Tuesday I woke up to another set of doctor’s rounds with the gaggle of interns.  Out of the blue, they informed me that if Mr. Happy ate well this morning, as expected, he would be released that afternoon.  Say what?  I was dumbfounded!  Of course I wanted him to come home, but I really had no idea that he had improved so much he was approaching release.  The Geek and I were still anticipating spending the rest of the week in the hospital.  So it was astounding news, to say the least.

I called the Geek to share the good news, and soon after, T came back to supervise the first feeding.  It went great, so they removed the feeding tube permanently and Mr. Happy was back to being a normal kid who eats from a boob or a bottle.  So, so happy.

Then the nutritionist came in to see me.  She informed me that I needed to remove dairy, soy, egg, wheat, peanut and seafood from my diet for Mr. Happy.  Wowza!  After thinking about it for a minute, I realized that the only true challenge for me on that list was wheat.  I’m already dairy and mostly soy free, egg free is no biggie because we’re still basically egg free for Mr. Charm, we have to go out of our way to eat peanut or seafood, and so really, wheat is the only tricky item on the list.  Interestingly enough, I was able to give the hospital nutritionist/dietician a couple of website links and smartphone apps that she had never heard of that are very helpful to me.  So, she left feeling confident that Mr. Happy was in good maternal hands.

It was a comfort for me to know that Mr. Happy actually had diagnosable allergies, IgE allergies, because those are things I knew how to handle.  Even though there were so many of them, I was relieved and confident that things were on the upswing from here on out.

She also gave me two prescriptions for Neocate; one was written for WIC and one was a traditional prescription.  They wanted me to keep him on Neocate for 4 weeks before I attempted nursing again, both for my system to clean out and to give his system time to heal.  Neocate is wicked expensive.  I tried not to think about that at the time.

I started packing up and went down to have lunch.  Since I now knew that he had multiple food allergies that I would need to expunge from my system before I could nurse him again, I indulged a bit at lunch and had a slice of pizza and a battered chicken breast with asiago cheese melted over it.  Yum.  Honestly, it was good – okay, the pizza was excellent because who doesn’t love pizza – but at this point, I really can live without dairy!  I’ve only gotten to indulge in it for 3 months out of the last 2 years, so, it’s kind of normal now to not eat cow milk.  Still, kind of a nice treat to NOT have to pay attention to what I’m eating, or grill the cafeteria staff about every single ingredient in what I was about to eat for once.  The dairy wasn’t the treat; the nonchalance was.

In the afternoon I went downstairs to pick up Mr. Happy’s prescription of Amoxicillin, which they wanted him to stay on for the next ten days.  That hospital really is a maze.  I had to have an escort to get to and from the pharmacy.

Mr. Charm went to his follow up appointment at 12:45 p.m., and basically the doctor asked about Mr. Happy the whole time.  So, the Geek was annoyed.  He left and dropped Mr. Charm off with his boss and his wife.  Even though we were returning that night, it seemed cruel to force Mr. Charm into his car seat for 7 plus hours when we had someone perfectly lovely to watch him and let him run and play.  Since we weren’t going to be getting home until late, they agreed to keep him overnight, too.  LOVE the Geek’s boss!

Before the Geek even hit the road, they were ready to release Mr. Happy.  They just let us stay in the room longer because we really had nowhere to go.  So we watched “Toy Story” on TV and cuddled in the chair.  It was nice.

The Geek arrived and we called for someone to help us haul our stuff downstairs.  (With so much experience in hospital stays, we had an ice chest for drinks and snacks, a couple bags of snacks, plus our luggage, PLUS the wedge pillow that we didn’t realize until that moment that we owned!)  We loaded up the car and realized that neither of us had eaten dinner, and I had a month to clean out my system.  So we decided to live a little. We headed off to Outback Steakhouse for a non-restrictive meal (though this is a restaurant I can recommend visiting if you have food allergies.  They’re very accommodating).

We had Spinach and Artichoke Dip for an appetizer, I had a fairly safe meal of steak with coconut shrimp (grilled was better, though).  I even (gasp!) imbibed in a cocktail.  Since I don’t drink much, I thought it would taste like old memories.  Instead, it just tasted bad.  Then we stopped by Sonic for a gigantic chocolate milkshake.  Sigh…milkshakes are one of the harder things to live without when you go dairy free. I know I can make them at home with coconut milk ice cream, but it’s such a treat to stop in somewhere and just order a milkshake on a hot day.  Alas…our hedonistic streak over, we headed for home.

We arrived after midnight, unloaded the car, got Mr. Happy off to bed, and tried to make enough order out of the mess that remained to be able to function.  Then, off to bed.

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