Friday, September 19, 2008

A Night In The Life

Tonight as I was telling Jack it was time for "lights out" I noticed that the bag of water for the vent heater was low. I asked myself the question, is there enough water in the bag to last until the morning, or will I (and Jack) be awakened at 3am by the heater alarm because the water chamber is empty. It's not really a monumental decision, except when you are exhausted and just want to go to bed and don't even feel like taking the 2 extra minutes to change the stupid bag of water. I decide I'm not risking it because tomorrow is Saturday and I just might actually get to sleep in if I can avert all unnecessary alarms. I go to pull the almost empty bag of water off the "pokey thing" (an actual medical equipment term) and the darn thing breaks.

Not a major equipment failure, the only problem is that the pokey-thing is connected to the water chamber for the heater and now I have to change the entire unit. What's the big deal, you ask? The big deal is all these important life sustaining tubes and wires are attached to the water chamber.

I can do this. I just pull the entire connected water chamber out and slide in the new one.

Quickly switch over the vent circuits and heater wires to the new water chamber and voila . . . good as new.

Hook up that bag of water that started the whole process.

(and yes, that's a broom handle with a nail in it holding the bag of water. I never did get an IV pole to hold the thing).

Lastly, cover up the circuits with blankets to prevent water from building up in the tubes over night. Water sloshing in the vent circuits is an annoyance and cause for me to have to get up in the middle of the night to drain the water (just one of the many annoyances that can wake me up in the middle of the night).

Now, it really is time for lights out Jack. Good night sweet boy.

. . . and, good night sweet friends. It's late and if I'm lucky, I just might get 8 hours of (interrupted) sleep tonight.


Have a fun filled weekend and, as always . . .



Rachel Marini said...

what a perfect illustration of a day in the life. funny i was up til about that time too 'helping' the new night nurse get gabe situated. i can't wait for the day we don't need night nursing...

thank you for the tip about the blankets covering the vent circuits. never knew that.

you are amazing!

Karen said...

Dear Ann,
I hope so much that you are still sleeping as I write this. I hope it was a quiet night for everyone in your household. I have had those kinds of nights with about 10% of the equipment to deal with. I am curious about the blankets on the corrugated tubing. We get the water collection in our mist setup but have never heard the blanket solution. How does that work? Hmmm...

On our end, it is more likely opening Quinn's bedroom door to the lovely smell of Elecare wallowing through the air -the first sign that he has become detached and he is feeding his bed instead of his stomach. Ahhh...How long has this been going on? I think and then start feeling around for what is soaking with formula. Do you have night nursing with Jack? I know you have someone during the day but wasn't sure if you needed/got overnights. When are you going to St. Louis? What an undertaking - I'd like to hear more about that. Have a great weekend - is it fall in Arizona?

Faith said... also piqued my interest with with blankets over the circuit. I can't tell you how many times we get up to empty the water in the night. Even when we have a
night nurse we wake up and empty it b/c they just don't seem to do that either.

My pet nighttime peeve is the peep valve. If and when Faith gets off the vent that will be the first piece I'm burning... ;) j/k.. ok not really.

Karen- Yes, I totally relate with the feeding the bed thing. It happend three times to me this week. UGH!

Ann said...

Rachel, Karen and Jen - as you probably know, the reason water builds up in the circuits is because of the relationship between the heated air in the circuits and the cooler air outside the circuits. By placing the blankets over the circuits (so as not to smother the peep valve), you keep the air around the circuits "warm" and thus ... no water build up. It's not to say I don't have any water build up, it's just not to the level of a flood.

I've been using blankets on Jack's circuits for years. I'm not sure where I even got the idea.

Karen - I don't get any night nursing (which I'm okay with for the most part.) I'm just happy to have day nursing so I can go to work.

Have a fabulous weekend ladies!

Love ya,

Ann said...

Karen - Fall is Arizona is when the temp falls below 100 degrees and we don't have to have our air conditioning on in the car. :-)

As for our trip to St. Louis - I'll be documenting the whole thing (big surprise, I know).

Melisande said...

Hi Ann! What we do for our boys!

You're a super MOM!! Plus!

Anne said...

Hope you got that 8 hours of sleep!

Faith said...

Hey Ann I just showed Brian your picture of the blankets on the circuit and he suggested we try pipe insulation. It's pretty cheap stuff. He said it might be too stiff though, but we'll try it and let you know how it works. As always, thanks for the inspiration.

And go to bed! I am sure you didn't get your 8 last night so get it now! ;)

Anonymous said...

I keep forgetting to try the blanket over the circuit. With winter coming here, it will be a good idea. I hate waking up to the water recycling sound.
Poor you, I got tired just thinking about that.
The alarms that are the worst are the ones that happen about 30 min into your sleep. zzzzzzzzz