7 Tips to Help You Through Your Kid's First Hospitalization

August 20, 2011 – Holly's first hospitalization.

I stood there, in the pediatrics section of the ER, waiting for the staff to prepare our room. Holly's fever is at 38° already and her cough just wouldn't stop.

As I stood by our station, holding the sick baby as she wouldn't stay in bed, I listened with sadness at the outbursts and screams of the sick children around me. Never did I expect this to be emotionally draining, stressful, and just downright depressing. I went into this battlefield unarmed, thinking that this won't be any different than a regular check-up. It was a good thing I took a quick shower.

But thankfully, we managed to survive and come back home after three days of hospital care. And to help all my fellow first-time moms, here are 7 tips to help you through your kid's first hospitalization:
  1. Bring a family member or a friend with you to the hospital.  Being in a room full of sick children crying and screaming after being pierced with the nasty dextrose needle can be extremely overwhelming.  Have at least one person you trust to calm and comfort you.
  2. Always stay by your kid's side.  If he's the type to cry over bright lights, the sound of the nebulizer, or the sight of women and men in scrubs, you'll need to be there to comfort him.  Luckily for me, Holly's a brave little girl and only freezes like a statue whenever the nurses would visit her.
  3. Have snacks, a bottle of water, and a warm blanket with you.  You can never be too sure if the hospital's cook can really cook, or if the hospital room won't get too cold.
  4. Check the dextrose tube, even during the wee hours of the morning.  If you're kid tosses and tuns in her sleep or is restless during the day, the tube might tighten and all hell will break loose.
  5. Entertainment is your friend.  Bring toys, books, or simply tune in to Disney Junior to keep your kid pre-occupied and entertained.  Being at the hospital can be very boring.
  6. Ask all of your questions as soon as your kid's pediatrician comes through the door. As a parent, it is your right and your duty to find out the stats of your kid's condition.  Only your pediatrician can tell you straight facts about what is going on, and so can advise you on what medicines to give.
  7. Use your Philhealth benefits, or be ready to pay a fortune for hospital bills.  They'll charge you for everything they used on your kid, from urine collectors to transferring of rooms (even when it's the hospital's fault).  Oh, and pray that your attending physician will give you a discount on his or her professional fees.
Lastly, pray for strength.  Prayer helps in calming your troubled heart during such trying times, so never forget to ask for the Father's help.

What was your kid's first trip to the hospital like?  Share your stories in the comments!

Stef Gonzaga is a 21-year old mom, a freelance writer, an online shopper, and a tech maniac. Read about her life at The Steffi G. Blog, learn everything you need to know about freelancing at The Freelance Pinoy, or connect with her via Twitter @stefgonzaga.


Chino said...

Good day,

My name is Chino Ragragio, I’m a dad, and for some time now, an associate manager in an advertising company. As a parent I have to say, I can relate to your joys and woes with having kids. It’s tough and I love it, especially when you have to work out the balance between office and spending time with my son. But nothing beats coming home and being greeted by the little one. Somehow, his simplest and purest of gestures take away all the stress. No matter how “kulit” he may be, at the end of the day when you’re tucking him to bed, the only thing that comes to mind is how thankful and blessed I am to have him (certainly angels when they’re asleep).

I just have to say I admire your blog and the following it gets. In that note, may I invite or request you to share a little something about the importance of kids’ play-time, not video games or anything digital. I mean the engaging, active fun of spending the afternoons under the sun.

I’m currently working for a project with PLAY Universal, a social enterprise that focuses on the integral role of this kind of play in the development of kids. As a parent, I adhere to their advocacy, and I believe it to be my duty (aside from the fact that I’m an advertising executive), to help increase awareness and create a groundswell.

We are inviting bloggers to spread the word, and I certainly hope you could. We have workshops on October at SMX and we’re also inviting parents and educators to participate. I can give you more details about the campaign and if you wish to get in touch, you can reach me at: chino.ragragio@gruposorbetero.com

With that we would also like to invite you to get to know more about Play Pilipinas. There will be a workshop on August 26, this Friday, for the semi-finalists of our design contest. The first part of the workshop will offer an introduction about Play Universal’s background.

You don’t have to attend the entire workshop, but we encourage you to sit with us, at least until after lunch. It can be an opportunity for you to get to know the director and the organizers. We’ll also be able to discuss the blog posts in person, and an opportunity to answer your questions about the campaign.

The event will take place at the Community Center of Blue Ridge B in Quezon City (see map below). The event starts at 9 AM and ends at 5 PM. Lunch will be served.

We look forward to seeing you! Please let me know if you would be able to make it.

Thanks and regards,
Chino Ragragio

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