Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Odd Things I do in the Hospital as a Parent

The last couple of weeks have been chaotic. First, my family moved from the only home we have known together. If you have ever moved, then you understand the headache and pain of that.

If that wasn't enough to deal with, Jaycee started getting cold symptoms during our move. I increased her medications and hoped she would stick this one out at home. However, Jaycee's cold abruptly turned into an emergency on the 4th night in our new home. Off to the ER at 4 am we went! We have just returned from a 5 night stay in the hospital which included time in the Intensive Care Unit. 

When Jaycee is in the hospital, I assist with her toiletry needs and sponge baths. I order her food and help her get drinks. I hold her down for blood work and calm her when she's protesting another vest treatment. I give her oral medications, because she takes them better from me than the nurse. I watch her monitor and talk to doctors. This keeps me busy, tired, achy, and at times stressed.

Life with Jaycee in the hospital is just different. When I stay in the hospital, I find myself doing things I don't normally do. Some of these are coping mechanisms meant to distract myself from the chaos around me. Others are done out of boredom when things are going better for Jaycee yet we are sitting in a small room with nothing but a TV and internet.

Here's a few things I do in the hospital that I never do at home:

1. Drink sodas anytime day or night.
At home, I limit my delicious soda intake and would never indulge in them in the morning. But those limits are not present in the hospital.

2. Take showers in the middle of the day.
Morning showers are impossible due to Jaycee's needs and morning rounds. So, I tend to take a shower whenever Jaycee is eating lunch or is doing a long breathing treatment and doesn't need to be entertained by myself. Just finding twenty minutes to sneak out and take a shower is an accomplishment in the hospital.

3. Eat two candy bars in one day. Can you see I eat and drink my emotions?
Sad but true....Not even going to defend my actions on this one.

4. Binge watch an entire season of something on Netflix.
I never have time at home to watch a complete season of a show in a day or two. My husband and I have to block out time to watch a two hour movie at home and plan for interruptions. In the hospital, there are days that are thankfully boring. Jaycee might be napping or engrossed in a movie, so I start watching Netflix. Sometimes, I can't sleep at night or get woke up from an alarm causing me to watch more Netflix. The shows are a good distraction for me especially when Jaycee is making improvements. *She enjoys lots of Netflix time in the hospital too!

5. Spend an absurd amount of time on social media.
I can only watch Netflix for so long, then it's time to read my feeds from Twitter and Facebook. If you posted something on FB during an admission, I most likely read it (twice). I was so bored at times during this admission that I even went through my Google Plus feed! Being bored is a good sign, it's a sign that Jaycee is coping well in the hospital and that her care is going according to plan. I am glad I had bored moments with this admission because some are just plain scary and not boring.

Thankfully, we are home now. There are no more Pepsis at 5 in the morning. The showers are back to the evenings. I don't have access to candy bars. And, my time for Netflix and social media is back to a healthy normal, limit.

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