Monday, 13 March 2017

Secret shopper, the hospital version

If there was ever a job similar to a "secret shopper" but for people spending time at hospitals I think that it might be up my alley.  In the last week I have spent substantial time at 3 different hospitals in 3 different cities.  Fortunately most of our time spent at the hospitals was for scheduled appointments and not a health emergency.  Our more complex sibling group have never ending medical appointments and it seems that every time they see a medical professional at least one of them is referred to another doctor, for another procedure or is given a new diagnosis.  I really had thought this would have slowed down by now as they have been "home" now for 8 years, however it seems that the more we know the less we know.

We are constantly working too provide some sense of a normal childhood into our kids lives, which for us means really focusing on taking time to play between all of the appointments and procedures.  One of our recent hospital visits was over 3 days so we decided to make it into a mini vacation.  We booked 2 hotel suites too accommodate the 12 of us, prepared some meals in advance that we could throw into the crockpot we packed with us and headed off for some fun.  When one child had an appointment we took turns supporting them while the rest of the family swam in the hotel pool or went to a local playground.  After the appointments one day we visted Science World, another day we visted the local Aquarium and each day we spent many hours in the hotel pool, which we had to ourself each time, to the delight of the children.  Having all this fun planned also helped ease the anxiety for the child with the appointments as it gave them something else too focus on.

Our drive too provide some normalcy in the children's life has been reinforced after speaking to a few people who grew up requiring many medical appointments/treatments.  My father in particular tells stories of the adventures him and my grandmother would have when they needed to travel to the "city" for his hospital visits.  I hope my children can tell similar tales, with fond memories, to their children when they are older.

If you have a child that requires multiple appointments and hospital visits what do you do too provide a sense of normalcy?

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