• Alyse

Hospital Support

I talk about support a lot, because I know how important it is to feel supported, and I don't know if I'm the only one over here thinking to herself "wow, this feels so lonely" but wow, this feels so lonely.

I do have a lot of support in my life these days, and part of the support I get is knowing when to speak up and ask for it. That's actually difficult for me, and I have a separate post I want to write all about that. LOL So many things to write about.

When you're in the hospital people come in and out of your room like you're a celebrity. Everyone wants to meet this cool new patient. Haha. It's not actually like that, but wow, you get to know a lot of new faces. My boy was pretty popular.

I've had two new experiences these past couple of weeks while my son has been in the hospital, and also doing follow up appointments.

In the end of this long, nearly four weeks of being sick, process, he was so defeated yesterday. My heart completely broke for him, because I could visibly see his breaking.

We reached our limits yesterday at the end of one of our appointments. I had never seen my son so horribly depressed, and depression just looks different than being mad or sad in a situation. He's been so brave through all of this, and one poke too many made him look ragged. He just stopped crying, slumped forward, and was slightly non-responsive. This ghost like expression on his face, and yes, it haunts me.

He's only 7.

Many kids all across the world have to face this kind of adversity.

Yes, it's a miracle that we have come so far with our technology, and I'm so thankful that it continues to save my son's life.

But he's hurting.

While we were in the hospital, a new face arrived. She was sweet and quiet, and I wasn't really sure what her purpose was. I had been told that people would maybe come around and see if there are some activities my little boy might like to try while he killed time in his room. Mostly, he wasn't awake enough for any of them, but the thought was nice.

When she arrived, I figured that was what she was offering, and he had just suffered from his extreme headaches, and was exhausted. I nearly sent her on her way, in a passive way saying "Thanks, but no thanks." without really understanding what she was offering. My head was foggy, and I was only barely listening.

I realized what I was doing, and stopped myself and finally just said "I don't know what it is you do? What are you offering?"

She said "Support."

"What kind of support?"

At a certain point new toys, and gifts, and the offer of treats or stickers just doesn't cut it anymore. Children (and adults) need love, kindness, someone to talk to...

That's what she was offering. Support. Actual support.

She sat with us and talked to him about his next procedure, and gave him reassurance, and a sense of control over what was about to happen. She was gentle, and kind, and sat with both of us as someone to just be there for the moments that were hard and isolating.

I don't have my mother around anymore, but it was very nurturing like that. I would imagine if I did have a mom around, and a normal one that wasn't a drug addict, that's what she would do. Sit, and be there, to take some of the load for you. Talk you through it, hold your hand, and show you the power you have within yourself to still make choices in a hard situation that feels out of your control.

This has become so important to me because I do feel lonely without my mother. I felt that loneliness even when she was here. I've just never really had that sweet and reassuring hand to hold, to take away some of the fear and emotional pain. Not since I was very small like my son. Being that for both of my kids is incredibly important to me, but it's not always possible, and in these stressful situations, I shut down too. I can't give them what they need, so when someone walks into the room and offers to do that when I can't... I just want to ask them to stay. Stay until I feel strong enough to take over again, please.

I've had a lot of experiences with my family inside of a hospital setting over the course of my life, and this was the first time I've ever seen this kind of support. I want to see more of it.

Our second experience was yesterday. In the waiting room of the pediatric unit where we were to wait to see one of his specialist doctors, there was an arts and crafts table set up. They had painting/gluing paper crafts, and beads to make bracelets or necklaces.

Again, this was a first for us.

I was told it was only one day a week, because of "cost" and even the nurse agreed "with all the things we spend money on, this one seems to rank pretty high for our patients".

It just makes a world of difference.

Not only do you have a way to conquer what feels like endless boredom, but you also have these kind people helping you with your craft and connecting with you over the things you enjoy, and asking questions about who you are. They make you feel important, and loved.

Why is our world lacking in these things?!

My son has been in the hospital every year for his entire life, and from birth to now I've never seen this kind of support, and still, it's minimal.

This gets my brain going, and gives me endless ideas for how I can help create support in a world that is severely lacking in it, and I hope that fire catches, because we all need to be part of the support that each of us needs. That giving nature is incredibly powerful.

What kind of support have you experienced in these settings? Adult or child?

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