It has been just two full days since we returned from the hospital with our son, charged with finishing up his three week regimen of antibiotics for a bone infection in his left tibia.
An hour before each IV dose, my phone alarm goes off, and my stomach clenches up. I know it’s not the end of the world; I know I can do this; I know he is going to be fine. But I can’t help the thoughts from materializing and taking over everything. This has always been my problem.
When the medicine arrived on Saturday, I dug through my son’s closet for a small wicker basket, filled with old plastic bottles, a monitor, and a small cooling bag. I dumped it all out, wiped it down, vacuumed it, and then brought it into the kitchen.
I went into the garage and dumped out a large bin filled with old books and brought that into the kitchen as well, wiping it down with Clorox wipes and setting it on the kitchen table.
I unpacked each item in the boxes sent by the pharmacy: syringes marked Sodium Chloride, Heparin, and Clindamycin; rubber tubing; rubber gloves; alcohol wipes; and other assorted medical odds and ends. Together with the home care nurse, I placed the items in my new basket, then added a thermometer, paper towels, Clorox wipes, and literature from the hospital to the plastic bin. We placed the Clindamycin in the refrigerator and then set the bin atop our liquor cabinet.
With each dose, we meticulously wash our hands, slap on the gloves, lay out a paper towel, and then lay out each item in order, according to the cute little acronym given us by the hospital nurse: (S)aline, (A)ntibiotic, (S)aline, (H)eparin. S-A-S-H. We lay out the alcohol wipes and carefully open up two of them to prepare.
The stomach settles a little bit the moment we reach the end of step two, and begin the thirty minute countdown to the end of the medicine.
Once we pack it all up, we enjoy a few hours of respite before the bubble of anxiety wells up again, in preparation for the next dose.