I have been staying in the hospital with Yuan Bao since he was admitted last Tuesday. That makes four nights of sleeping on a less than one inch mattress and lumpy pillow. Though the grace of friends, I have been able to come home for several hours each day to shower, change and get something to eat.
Hospitals in China provide almost nothing for their patients. You are somewhat in charge of your own care. You must bring in all of your own supplies- food, diapers, formula, cooking and eating supplies. Even toilet paper. Each day, you put a certain amount of money on your hospital account- about RMB 1000. If you don't have money on your account, you don't get medicine or treatment until someone has come to put money in. Again, because of the grace and mercy of friends. we have been able to keep our account up-to-date.
I've really been stretched here. It's hard to be in a place where dishes, urine soaked baby clothes are washed in the same sink. People spit on the floor. That makes me think of TB. People smoke in the hallways. It's enraging to think that people would smoke around sick children.
Our room is full of mosquitoes, even though it is an indoor room. Yesterday I brought our zapper and killed about 20 last night. This morning the nurse asked why we didn't bring a mosquito net for the baby. This just feels like backwards logic to me!
This is not a hospital for the rich and successful. This is the "real" China. Children are very sick here. Families must stay with the all the time. The noise level is incredible.
I am very thankful that we are staying alone in a room. The nurses think I am nuts because I turn off the lights to try to get the baby to sleep. They walk in and flip on the lights for a procedure. I know this happens in other countries too but it seems like just when Yuan Bao falls asleep, someone walks in.
It's hard to have a sick baby. Yuan Bao is sweet and cheerful but he is still clearly very sick. It makes me think about his mother- his one year birthday is next month. Is she thinking about him? Is she sad every day? What would she think if she knew he was very sick in the hospital. To quote another blog on orphans in China- empty arms don't mean an empty heart. Most "orphans" don't have dead parents. They just can't care for them for some reason or another.
We are hoping and praying that he will be able to come out soon. His oxygen levels are staying up. His lung x-rays don't look good. One doctor said he might be able to be out in three days. Another said a week. As much as I want to come home, I want him healthy even more.