What do you do to while away hours in a hospital? Besides the fact that everyone has wireless laptops now? I'm in the hospital for a few days. My son (13) is beginning another limb-lengthening (secondary to the fact that he had cancer at age 3 and his femur isn't growing) procedure. Today they put on the external fixator. Nasty little procedure that!
What's a mom to do in order not to go insane?
Well, I decided to write a post! It's somewhat unhealthy therapy, isn't it?
The number one thing to do is to worry about everything. How much pain he's in, how white his lips look, whether he's getting enough to drink and staying hydrated, how much he's bleeding, whether he's got warm blankets or not....the potential list for mother's is endless!
The number two thing, and my personal favorite at the moment, is to complain about the residents! Some of my best friends were residents once, but I choose to ignore that reality when I come face to face with the arrogance and lack of consideration shown by some of them. I do believe my son has learned the majority of his swear words listening in on my conversations with residents - I don't take being put off by them very well! I've learned, over the past 10 years, that I am the best advocate my son will ever have and that medical professionals - while I truly respect and admire them - aren't infallible! What galls me is when I come up against residents. I have no idea why they bother me so much, but they just send my hackles flaring!!!!!!
The number three thing is to work and take my mind off my own reality. It's very cathartic, especially given that I work with an organization working to help wounded troops. I was walking the halls of the children's hospital thinking of all the mothers who are worried about their sons and daughters in hospitals around the country and world. I held them all in my thoughts and prayers as I walked the halls. I also thought of the hundreds of seamstresses out there working to provide comfort and decency to wounded troops and to the thousands of volunteers in so many organizations working to help the troops and others. I was thankful for their willingness to reach out and bring comfort to others in hospitals.
The number four thing is to thank God that my own crisis is nothing compared to many around me. Boy, nothing puts your own life in perspective as time in a Children's Hospital. So many people enduring so much as parents that I can't even begin to imagine! There are some really amazing parents and children out there who daily encounter situations and stresses that I couldn't begin to handle. Held them in my thoughts and prayers too, while I was walking around the halls.
The number five thing I do to while away my day is to read mind-numbing useless novels. I swear it keeps your mind sane. Nothing like jumping into another reality to keep your mind off the nerves jumping out of your skin. Where do they get these plots???? There's another post though!
The last thing I do is thank God for the people who are willing to become medical professionals. I realize this may seem like it's in contrast to my diatribe on Residents, but they aren't really medical professionals yet, are they???? Seriously though, these dedicated men and women astound me.
I recently had the opportunity to go to Landstuhl, visit patients and load a medivac. The wounded troops always astound me with their courage, chutzpa and determination. What I didn't fully appreciate before was the 24/7 compassion and dedication of the military medical and support personnel. They astounded, humbled and impressed me. People in this line of work go above and beyond in service to their patients. As one member of the team that transports patients to and from the flight line told me, " It's more than a profession, it's a ministry". So true. And here I am, once again, relying on these angels to carry my son and myself through another medical crisis! They do it so well and they do it day in and day out. For all of you out there involved, in whatever way (yes, even residents!) in the medical profession - thank you! Bless you for your dedication to the patients you serve and their families who are witnesses to your capacity for kindness, caring and the many miracles you provide us with daily!
We'll be in the hospital for another three days or so and then we begin the long and painful process of breaking and stretching my son's femur bone! I'll let you know if I come up with any other methods of fending off madness, and if you have any suggestions......For now, he's sleeping and I think I'll try to stretch out in the comfy pull out lounge chair and sleep.