, if we needed to use it, we would have a hard time flying home with them, because we would be deemed too high risk. AND, upon further investigation, we found out that it needed to be 'continuous flow' for an infant which it was not. And so started the process of finding, getting, and learning how to use a portable oxygen tank (you know, the kind you see an old overweight person carrying around with the tubing coming from their nose, and a cigarette in the other hand.) We found all of this out on Thursday afternoon and we were leaving Saturday afternoon. So, we needed to find an oxygen tank, get approval to bring it on the plane (without raising any red flags and being told we were a liability on the flight) AND we still needed to book two return tickets for our nurse who was kind enough to come down and back with us, but couldn't stay the entire time. Matt's employers booked and paid for our tickets and booked and paid for one of the nurses return tickets...they only had one first class ticket left so it was $2400.00, just for hers! We are VERY grateful! I'll never snap at Matt for working too hard/late again!

After many phone calls and much phone tag, (I was out doing the last minute trip errands, and had to pull over to cry at one point...wondering if it was even worth it anymore, and overwhelmed with just how serious this was all starting to feel) we found a tank at 4:30 in the afternoon on Friday in Delta. They were closing in a half hour, but sent a lovely lady named Jennifer to meet us at their Vancouver location to give us a crash course in saving our daughters life. Frightening. We brought along the other resuscitation mask and pump we were initially told would be sufficient, and were shown how to use it as well. Our flight was 6 hrs so we got 2 batteries with the tank, totalling 8 hours of available battery life.

Earlier that morning I had received a phone call from Canuck Place, a children's hospice, from a doctor who asked me "What are your wishes regarding resuscitation with Charlie?" "Ummm, what do you mean?" I said. "Do you want her resuscitated in an emergency situation? We need to know your wishes before travelling." Whoa. Harsh. I said, "As long as her brain is working, I want Charlie resuscitated." Our daughter is 81/2 months old...why do we have to think about these things? Way to start my already hectic day.

So, the trip was on. Again. We had all of our bases covered. All phone calls had been made. All equipment on hand and learned. All forms filled. All tickets booked. Saturday morning, 6 hours before we had to be at the airport, i called to confirm that we were allowed to bring our oxygen tank. The lady on the other end of the line said that Air Canada's doctor had approved Charlie to fly with her oxygen, except for one thing...we needed at least 11 hrs of battery life. Seriously?! Really?! Are you fu@*ing kidding me?! I looked around my bedroom for a hidden camera. This was starting to get pathetically hilarious. What next? Anyway, how was i supposed to find another battery on a Saturday? After another hour of phone calls, the lovely Jennifer, that helped us the day before, came to our rescue, driving from Vancouver to Delta and back again, on her day off, to help us out. And, finally, the scavenger hunt was over!

We met our nurse at the airport, and we all checked in without a hitch (they didn't even check for the 3rd battery. Grrrrr!) Now, I'm already nervous about flying so i was on edge about that as well as worrying about Charlie and if she could handle this flight or not. Matt took the first class seat and the nurse and i sat together with Charlie, so she could monitor her and i could breastfeed her during take off. As the plane took off and then leveled out, i stared catatonic like at Charlie's belly, watching her every breath, the nurse kept listening to her breathing. She was fine. And when i was REALLY sure she was fine, i wept uncontrollably. The stress of the week just built up and i was letting it go. I was so relieved. It's hard to plan ahead for 'just in case your child stops breathing'...I'm just glad that all of our preparation and training was completely useless.

Charlie loves it here! Minimal clothing, warm breeze, lots to look at, and a jacuzzi tub to swim around with mom in. Life is good.

1 comment:

  1. all the trouble will be worth the memories you are making right now.. better than being back here being locked up in a bubble... and it makes me so sad that on top of everything you have to deal with the politics of 'just in case'.. make sure to video video video!! charlie will love to watch her hawaii shows back home xoxo