Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hey brother, can ya' spare a snot-sucker? -OR- How I Felt Like A Criminal At The Hospital

If you're a parent, then you already recognize the importance of the beautiful blue item pictured here.

For the uninitiated, let me be the first to tell you that the bulb syringe (AKA Blue Bulb of Doom...AKA Snot-Sucker) is an essential piece of equipment in every new parents' toolbox. Infant congestion is not fun for anyone and the sounds a congested baby emits do not make for pleasant listening. When one is without a proper Snot-Sucker, everybody suffers.

My wife has a bad habit of leaving this thing at the baby sitter's house when she picks up Izzy. We have another bulb syringe that came in a first aid kit, but it doesn't work as well. As we've already covered, a stuffy baby is a real bummer. So, I decided that today I was going to find another, duplicate bulb syringe to keep at the sitter's house. As a Father-of-the-Year award nominee (in my own head), I thought that made a lot of sense.

Acquiring one was not as easy as I expected. I figured Walgreens would have one, but they did not. They DID have a more modern, battery powered version of the snot sucker. However, I was not prepared to spend 20 bucks on something like that.

Now...I would consider myself a reasonably intelligent and logical man, so I decided to go to the hospital's birthing unit to see if the nurses had an extra bulb syringe. This is where my day continued to go south. I strolled up to the nurses desk and asked if I could have one of these syringes to take home. The nurses behind the counter seemed reluctant to comply with my request and threw a knowing look to one of the other nurses. Immediately, I knew something was up.

The nurse that received said glance (You know...the one who is perpetually having a bad day) spoke up and asked, "What are you going to use it for?"

What am I going to use it for? Is there some sort of illicit or illegal act that one can do with this syringe and I haven't heard about it yet? I'm going to take it home and frost a cake with it, lady. No...I explained that our child was congested and that I would be using the device to extract snot. This really put her on alert. The nurse looked at me like I had two heads.

"She seems a little old for this. Did your pediatrician tell you to do this?" she asked.

"Yeeaaaaah," I responded slowly. I filled her in on my situation (IE wife forgetting it at babysitter's, etc).

She then proceeded to tell me that Izzy was a little old for this and that she shouldn't need it. I then wanted to ask her if she actually had kids and does she realize just how much snot a two and a half month old generates. While I didn't say that, the look on my face must have read that I meant business because she took a little walk to the supply room and gave me one.

This lady really irked me. I mean, is there some way that people are melting these things down and getting high? Why was she so suspicious of me? I just wanted a spare to keep at the baby sitter's house.

For the record, I described this nurse to my wife and she's pretty sure she dealt with her when she was in the hospital giving birth to Izzy. She was a pain then, too.


Hannah said...

That's kind of the most ridiculous excuse I've ever heard. "She's too old for that?" She's 6 weeks old! Or do most babies suddenly gain the necessary fine motor skills needed to blow their own noses?

Good for you for keeping it together...and providing ample snot-suckers for your family!

Wethington Family said...

The lady is clearly insane! Even Sophie is still on the snot-sucker therapy. Until they can blow their own little noses, it's all we have man!

Perez said...

You need to find a friend in the materials management area of the hospital. I used to work in one and let me tell you, things "fall" on the floor all the time and then need to be "thrown away".

I may or may not have a medical kit at home with "discarded" items.