exposed


My office is directly across the street from the old Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in Oakland… and as pretty much everyone in the city knows, the hospital has moved to a new location in Lawrenceville.  For a while it was up in the air what UPMC planned to do with the building but a month or so ago heavy construction equipment rolled in and then the demolition started. 

sorry the pic is so small 😦 i need a usb cord so bad for my camera…

The rumors I hear now are that it is going to made into a green space… which would be wonderful of course, but it is still bittersweet….

Here’s why…….

9 years ago when I was 16…. (holy mother of lord I’m getting old)…. I spent a little less than a week in one of those rooms they’re tearing apart across the street…. Unable to breathe, swallow, and pretty sure that I was just going to not wake up the next morning because no one could figure out what was wrong with me…

I remember in my fog the doctors bringing in a group of about 10 residents and saying “this patient is a prime example of someone we have been unable to diagnose so we are just attempting to keep her stable at the moment and keep her as comfortable as possible”

I had spent the last two weeks in and out of the local hospitals in my hometown (40 min away) getting IVs over night, holding down food for a day and getting sent home… two days later right back in… eventually i couldn’t even swallow and the doctor said she’s got to go to children’s… so in we went…

They plugged another IV in me…

and my clearest memory of that entired stay was sitting in the ER before I was admitted and a little girl across from me and she had no family there… I’m not sure how she got there or why she was there but staff kept coming in to sit with her and read to her and the other patients parents kept taking turns talking to her and keeping her company… and though my mom and I were having a bad go of it at the time I remember thinking

  1. How glad I was to have her there and
  2. How great it was that these parents who were in a state of crisis of their own were all coming together for this poor little girl who had no idea what was happening to her… people in Pittsburgh really are just a breed of their own…..

 

After four bags of fluids the doctors told me technically I could go home… but I would be right back in there tomorrow getting another set of IVs… they were recommending that I be admitted… so zip zoom up to a room I went…

I got worse and worse… not to be graphic and sorry if I gross people out but I was stuffing gauze up my nose and my mouth because I was bleeding from my nose and from my mouth and I couldn’t stand it… the nurses would come in and yell at me for it… and as soon as they left I’d stuff it back in again…

The scariest moment was when I was at the worst I could be this sweet nurse came in and took down tubes from the walls and explained that my breathing was getting really bad and that they might need to put a tube down my throat that night and she wanted to show me what it looked like so that if I woke up and saw it I wouldn’t be scared… I appreciated that she took the time to explain to me how bad things really were getting…

Luckily I made it through the night and late the next day the final round of blood work came back and I had epstein barr – plain and simple… mono… all of that because of mono!!… because the mono had gone undetected for almost a month I had contracted severe tonsilitus and sinusitus… I was put on steroids, antibiotics and kept for two more days until I was strong enough to go home…

It took me six months to recover fully from everything… but I credit the wonderful people at Children’s Hospital for putting a scared 16 year old girl who thought she was one tough cookie at ease and let her know that she was going to be ok… and for getting me on the path to being healthy…

Its sad to see the building disappear now… though I know their work continues…

How I will always remember it – though not the best picture oh well… THANK YOU

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