As this blog grows, I'll work on these tips as I spend quiet time (Ha) to put thoughts together...
For the Mom's personal sanity:
* Bring a real mug or tea cup. Styrofoam does something to our sensibilities that porcelain or pottery remedies.
* Bring real clothes for your child and utilize as much of it as you're able. Button-up shirts work just fine over IVs and for vitals checks. Pants, shorts, skirts, even socks ~ comforting for you and the little one.
* Bring your favorite, pretty, comfortable clothes and toiletries and do your normal "getting ready." Trust me on this; since you have to be there for 2 weeks (probably), it's worth it. Like wearing pretty underwear. Helps.
* Take a few minutes each day to stretch, do squats, take your child for a walk. Exercise helps, too.
* If someone asks to help, take a deep breath and swallow any pride or shyness and say "Yes. Could you please come and stay with Junior for a few hours so he won't be alone and so that I can go do whatever." Then go home and color with your other kids. Or go shopping. Or go out for dinner with your husband. Or a friend. Or... Then head back to your precious child. He'll be fine.
For your child's personal well being:
* Be close: snuggle in the bed together, take walks (even if your little one has IVs in the foot, use a wagon or wheel chair; they usually love it), doze off watching movies, nurse as much as possible if you've got a nursling. They need you. You can't make the hospital procedures go away, but you can be right next to him.
* Speak up and question anything you want (Why wake him up a 6am, why another IV, can't lunch come later). If your assigned nurse is rude, keep asking. Someone will come in to talk.
For your marriage (if you are):
* Be aware that it will be very easy to pick fights. To be very edgy. To see everything wrong. Then try to hold your tongue. Right. Easier said than done, but we're adults. We've got to try. Marriages have been lost because of conditions like this. Hospitalizations are just a part of CF care. Just a part.