Sofie has always been a healthy girl, she had fever and colds from time to time but nothing that would warrant my toddler's hospital stay to be longer than a few hours. Last April though, Sofie had pharyngitis it was not so bad that the doctor just gave us prescription and we were sent home. She was fine for a couple of weeks until she started having sore throat and fever two weeks ago. She refused to eat and was not her usual bubbly self, her behavior was very odd, she was irritable and cried at every little thing. I almost got really mad at her because she didn't want to move when we were dressing up for bed, when I touched her she already had a fever and of course I felt really guilty.
The next morning hubby and I decided to take her to the hospital and we were asked to stay for observation. Nothing tears the heart more than hearing our daughter scream "Mommy help me! Mommy help!" while the doctors were attending to her. Hubby and I were helpless and panicked. I was carrying her on my lap while the nurse was getting some blood for the tests and for the life of me I swear I could hear a familiar melody mixed with squeaking birds and crashing stuff in my ear along with my daughter's cries. I turned around and there he was, my lovable husband,sitting right behind me, playing Angry Birds on the iPod!
Me: "Seriously?! Lab? Seriously?!"
Hubby: "I'm only playing to entertain Sofie so she will not think of the pain. She likes Angry Birds!"
Right! I did not fight that, I juuuuuuust let that one slide. I mean, he thinks he has a point and in his world he probably does, so whatever! Our real enemy was the pharyngitis that threatened to become strep throat, we actually thought it was strep but turned out to be a different bacteria. Enough with the technical stuff. So there we were, a level short of completing Angry Birds Seasons and stuck in the hospital for 4 days. This was our toddler's first hospital stay and you can imagine the horror, me and my cranky toddler stuck in a small room for four freaking days! Here are some tips on how we survived our toddler's hospital stay.
1: Be prepared - Unless your kid encounters an emergency, you will have at least an hour to prepare stuff to bring to the hospital. Aside from the child's clothing and personal items, do not forget to bring comfort items.Bring favorite toys, books, blanket and even snacks, these will help ease your child into the idea of staying in an unfamiliar place. Parents or caregivers should also bring their favorite stuff too.
2. Explain - My sister always says that information is everything, so explain to your child why you are staying in the hospital and why the doctors and nurses are doing procedures. Be honest but not brutal. This will make your child feel important and less likely to feel afraid. Sofie was trying to pull out her IV and I told her that the "water" goes into the "straw" so her arms will not be thirsty and it will make her feel better. What else was I supposed to say, she's three!
3. Empathize - By the time we got admitted and sent to her room, she was already afraid of anybody resembling a health professional. I told her that we are staying in the hospital because we want to make her feel better, I told her that Mommy and Daddy are also afraid but we will hold hands and drink medicine to make her feel better. Of course it still took three people to hold her down and make her drink her meds, but she was more cooperative when it came to blood tests. It's strange but I'll take what I can get.
4. Trust your Gut - You know your kid more than anyone and you are your child's best advocate. Tell the nurses and the doctors if your child is uncomfortable with their treatment and help them help your child as well. Be prepared and research about your child's condition, this help you be a better advocate when dealing with doctors. You will know which questions to ask and what procedures you will ask or allow the doctors to do during your toddler's hospital stay.
5. Have Fun at the Hospital - This seems hard to do, with all the anxiety you and your toddler will be feeling but the reason why they say that laughter is the best medicine is because it works. Playing games and telling stories offer a nice break from all the "scary" stuff. Here are some of our hospital photos where "Hubby and I" had too much fun.
|I don't really know how to explain this photo.|
|Seriously! These people are sick! I am sooooo out of here!|
Have tips for toddler's hospital stay? Share it in the comments section ;-)