Sunday, July 3, 2016

Tips For Surviving a Hospital Stay With Babies

Here are my top 10 ways to survive a hospital day with babies.

10. Be a 2 year old and ask why? If they're going to take urine, blood, put an IV in, not let you feed the child, not let you take the child home, whatevs, understand the WHY or WHY NOT. For me, knowing what they were doing and why helped me to do more pointed Google searches and ask better follow up questions.

9. Get every single health professionals name and write down what they said and when - Every time the doctors change shifts they tell your story to the new docs and it's like the worst game of telephone you ever played. I heard them giving the download on my baby's story and they were just dead wrong a bunch of times. OR Resident A would tell me if XYZ happened, I could go home. Then the attending would come by and say "that's not true, who told you that?" Um, 17 mfs have been by here, I don't know their damn names. They won't catch me slipping again.

8. Ask for the working diagnosis. Again, this just helped me have better Google searches. They started on Day 1 thinking it was something that would require surgery and ended up on Day 5 with a completely different diagnosis. It helped me to know what the risks were for each and what people were ruling out.

7. Ask for possible complications of each test and treatment option. This will give you an opportunity to make more informed decisions.

6. Ask different people the same question, then refer to #9. These mogs are truly just practicing medicine. It doesn't hurt to get different opinions.

5. Get your pediatrician involved. He or she will be a great resource. He or she also has your child's medical history top of mind.

4. Find a way to eat - Fortunately, my boyfriend is a chef and the hospital is across the street from our home, so we took turns going home to cook, shower, tend to Joy or whatever. So many people aren't that fortunate and hospital food is crap. CRAP! You can't be any good to a sick child if you're down on your nutrients, so ask people to bring you healthy food or be about the Grub Hub life, but don't skip meals.

3. Take help - I shared about this experience on Facebook and folks were in my inbox or texts saying: call me if you need to. And I did. And usually when people say "let me know if you need anything." "you've never been in that position before, so you don't know WHAT you need."  So every time someone offered something specific "text me anytime." "Call if you need to." "XXX" I took them up on the offer.

2. Let go of expectations - Every time I expected them to say "Lahna is fine, you can feed her." or "Lahna is fine. Go home." They didn't. Then the one night I was headed to get more clothes to stay 2 more nights, they told us to go home. I couldn't get tied to a timeframe for a positive outcome. I had to just let go in order to find peace.

1. Pray. Pray. Pray. Ultimately, no amount of questions or Google searches are going to change the outcomes. It may change my mental state or make me feel better about the decisions that we are making, but I believe in God and the power or prayer. I believe that prayer helped change the Day 1 she-may-need-surgery diagnosis to the Day 5 we-don't-see-any-problems-on-our-test-go-home diagnosis. If I believed I could change anything without God this experience would have been that much worse and it was truly horrible.

Did I miss anything?

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