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24 Things Special Needs Parents Know About Their Children’s Hospital

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1) You know where the nearest children’s hospital is no matter where you are in your state, country or continent.

2) You know exactly how many gallons of gas it takes to get to your hospital.

3) You know which gas stations on the way to your hospital are safe for potty breaks, diaper changes, bottle refills and Diet Coke refills.

4) You know which fast food places on the way to your hospital are the cleanest/freshest/nicest/quickest/have the best ice.

5) You know exactly how many minutes it takes to get from your driveway to your children’s hospital parking garage.

6) You know which level of the hospital’s parking garage you will be parking in based on time of day, day of the week and season.

7) You know exactly how long it will take you to park in the hospital’s parking garage, unload, take the elevators, find a bathroom to change your child out of pajamas into real clothes (or another set of pajamas) and still get to your appointment 15 minutes early.

8) You know you get fewer stares at your hospital than at any other place. You feel normal as soon as you walk through the doors.

9) You know exactly how long it takes to get from one of your hospital’s campuses to any of the others.

10) You know exactly how early the hospital security guards will let you into the cafeteria when they’re supposed to make you wait for the official outpatient time.

11) You know all the best waiting areas to watch Nick Jr. shows on your computer until you can get into the next waiting area.

12) You know where to find the largest bathrooms.

13) You know where to find the smallest bathrooms.

14) You know which food is offered at mealtimes all day and on special days and how much it costs.

15) You know which specialists at your hospital want your co-pay at checkin vs. checkout.

16) You know the exact order of the checkin questions and look psychic in the eyes of the newest person at the register desk.

17) You know all your techs and nurses by name… and you know their kids’ names.

18) You know which parent is there for the first time and needs reassurance, directions to the nearest bathroom, cafeteria recommendations and a hug.

19) You know which hospital snack cart has the best treats.

20) You know to pack an outpatient bag, inpatient bag and overnight bag. Just in case.

21) You know which hotels near your hospital are the best fit for your child’s needs and which ones let you take extra continental breakfast in your purse.

22) You know your time at the hospital will cost you a hefty amount.

23) You know it’s always worth it if your child is well cared for.

24) You know your child is loved.


P.S. Thank you to Children’s Mercy in Kansas City (all campuses) for your dedication and service.

This post originally appeared on Little House in the City.

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Originally published: January 5, 2015
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