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3 Reflections I Have After My Child's Hospital Stay

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As a mom of two children with special needs, hospital visits are unfortunately inevitable for my family. Whether we’re there a few hours or a few days, there is always a period of reflection after my child is discharged. Here are three thoughts from our last visit:

1. The hospital staff doesn’t know how truly amazing they are.

Doctors, nurses, child life specialists, the maintenance staff, food service, cleaning crews and every other hospital staff member probably do not know the difference they are making every day. I’m sure they are reminded from time to time, but they are all truly amazing. They get up early, stay late, and give their best each and every day. The nurse who did a heel poke on my baby for her newborn prescreening has no idea that she saved my child’s life. The doctor who took the extra 10 minutes to talk to my daughter about her stuffed animal doesn’t know that she named the bunny after him because he made her smile. The nurse who reassured me at 2 a.m. that my daughter is doing great and her vitals look good doesn’t realize she helped relieve my anxiety. Thank you to each and every one of you.

2. There’s a chance it can get better.

It is hard to understand all the “whys.” Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does that baby across the hall have to go through this? Why would a child have to fight for their life? Why us? Why him? Why her? But I’m reminded it can always get better each time I see a child being released, a parent signing the discharge papers, and smiling faces.

3. Appreciate what you have.

This part of the reflection always happens as we pull into the driveway of our home. A sense of relief consumes my body as I am reminded to appreciate every moment I have, celebrate every part of my life and be grateful for every breath I take. After our last visit to the hospital, my daughter wanted to run through the sprinkler. It was too late, too cold and we were too exhausted, but we ran through the sprinkler anyway because we so appreciated being able to come home.

Originally published: July 12, 2016
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