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Friday, November 12, 2010

Plan ahead

Flash Back Friday - plan ahead!

I think it's important to remember that asthma can be unpredictable. I can remember one particular time when we thought we would take Son #2 to the Er "just to get some chest x-rays and make sure he was okay"

An hour later, I was standing in his hospital room in the Pediatrics wing, wearing a skirt and high heels. I hadn't thought to change after work, because I was certain he would be treated and released from the Emergency Department. Well, that's what I get for doing my own thinking.

I had to ask the nurse for a set of scrubs and some slippers that I could sleep in. They also brought a toothbrush and toothpaste-they were very nice about it.

But, since that time, I have learned to plan ahead. If I'm really worried about Son #2 or Kitty, I quickly change into a pair of workout pants, long sleeve t-shirt, sports bra, and socks with sneakers. The perfect outfit to sleep in next to the kid's hospital bed, and still be be presentable when the staff comes in to check on him (and when people come to visit)

I also have a rather large purse, so I throw in a water bottle, granola bars, trail mix, fruit and gum. I hate leaving the kid's bedside when they're in the hospital, so I try to bring everything I might need. I also grab a few magazines. Some days can be REALLY long when you have a son or daughter in the hospital. I also make sure my cell phone is charged up so I can text people.

Of course you also need to grab whatever their comfort thing is during that time- blanket, stuffed animal, portable CD player and favorite CD they listen to to go to sleep (or older kids can bring their MP3 player or Ipod.)

You may think, "oh, I don't need to bring anything, I'll be back home in a couple of hours". Well, just in case things don't go as well as planned, remember the Boy Scout motto "Be prepared".

Having a child in the hospital is an incredibly stressful time, and you can feel quite helpless. But when I bring my own water, snacks, and something to keep me busy, I feel a little more in control. I don't have to press the call light and ask the nurse for a glass of juice or a few crackers. They're much to busy to worry about that. And I feel like I have what I need, so we can hunker down in the room and pass the day watching movies, playing games or sleeping.

So, I hope none of you ever need to use this advice. But do plan for the unexpected. You will be so glad you have prepared and won't feel so much like a deer caught in the headlights. Asthma can be unpredictable, but we at least we can control our reaction to it. Good luck!

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