“Please come back to the clinic right away.”
“I’ve checked with a pediatrician at Memorial, and she agrees, your son needs to be admitted immediately.”
This is not a great way to start a weekend. A Holiday weekend. On spring break.
Yeah, don’t ask anyone in my house how spring break or Easter was. The answer you’re going to get will be more than your bargained for.
But through my experience this weekend, I came face to face with something that I’d always known but hadn’t had to experience. Good nurses can make all the difference, and pediatric nurses have to deal with two patients at all times: the child and the parent. And wow, do they do it well.
We were admitted on Friday. A quick trip to the doctor to see why he wasn’t getting better turned in to an x-ray, which turned in to a quick drive to Memorial. We got some great advice while waiting to pick up copies of the x-ray that had just been done. I was talking to my son, and trying to figure out what we should grab from home. A woman in the waiting area gave us some quick tips and a lot of sympathy. She’d been through this type of thing before. The mom tribe is strong sometimes, hopefully when you need it the most.
So, with a quick trip home to grab a few things, we were off to the hospital. While I drove I was calling to cancel and reschedule appointments for the next few days (hands free, of course!). My mind was frantically working to go through all of my commitments for the next few days, and make sure I had it all covered.
Because, you see, I’m doing this solo. My husband is overseas, and we have no family around us. So, there’s just me. And the crap has just hit the fan.
So while I am projecting the best calm mama I can for my son, inside I am frantically working through it all. Appointments had to be rescheduled or canceled. Easter Egg Hunts? Not going to make those. Easter Bunny on Sunday? Probably not going to happen. And then there’s the part of my brain that is trying to process what is happening with my son, how bad is this? We are headed to the hospital after all. That is never a good sign.
And this mental mess is what the nurse had to deal with when we arrived. The calm, reassuring nurse. Who got us settled, explained how the floor works, what needed to be done, and how she would help us with everything. The one who double checked that no, my 3 year old would not be allowed in the hospital. The nurse who kept reassuring me that my baby would be okay. The one who let me know it was okay to leave him there. Where I’ve never taken him and scares the crap out of me to leave him, but I don’t have any choice. Because it’s just me, and there is no one to take my 3 year old, who isn’t allowed to visit.
So, I will spend the next few days shuttling back and forth between home where the 3 year old is being watched by his less-than-thrilled older sister, and the hospital where my older son looks worse every day. This is not a great way to spend your time.
Through it all, was the reassuring presence of the nurse. Her face and her name would change with each shift. But it’s amazing how each of them had this wonderful, calming, ‘it’s okay mom, I’ve got this” quality.
I absolutely cannot thank them enough. They were there for him when I could not be. They checked on him. Got him movies to watch, and pop to drink. They answered my call first thing in the morning when I wanted to know how his night had been. They updated me on anything I had missed while I was gone. They checked on things that I noticed, without ever dismissing me or my concerns.
When your child is in the hospital, and all you want is to be there with them, to look over them and care for them, it is the hardest thing in the world. And I have to say, that each and every one of them got it. Each of them made sure to tell me that it was okay, he would be well cared-for in my absence. And he was.
For that, for all of their care and compassion for both me and my son, I have to say thank-you. And for any of you out there that might have to suddenly head to the hospital to admit your son, rest assured: they’ve got this. That’s a huge peace of mind that can’t be bought.
To the nurses of the Pediatric Ward at Memorial Hospital-THANK YOU! More than words can say from this very tired, worn out, stressed out mom. Thanks for getting both of us through it.