One thing I can say for sure is that I learned a lot of new things during our sons stay in the NICU. I’m not a medical person by any means. I could never be a nurse as needles freak me out. But I quickly found myself saying things like “How often did he desat last night?”, “When will they move him to a nasal cannula instead of the hood?”, “Were his glucose levels steady yesterday?”, “Are they increasing his IV infusion to D20?”. I was following the conversations during rounds when it came to his oxygen saturation and if they would increase or decrease the amount of oxygen or glucose they were giving to him that day. I found it hard when I was talking to people outside of our family, to not use words like desat and saturation, because i was using it so much during the day when talking to the hospital staff. The look on people’s faces when they want to understand why you are upset, but they don’t understand the words you just said, is kind of comical in a not really kind of way.
It wasn’t even something I was pushing myself to understand, I just kind of picked it up. Kind of like being thrown into a different country where no one speaks english, swim or sink. Now that I look back I feel like part of my brain instantly decided that to keep up with his care I needed to know what they were saying, and so I did. If I wasn’t sure what they just said I would ask for clarification or contact someone I knew who could explain it better to me.
When sitting in the waiting room (because our NICU is limited to 2 visitors at any given time) you could tell which parents had been here awhile and who was just starting this awful journey. But it was always nice to have that time to talk to other families and know you weren’t alone. They spoke NICU too. I realize that it was still english just with added lingo, but it certainly felt like a foreign language sometimes.