Recently I spent 3 days with my beautiful child in the hospital. This was the third hospitalization in a year for her. The nature of my daughter’s medical event was severe enough that she could not be alone while in the hospital. So, again with no warning I was living in a hospital. Once again I was unprepared to live in a hospital. I’ve decided that I need to have a plan of action, or should I say a better plan of action. Honestly, having been through this two other times previously, I did have an action plan. I took my daughter’s biography (see my post ‘Of Necessity‘. I also took my ‘contact form’ that I had created. My Contact Form is a single sheet of paper that contains the contact information for my husband and I (quite helpful since when I’m in an emergency I frequently can’t remember my own phone number, let alone my husband’s work address), two Contact in case of emergency people (phone & address), doctor’s & psychiatrist’s phone numbers, insurance information, prescriptions & immunizations. This little form is super duper handy! I use it all the time. I also grabbed my favorite big sweater (hospitals are always cold). What I didn’t grab was anything the stay the night in the hospital. (In my defense, we were hoping it would be a quick trip to the ER. ). I don’t plan to have ANY of this happen ever again. I really don’t want to go back to the hospital with my child and I really, really, don’t want to sleep in the hospital again…but, I’ve found that not wanting to do something doesn’t always predict whether something will happen or not. So, I’m going to hedge my bet. I’m going to make a ‘hospital packet’. I intend to include:
shampoo & conditioner
change of clothes including socks
toothbrush, tooth paste
rubber bands, bobby pins
I will have this packet somewhere easily accessible. I may even stick it in the car.
Over this past year I’ve had people ask me what they could do for me? I always say nothing. Honestly, I can’t think of anything at the moment. Meals are pointless because we’re eating at the hospital. Cards are sweet but I may not get them for days since I’m not home. Calls & texts are nice but I can’t always respond and sometimes my brain just goes into overwhelm. Over the years I’ve known other people who’ve had a loved one who have a medical emergency. (that sentence is so not grammatically correct). I’ve always wondered what I could do to help and I’ve usually just resorted to saying something like “I’m sorry and I love you” the next time I see them. Now that I’m the one that people are wondering about I’ve actually got an answer. check on me, tell me you love me, don’t expect any answers…. and if I’m going to be in the hospital overnight, give me an overnight packet (like I described above). A care packet or care basket for the loved one who is waiting can be a really loving gesture. Friends could easily all contribute a small amount, one small item to a basket.
So, now I’m saying what I can do and what you can do……..