I could write an entire book just detailing everything that's gone on today. I'll try to keep it short. And when I say short, I don't much mean it because there's so much to say.
I mentioned the little miscommunication about being able to go home or not. She also neglected to tell us that we were able to get a box lunch if we were going to be here for long. Which, of course, we were. Oh well. We finally got into the room at 3:30 or so.
The inpatient area is right down the hall from the clinic. It's very easy. For those late night admissions we would still go through ER, but for anything else we start out in the same place. One of the difficulties, though, is that for now someone still has to go sign in at the admissions desk. This means that we really need two people there.
The parking situation is better in some ways than either hospital to which we've been before. The major drawback is the cost--$5 a day and that's the discounted price! Outpatient parking is free, though. But in terms of convenience, it's very easy to get to the lot and very easy to get from the lot back to the hospital, much unlike the hospital in Philadelphia, where it took about as long to get to the car as it does for us to drive from the house to the hospital here.
By the way...I left the hospital parking lot at 5:55 to get my sister and bring her to the hospital. She was at the house. I picked her up, drove back to the hospital, then drove back to the house. I walked in the door at 6:30. Not bad, right? It's under 3 miles away, but it is a fairly busy area with lots of traffic lights. Generally it takes 11 or 12 minutes to get there, could be less, could be more.
Fortunately, this hospital does not have a policy about avoiding the presence of children because...the hospital is FOR children! This will likely come up a lot as I talk about the new hospital. It is a brand new building, very well designed, and definitely has a lot of extra touches that a hospital for adults is lacking. Also, this hospital has a dedicated oncology floor. Everyone there is an oncology patient. There is a separate side for bone marrow transplant patients, and there are separate playrooms--one for oncology patients in general, one for isolation patients (neutropenia, C-Diff, those sorts of things), and one for bone marrow patients. From what they described, it sounds as though the playroom is okay for The Boy, and he is allowed to roam the halls (supervised of course). There are areas where people can just hang out. Who knows--he might find himself a chemo buddy.
The Boy's room is very large and looks much more welcoming than you'd expect a hospital room to look. The floors are wood, or at least they look it. Each room has its own shower. The rooms don't have refrigerators, unfortunately, so we have to keep stuff in the community fridge. Food is delivered to outside the door (the rooms have an atrium which has a sink), and the tray is passed through a hatch when he is finished with it, thus eliminating the need for someone to come around trying to collect it, only for us not to be done and take it to the pantry later anyway. They also have a similar system for dirty linens. The food itself is delivered when we call for it, anytime from 6 AM to 8 PM, and anytime after that they can still call to get things. I like that because the 8:30 breakfast thing seldom worked for us in the old hospital. Not if he gets up at 7 and is hungry. I guess having the "room service" available means that we don't really have to keep as much food for him because we can just call for it to be brought.
Since Meatball is allowed in the hospital and the doctors and nurses are fine with his presence, I can actually spend time at the hospital. There are some times tomorrow when I'll be by myself with the two kids. I'll find ways to manage. Actually, they said that since I'm a nursing mother, even though the nursling isn't the patient, they can give me meal coupons. Also pretty cool.
The Boy isn't entirely sold on the place or the people yet, although I think he'll like being able to get out and about a bit more. Thing is, he can't remember his life without his old doctors and nurses and hospital, and now we switched it up on him. It will take awhile for him to get used to everyone and everything, but I'm sure that he'll be happy.
Well, everything is relative. But he doesn't know any better--he is happy! And everyone loves him.