One of the perks of being alive is feeling life flow through you. Sometimes this is all a parent carer feels thankful for. Trust me, I have been there. When you wake up day in day out in a hospital ward with your child, without a discharge date in sight, it can feel very dark inside even when the sun makes an early appearance in the sky. You may feel ready to take on all the challenges awaiting on one day while you may feel stressed when you wake up the next day. Hospital life can be so unpredictable. They can range from being quiet and having a lie in on the ward to becoming quite full on with your child having to deal with so much pain.
One good thing about being positive after all the lashing positivity gets is that it can help keep you in a good place psychologically and emotionally.You know I too like to stay positive. It can help you deal with things that are outside your control by giving you a calm head with which to face the situation. We all tend to only have the ability to give only what we have within us. If we allow ourselves to be constantly stressed, frustrated and unhappy in our mostly challenging circumstances with our children, then that stress is all we will have to give. You may find that you begin to feel very irritable and pressured. Even the best among us have reported that at such times, they tend to snap at the Health care providers (HCPs)(who by the way mostly mean well), or even start having a go at their children.
This brings me to the need to try to find if there is any way of finding this situation palatable. Can there really be anything positive about being in the hospital with your child?
How can anyone see anything positive about such an experience. Well, you will be surprised, I have squeezed out some positives that I noticed about this hospital life. The most important one being the ability to have this conversation with you through this medium. It never would have happened if I was living my old life. So for that, I am humbled. I thank you!
You learn to be patient : One virtue worth possessing in life is patience. Well, until you are stuck in hospital either as patient or carer, you would never imagine the level of patience buried within you. You have to wait, wait and wait for nearly everything. Wait for doctors to come, wait blood tests, wait for results, wait for your child’s to get better! It’s like an endurance test. This is a fine attribute that most parents in hospital posses which they take for granted. So here I am raising your awareness to it because it is a real virtue that you possess and should be proud of.
You learn that you can be creative too : Another funny lesson you learn in the hospital is how to slow down. Oh! I could just zap through life if I could. But with time you learn to perform activities very slowly to pass the time. If you do things too quickly then you are left with too much idle time which by the way fuels boredom. You start to find creative ways to pass time which only ends up being to your advantage as a human being.. At one point, I was going to the kiddies play room to collect colouring sheets to paint on. Imagine that level of boredom. You will, if you allow yourself get very creative. I know people initially struggled with this in hospital but later became gurus at passing the time. There are many activities that you can try. You can do some colouring, puzzles, crosswords, read books, browse the Internet, the list is endless.
You get in touch with your social side : A beautiful privilege you can enjoy is meeting lots of different people. I was lucky to be in a hospital as rich in its medical prowess as it was rich in diversity. People from all over the world were treated there. If you look around you in whichever hospital you find yourself, there will be many people from various walks of life. Hospital life needn’t be all doom and gloom. It can be an opportunity to meet people, exchange ideas, hear people inspiring stories about how others cope with their struggles. Such stories derived through first hand interaction can be quite strengthening.
You appreciate how adaptable your taste buds are : Although you might argue that hospital food is not the best in the world, you will agree that by trying various dishes on the menu, you become exposed to so many different types of food. do you realise that if you were not thrown into this situation, you would never have dreamt of tasting many of the near-delicacies you have experienced. Wether or not you enjoy them will be a subject for another day. So you might argue that what I said now was just putting a positive spin on your horrible food experiences. I agree but it does make sense. In all sincerity, I have increased my recipe library as a result of trying out new tastes acquired while in the hospital. Just keep an open mind, you never know what you might discover.!
You learn to be more prudent : Another important skill you acquire during a long hospital stay is prudence. Everyone knows it can be very expensive living away from home. You have feeding costs, transport costs, and even at times it can cost you your job and means of livelihood too! Sadly, not all bosses can accommodate long absences. You learn to spend wisely, find ways to reduce transport costs. For instance, I discovered that by downloading apps for the train, I could get very cheap deals on advance train tickets! You are also prudent with your time. You learn to allow the health professionals take over the care of your child if for instance you have to also see to your other kids or work etc.
You become exposed to another view of life : As you long for normalcy and wonder when you will all go home to get a decent night’s sleep in your bed you suddenly realise how you may have taken that for granted. This leads to a yearning for home like no other. One that leads you to mentally plan fun activities to participate in when you get out. Hospitalisation puts your life into perspective because it helps you realise that the things that are really important in life are not too many. The rest of the things you pursued before the hospital experience may begin to worry you less. Things like your family, food to eat, a place to lay your head become the key things. No matter your status in life, when you are in the hospital, you lose many luxuries. You lose the luxury of your kitchen and begin to make do with what you find. Most interestingly, even if you live in a mansion, hospitalisation reduces you to a squatter finding refuge beside your child on a chair, or perhaps a bed. You then appreciate your life more. All that will begin to matter tend to be mainly the family for support,
I find that to be a very valuable lesson. The lesson that health is wealth, the pursuit of all the gold and silver in the world suddenly lose their attraction and allure to the extent that I can give them up in a heart-beat for just a moment of health for my child. It helps put life into perspective, help to separate what is important from what’s not really important.
You take a break from home life! : One other perks of being in the hospital is that there is no housework! There is just you and your child but no housework. It can get very cosy from that angle especially when you later get discharged back to reality- home! In conclusion help is easily reachable when you are in hospital surrounded by medical people. When you feel low, there is always someone to talk to. Some hospitals have a chaplaincy team with religious people from all faiths waiting to give help and support. Do not forget that you can access that too and what’s more it’s free!
So, it is not all doom and gloom in the hospital. There can be some perks too (if you will allow me call it that!) Don’t forget to leave a comment below, tell us what you find positive about being in hospital as a carer or patient or even a friend or family member.
Thanks for reading.
If you enjoyed reading this, you may also enjoy some other topics we have discussed in this series.
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