It's VERY difficult having a child in the hospital. I should know - my two youngest kids were hospitalized 14 separate times (two of those were in ICU.) All three of my kids have asthma, and they would end up in the hospital with pneumonia, RSV, or from breathing smoke from a forest fire.
It can really rip your world apart.
Everyone's life is going on, and you are in the hospital with a VERY sick kid. It's stressful and scary! Sometimes you look out the window and are jealous of the other people driving down the road without a care in the world. Did I mention how scary it can be?
And you are sitting next to a very sick child. Hooked up to oxygen, an IV, and sometimes a heart monitor too.You hear the beeping of the machines, have endless visits from nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists and nurse's assistants. You can set your watch by the respiratory therapist coming in to give your child a breathing treatment every 4 hours (around the clock.) If they were really bad, it would be every 2 hours.
You can't sleep with all of the medical personnel dropping by the room, the endless beeping of the machines, and the stress of the situation.
Then you have other kids at home. So you worry about that - who is taking care of them? In our case, Hubby and I would take turns at the hospital, never leaving our child's side. The other parent would go home to shower and change and spend time with the other kids.
Friends and family would ask how they would help. Tell them! Don't be shy.
Ask for someone to drive your carpool shift for school aged kids. Have someone take your garbage can out to the curb. Let your friends come help with laundry. Let people shovel snow/rake leaves/mow your lawn (depending on the season.)
Have someone help with the other kids. They are scared too. It's the perfect time for friends and family to spoil them with mini golf, going to the movies, going out to eat, riding bikes, skiing, etc. Doing something - anything - to help ease their stress.
If you have a friend who has a child in the hospital, drop off a goodie bag for her. When someone would drop off a goodie bag for me, it gave me a tiny moment of joy. Knowing that I have friends that cared enough for me to drive to the store and load up on mini bags of crackers, fruit snacks, candy and gum. (I never felt like eating, but would snack on crackers, cheese, fruit, etc.) One friend even brought a batch of fresh (and still warm) chocolate chip cookies because I was craving them. (And it's not an easy to drive to the hospital, go through security and come up to our hospital room.)
They would also add in Dr. Pepper and chocolate (chocolate makes everything better, right?!) and a few magazines to thumb through.
I have been lucky enough to have friends drop goodie bags off to me over the years.
It's my turn now.
I have a Wonderful Friend who has a daughter in the hospital. It's been a
ROUGH 2 weeks for their family. My heart hurts for them. You have good and bad days in the hospital. Sometimes it's two steps forward and one step back. It can be really discouraging.
I felt that I needed to bring a goodie bag for her. What joy I had in packing her favorite treats, caffeine, magazines and hand sanitizer and driving up to the hospital.
It's amazing how healing a goodie bag and a good strong hug from a friend can be.