Monday, September 24, 2012


When Jacob is sick I become a true clean freak. Don't take me wrong. I am a neat freak baseline. I do better in a neat house than a messy house. I especially don't do well with clutter. A clean house calms me, and makes me feel better about life.

But when Jacob is sick in the hospital, I do become a clean freak. A serious clean, neat freak that you can't stop. I will go through my house like a maniac ready to kill any germs in sight! I will see things that needs to be cleaned that I would typically never pay attention to or spend the time on. I will feel an urgency to get it done right away.

On Saturday night after a long intense day that ended with Jacob in the PICU, I started cleaning. I throw Jacob's poopy clothes in the washer. I throw out his suction canisters. I stocked up his room with new supplies - everything from diapers to gloves. I throw out the formula that I knew we wouldn't use that night, but at the same time cleaned out the whole fridge. I wiped down all kitchen countertops, vacuumed the kitchen floor, and cleaned the stove, the fridge, the freezer, and the dish washer. I organzed our bills and filed them away. I sorted and put laundry away. I cleaned off smoothie from Sarah's carpet, and decided to organize her room a little bit more. I updated our family calendar. And I fell into bed long past midnight, exhausted from pure cleaning. I was too wiped out to worry about my son at that point.

One of my favorite nurses in the PICU is a guy. One time when Jacob wasn't too sick, we got to chat a little bit more. We talked about how you handle emergencies at work, and how you are able to balance that with your other parts of life. He told me his secret. He is a clean and neat freak! He told me that he needs to have his personal life and home in perfect shape in order to handle the constant chaos at work. I thought it was an interesting theory, and I realized that I could draw some parallells to my own life.

When things get out of control, when things get really scary and ugly, I want my house clean. It gives me some sort of feeling of normalcy in the middle of chaos. It gives me a place where I feel calm, and at home, no matter what illness we're fighting together with Jacob. But as Jacob's room is in perfect condition - all pillows neatly put away, no laundry in the laundry basket, all supplies neatly piled up, no dirty suction canister, no med syringes, I do miss him even more. The room is missing it's most precious thing, Jacob himself.

Tonight, I really miss my boy here at home, and I am too tired to clean after not getting enough sleep in the hospital last night. We do think our boy is doing better. This pneumonia and atelectasis will take a while for Jacob to recover from, but the medical team is all on board that we should try to get Jacob home as soon as he is stable and continue to care for him at home.

What a coincidence, Dr. E. was at Denver Botanical Gardens on Saturday as well. She had just left when we called 911. I am happy that I could spare her that moment. She loves Jacob so much, and I just wouldn't have liked her to see him in so much distress. I also don't know if it would have been good to have two Mama Bears in charge at the same time!

I hope that I will write next that our little Jacob is home once again.

Much love,


  1. I am the same...for me, it is one thing I can control! I hope Jacob is home tomorrow to recover the rest of the way! Hugs

  2. Sounds like you are nesting and ready to bring your baby boy back home to nurse back to health! (as a type A personality -- I can relate:) Praying he will be back in his clean, loving home soon!!

  3. I totally get it. When thIngs are good the house is a mess, when there out of control, I control the only thing I can. The house.

  4. Thanks everyone! Apparently I cleaned a little bit too much! This morning I realized that we had no extra suction canisters in the house...The supplier only had 1 (!) in stock, so they delivered it to the hospital, so we can take jacob home today. Deana, thanks for bringing one as well! I prefer to have one per floor in our house, since we use them so frequently, especially with pneumonia in the house!