Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Stay

We recently went to visit a friend of ours who was staying with their child in the hospital. It brought to mind some vivid memories of when we were in and out of the hospitals with one of ours.

In case you haven't experienced the joy of extended hospital stays, here are some of the things that you are missing:

The Food
Complaints about hospital food are almost cliche. I have found that most hospitals have greatly improved their cafeterias, offering all sorts of tasty varieties and choices. But the food the patient gets is still plain old hospital food. Does food that barely even looks like food really help you recover quicker?

 The Care
Most hospital staff are genuinely caring, concerned and competent. But every now and then, you seem to get one that seems like they either don't care, or they are perhaps just exceptionally stupid. When ours was first in the hospital, we were wondering how we would be able to go home and provide proper care until we ran into this sort of stupidity. "We gotta get outta here!" was our next thought.

 I know the medical personnel have a good deal of knowledge and expertise that the rest of us don't have. That is a big reason we take our kids to the hospital when they are sick. we don't know what do do and we don't have all the stuff to deal with the problem. Nevertheless, sometimes disagreements arise.
One of the defenses for this is that we know the patient better than the staff does, so we might see something they have missed.

Some of these disagreements are minor. Some are a little bigger.

The time I was seriously considering throwing the neurosurgeon out the window if he came close with his scalpel was probably a larger one. Fortunately, I have impulse control and the Nursing staff and, finally, the head neurosurgeon agreed with us. Otherwise things may have gone badly.

The Atmosphere
Hospitals, especially ones that deal mainly with children, have taken huge strides in sprucing their places up. They paint the walls in festive colors, have activities available, leave stuffed animals every time your child has contact with anyone and makes sure all the latest electronics are available for all.

But, it is still a hospital with nurses and sick people. And the floors are still dirty. If you drop that thing on the floor, you better not plan on keeping it!

The Rest of the World
When you are in there with your kid, it is a big deal. Everything should come to a stop while the world holds a candlelight vigil for their health. But, in reality, the rest of the world and everyone you have ever known goes on about their business while you are trapped in the hospital.

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