"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion & the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) A daily devotional especially intended to offer compassion to other challenged parents of kids with special needs. Visit our home page at www.snappin.org!
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
The Emotional Wrestle With Hospitalization
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
~ Psalm 13:2, NIV ~
What is it about modern medical facilities that so mess with
my mind?There always seems to be a
love/hate relationship going on between my local children’s hospital and
I.Rated one of the nation’s top
pediatric facilities and only Level I Trauma Unit in the area, our medical
“second home” has it all.With an adjacent
medical college and top specialists in every manner of rare disorder, I should
be grateful that my family has this place to rely upon.
Yet, I struggle between wanting my child to be admitted and
wanting my child to be home.When one of
my children is having a medical difficulty that we just cannot seem to resolve
at home, I am glad to have our children’s hospital.Whether it is tonsils and adenoids, asthma
and allergies, swallowing a dime, rheumatology, or myriad bleeding issues, I
have felt a tremendous sense of relief that God deemed me worthy of living
somewhere in the world with a facility like this.And when one of my children is having trouble
that I know they could fix at this hospital, but the doctor refuses to admit
them, I find myself distraught, convinced that it is the key to our relief.
Our children’s hospital offers some amazing things for
patients.There is a newer wing of the
hospital that has rooms with hardwood-look floors and a relaxing set-up that
rivals many top hotels.Parents have
their own little desk and TV to help endure the admission.Bathrooms are huge and sunny, with floor to
ceiling frosted windows.Kids can rent
videos and games for free from the family resource center.There are centers in the hospital for kids to
do art projects, engage in sibling activities, or hang out in a teen room.The staff are all so incredibly kind,
accommodating patients and parents in any possible way.
But the fact is, this isn’t a hotel.Everything in that hospital comes with a hefty price tag, which will knock your feet out from underneath you the minute you
think you are beginning to emotionally heal from your inpatient stay.If you have the courage to actually ask for
an itemized bill, you will surely see insane things like $10 boxes of
Kleenex.Furthermore, that expense
doesn’t necessarily buy you top notch service.Sadly, there is always a pull with the resident on the floor between administering
proper care and getting you out of that hospital quickly.It almost feels akin to the waiter standing
at your table in the restaurant, watching every bite go into your mouth, asking
you repeatedly, “Are you done yet?Are
you done yet?”.The pressure to contain
costs and get patients out the door definitely makes the inpatient experience
more stressful for families like mine.
There are many other aspects of inpatient hospitalization
that make it rough, even if you know it is the best place for your child to be
at times.When rooming in with your
child, the parent's bed is like sleeping with a coat hanger jabbing your back,
whether you fold it out or sleep on it as a couch.Sleeping in the recliner chair is an option,
but it is sleeping in a chair.If your
child is miserable and crying out for your comfort into the wee hours, it will
only add to your sleeplessness.All of
the interruptions taking vitals, drawing labs or silencing alarms going off in
the middle of the night aren’t necessarily conducive to restful recovery
either.The food stinks, it’s lonely,
and incredibly isolating as well.
So how do I process this emotional wrestle with
hospitalization?I thank God for sound
medical care!It isn’t perfect, but it
is better than much of what the world receives.My help comes from the Lord.With
each hospital stay, I pray that I get better at handling the details of the
crisis, finding help going in and coming out.I also improve at advocating for my child as I gain increasing knowledge
of the nuances of how things work in the various systems of medicine.I hate that I have to use the children’s
hospital, but I am grateful for how it has spared my children’s lives and
restored them to a livable health more than once.And good or bad, it always gives me
perspective, increasing my gratitude for life’s smallest gifts.
PRAY: Lord, calm my heart during these times of wrenching inner conflict. Thank You for good medical care. Help us when we need to recover from hospitalization. And lead us to grow in remarkable ways from the trials we face.