After nearly five months of driving 140 or so miles a day, the coppers finally got me. It was inevitable, I suppose. But the worst part about it? NO PAPERS IN THE CAR. I'm sure every last one of you reading this is far more responsible than I am, but I am asking you all to go out right now and make sure your registration and proof of insurance are IN YOUR CAR. I've never gotten a speeding ticket before (I promise, Mom!), so he let me off with a written warning, and I have to mail proof of insurance and registration to the staties' barracks. I have never felt so stupid in my life.
Having got that little bit of bad karma out of the way, I spent the day with Jane and got puked on. Twice.
Having got that little bit of bad karma out of the way, Tom, Sarah and I went to his work Christmas party tonight and had a thoroughly enjoyable time with the excellent people he gets to spend his days with. (VCFA in the house!)
Back at the hospital, I changed the trach ties myself again today (with help from Awesome Nurse Donna and Awesome Tech Deb), and it went pretty well. How about a little tutorial?
This is a pretty good shot of what I have to clean under and replace. The blue collar with the white arrow (which is a velcro tab) is the actual trach tie (here's another image -- Jane's trach tube is different, but that's the exact tie). It's in two pieces, so what you do is undo one side, clean and dry the neck and wound on that side and put the new tie in place, then do the same thing to the other side. Then you sit her up and attach the two pieces with another strip of velcro in the back. It isn't difficult at all, except that Jane squirms and silently wails and fights most of the time. You just have to ignore all that and trust whoever's helping to keep a firm grip on the baby. And the trach, of course. Musn't forget to hold the trach. And THEN I tuck new foam stuff (it's called mepilex; it's the beige patch under Jane's chin) under the collar so that it's around the tube and absorbs moisture and protects the skin from being irritated by the ties. That's the hardest part, by far. By far. That chin and neck is so thick it's hard to see anything.
But we're getting used to it. I've been telling Jane "chin up", in the hope that when she's older she can tip her head back herself and I can do the ties on my own.
That's what I have to look forward to. We've totally fallen down the rabbit hole.