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When the Hospital Is Your Child's Home Away From Home

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I’m sitting next to my 5-year-old son holding his hand as yet another IV pierces his skin. Not even a flinch or a cry.

He laid perfectly still, the medical staff was very impressed and kept telling him how brave of a boy he was. I just sat there with a mustered up smile and with a heart that was breaking.

No child should ever feel this comfortable at hospitals or appointments, but the harsh reality is these places are his home away from home. 

Before we even make it to the front desk he is already sticking out his arm for his hospital issued ID bracelet.

He gives them a finger for the pulse ox, an armpit for the thermometer, and knows that his arm will get a “hug” from the blood pressure cuff.

He knows which place he will get a sucker and what place he gets ice chips.

He has the routine down pat.

His sock draw is filled with over-sized slipper socks; he is always given them during the overnight stays.

His ID bracelets if looped together, can wrap around a Christmas tree like white garland.

We are on a first name basis with the staff at the registration office in the hospital and the pharmacy doesn’t even ask who I am picking medication up for anymore.

My son can’t talk, dress, or bathe himself, but he can definitely be brave, because that is what he has had the most practice with.

a picture of the author's son saying "you are braver than you will ever know."

Originally published: April 24, 2018
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