A good friend of ours from Colorado suggested that we write about what our day is like with Samantha, as people have questions like if we can sleep here or if we can hold her as much as we want. So, this is what it is like for us here at Primary Childrens Hospital:
The hospital is on the side of a foothill of the Wasatch front and overlooks Salt Lake City. It is very gorgeous to drive here and they have a courtyard we can go out on and look at the mountains and the city. Samantha is in a private room with nurses who have a very low ratio, either one nurse to two babies or one nurse and one tech for three babies. She gets excellent care and has avery attentive doctors and nurses. She usually gets her blood drawn at least once a day, if not more, and almost always has one chest x ray. With all that and her vitals being checked every two hours, our room seems to be pretty busy!
We are able to have visitors that are 14 and older, but they must wear a mask and a gown. All the staff who enter her room, especially if they are going to be touching her, must wear a gown, gloves and mask. This is because she is put on what is called reverse precautions, which means that she won't infect anyone but they could infect her very easily. Her immune system is pretty much depleted at this point because of type of fluid they are draining from her lungs, so everyone has to be very careful. However, she is able to be held whenever she is not having medical care done. It is a bit tricky, though, because she has about 9 tubes and wires coming out or off of her [medicine, nutrition (TPN), fluids, two chest tubes, O2 reading, heart rate, respitory rate]. However, as long as we pick her up carefully and don't get the wires too tangled, it's pretty easy to hold and cuddle her as long as we want. There is a very comfortable rocking chair and a fold out chair that is somewhere in between a cot and a fold out couch for us to sleep on at night. Benjer and I are taking turns sleeping here, so one of us is always here with her at night. Two of us cannot sleep here in the room, though; there just isn't room and the rocking chair is very bad for sleeping on, Benjer found out one night.
Our church family here has been amazing in helping us figure out meals. A lot of people have been either giving us money to buy meals here at the hospital, giving us gift cards or making us really good homemade food. (Benjer is bringing me some tamales and chocolate cake for dinner tonight, I've been told :). Since the commute is about an hour one way, this is helping us enormously. I don't have to worry about shopping, dinner OR doing the dishes now! The cell phone coverage in the hospital is spotty, but in our room we have enough coverage to send texts and talk if we stand by the window. If you all have any more curious questions please let us know. We'd be happy to let you know more about our life here, and how and what Samantha is doing.