Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Guide to Surviving Hospital Visits...

Nobody want to spend an evening in the emergency room with their kid. But if there's a chance you may have to go (and when you have active kids there is ALWAYS a chance you'll have to go) there are definitely ways to make the wait easier.

1. Pack a bag.
          Unless you're in a call an ambulance kind of emergency (which I hope you'll never be in) then you have a few minutes to pack a bag. Trust me, you'll be grateful 2 hours later when your kid is full of energy and the other patients in the ER are looking at you as though you gave birth to a demon-human hybrid. A pencil and a pad of paper, a few dinky cars, books and stickers will go a long way in keeping your kid occupied and a book will help you fill your time if your child blessedly falls asleep.

2. Take a camera. Or your smartphone, tablet computer or laptop.
          Funny faces can keep my boys occupied for hours. We take turns making the silliest faces we possibly can and then spend even more time browsing through them and laughing until our faces hurt. The tablet, laptop or smartphone can also be utilized as an electronic nanny with games and videos.

3. Stop caring.
          Not about your kid! But about the people who may look at you because you're laughing too loud or your singing is off-key. Seriously. Your screaming, tired, stressed-out kid will be much more bothersome if you're not having fun.

4. Visit.
          If your child is ambulatory (ie. can walk) because they are visiting for stitches or some other superficial wound, take a peek around the cubicle and get to know your neighbour. At least a dozen times I've had people thanking me for making them smile while in the hospital. The boys show off their funny faces, I'll run and grab some juice from the vending machine and next thing you know we have a new family on our Christmas card mailing list.

5. Be patient.
          If your child isn't being seen right away it's because they are not in danger. Take a moment to be thankful that you're not there for something more serious and instantly you'll notice the stress being lifted right off your shoulders. It COULD be worse. It ISN'T. So be patient.

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