Sick child on admission? Never did I know that a mother and her baby or her little child can be on admission in the hospital for long. My experience with my 12 year old daughter very recently on admission in the hospital has really inspired me to write this post. It has opened my eyes to see another side of life. I hope this piece will encourage many women in this shoes as they read.
When you and your sick child are in the hospital
Does that mean you should look gloomy and morose when your baby or child is sick or medically challenged and on admission? Whether it’s for an already planned procedure or an unexpected emergency, having a young child in the hospital is physically, emotionally and psychologically exhausting. Not only are you worried about your child’s safety and wellness, you’re worried about taking care of the rest of the family. Also you’ve got your work or business to handle – all at the same time. And in the midst of all these, taking care of yourself too is of a paramount value.
Here are five tips you could take from to help you stay happy and be positively minded that your child will be well and come out of the hospital feeling totally fine.
- Take good care of yourself
- Knowing what to expect
- Talk with parents with similar hospital experience:
- Still looking after other family members
- Ask your baby’s doctors questions
Take good care of yourself:
Now this is one vital way in the journey to the wellness of your baby. The positive mental picture you have about your sick child coming out fine helps to keep you going on. This reflects on how you look at your sick child and take good care of him/her despite the very challenging situation of your kid, staring at you in the face.
Say a short prayer to God first to start the day, committing also everything including the situation to Him.
As much as possible take your bathe very early in the morning say 4am or 5am when all activities are at a very low key and wear something good for the day that will help your mood. If you are the type that do not like bathing early you may find it for evenings. Just make sure it is not a time when your attention will be needed by the doctors or nurses. The time your child will bathe too has to be taken into consideration. You either take him or her along when you want to bathe in the morning or bathe him before or after you. If child can’t leave the bed, Ensure that you clean him up well.
Play some inspirational music that will encourage you and other mums in the ward.
Ensure that you eat healthily and talk to the doctor if there’s any pressing issue as regards your own health too.
You’re not sleeping well, it’s obvious but still try to get enough rest.The only available bed space for you and other mums or dads in the ward as the case may be is probably the chair you sit on to tend to your sick child. Do not allow this to affect you as you would need to be moving up and down in the daytime to get some things done for your child, making very important decisions and being strong for your sick child.You might need to take a quick nap in the day too, when doctors are not attending to your baby or child in order to make up.
Take occasional breaks from your caregiver role. Try getting outside for fresh air or even away from the hospital for a few hours, if possible.
Therefore, making sure to take care of yourself can help you maintain that right frame of mind and attitude for your dear child. That includes getting enough rest, eating well, and taking occasional breaks from your caregiver role, getting outside for fresh air or even away from the hospital for a few hours, if possible.
Knowing what to expect:
This can really make the process a bit easier. As soon as you know your child will be hospitalized, it is good to ask your doctors how you can best prepare. You’ve got to be the best parent you can during this extremely trying time. Try as much as possible with your husband to minimise all forms of shock and surprises to the bearest level.
This way you have an idea of what to expect although you may not have control over it. With this, you are guarded not to blow things out of proportion or immediately imagine the worst-case scenario. You will know if your child is going to be intubated, what that will look like, or going for a surgery, will undergo a colostomy, if he/she will have side effects or swelling or scars.
Talk with parents with similar hospital experience:
This can also help you to keep the right attitude. Talk with other parents whose child has had or is undergoing a similar hospital experience. This may be either in person or online. You may even join a WhatsApp group where you can relate and share your experiences. The medical team may be able to connect you with another family or refer you to a support group.
There is a kind of effect that can be really assuring and reassuring, that hearing these firsthand experiences, could have on you and your partner(both the good stuff and also how these other parents dealt with the challenging stuff).
‘Babies and small children bounce back so much faster than you or I,” says Janine Rosenberg, PhD, a pediatric psychologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who works with kids with facial birth defects, “especially if the parent is able to stay strong and positive throughout their time there.”
Still looking after other family members
If you have other children or responsibilities to take care of, you need to quickly make some wise decisions as per the people who are going to help you logically, emotionally, and even spiritually during your child’s stay in the hospital.
This may be your partner, your good friends and family members who can run errands, or just lend an helping hand in the hospital for you or at home. Also your religious leaders, coworkers, and mental health professionals are not left out in this deed.
Ask your baby’s doctors questions:
As a parent, feel free to ask your child or baby’s doctor as many questions as you have and make sure your concerns are heard. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If possible you can make a list of questions for the medical staff, so you’re prepared when they stop by for a visit.
Doctors have a very hectic schedule and their time with each patient is limited. So having a list of questions in hand will help you not to forget anything bothering your mind.
If you don’t understand or agree with the medical staff’s plan, you can ask for clarification or alternatives that might be available.
Discharged at last
Finally it’s time to be discharged. Baby is OK and you’re good too. But do you know that even when your child is ready to come home, discharge can actually be one of the scariest times for parents?
The stress of making clearances might become so overwhelming. You suddenly find yourself moving from one place to another to make some unexpected and highly exorbitant payments and so on. Not only that, the distance between these places may be quite far.
Now, having your child home is great joy. And having fully prepared to care for him or her once you get home will doubtedly give you even a greater joy. Being home will surely relieve some of the emotional strain of the past days or weeks too.
Don’t forget to share your experiences and comments with me. Thanks. See you next time!