Visiting a medical establishment is daunting for most, even for adults. When you are visiting the hospital for your child, it brings a whole new meaning to daunting. Any medical problem, be it small or big, can feel like the weight of the world to a parent. No one wants their baby to be in anything less than perfect health.
Unfortunately for many this isn’t the case, I know this all to well. I’ve lost count of the times we have been in hospital with Theo, whether it be for a routine dietitian appointment or a near death experience complete with blue lights and adrenaline. Every single visit leaves me feeling sick, anxious at what is to come.
For days before a planned visit, my mind is on the question’s that need asking, the answer’s that I want to find out. Often I am so consumed with worry that I come out of said appointments having forgotten half of the thought’s I’d had buzzing around my head previously. I can usually be found sending consultant’s extensive email’s or making phonecall’s almost as soon as we leave!
Here are my top tips for preparing for a PLANNED visit to hospital –
- Lists – Sound’s crazy I know, but writing list’s is an essential part of my day-to-day routine. I find list’s particularly helpful when we head to an appointment. I make sure I write down all the question’s I want to ask, all the information I need to take with me, and everything I want to come from said appointment.
- Eat! – There is nothing worse than an empty tummy and nerves. Eating something substantial such as a sandwich or a cereal bar may not feel of huge importance, but it really doe’s make all the difference.
- Traffic – Always check local traffic reports before leaving home, if part of your route is particularly busy or there has been an accident, checking whilst still at home gives you the chance to plan an alternate route or method of travel. Coming across such issue’s whilst already travelling is a nightmare and it is often difficult to take a diversion.
- Fun & games – Be sure to pack enough entertainment for your child, there is nothing worse than trying to have a serious discussion with a medical professional with a crying toddler using you as a climbing frame!
- For first appointment’s – Call ahead and find out whether the consultant has any test’s planned. Blood test’s, x rays and allergy testing can be distressing for a child and a parent, especially if unexpected.
If you are awaiting a referral, have an appointment in the near future or even if your currently in hospital with your child and have any question’s or need a listening ear (or reading eyes in this case…) please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.