Happy Tuesday to you my dear readers. I hope the week is going well for you and those you love. Things here at Chez Lenaburg are quite for now. Miss Courtney continues her course of antibiotics and will go in for a pulmonary follow-up tomorrow afternoon. We are taking each day as it comes, enjoying lots of quiet time snuggling on the sofa, eating good food and taking long walks. It got me thinking about how my family overcomes what we affectionately call "Hospital Hangover". For those of you out in cyberland who have a medically fragile, severely disabled or a critically ill child/young adult know of what I speak. Those first 72 hours home from a traumatic hospital stay (ALL hospital stays are traumatic in my humble opinion) and life went on without you. You come home to the same dirty laundry you left but now your twelve times more exhausted and the new care regimen for you child/young adult is even more intense and time consuming. No matter how much help you may have no one takes care of your child/young adult better than Mama does, so the pressure is on to get it all done as well as take care of everyone else who needs you. There may be other children who need reassurance that everything will be OK...or not OK. Every situation is different. I wanted to give you MY Five Favorite ways to overcome the Hospital Hangover. Now mind you, I have two children, not seven. My son is 24 and capable of meeting his own physical needs, but will sit with his Dad and I and go over everything that happened at the hospital so we are all on the same page as far as Courtney's care goes. So I guess we will start with the most important thing...
#1 Communication This is a HUGE honkin deal wether you have one child or twelve. I know that when we come home form the hospital with Courtney, even when Jonathan was small, we would sit down at the kitchen table and talk about what happened and what was going to happen next. Was there a change in meds? Therapies? Doctor's? What did the future hold? As a family we put it all out n the table. Who is feeling what? For my two guys, a hospital visit represents the third ring of hell for BOTH of them. They hate not being in control. They hate watching Miss Courtney be in any kind of pain. They hate change of ALL kinds. So hashing everything out and explaining any changes in her care helps ease their stress. For me it's different. As the Mama, I need to release some of the fear and emotions from the last few days. In the hospital I am calm and steady, but when I walk through the safety of my own door, I usually lose it for a day or so as I process everything. My guys need to know this so they don't freak out. Communications if KEY!
#2 Eat Clean Taking care of your emotional health is one thing, but reclaiming your body from the onslaught of horrid hospital food is quite another. When I come home, I dive into clean eating for a minimum of a week before any carb (besides chocolate) passes my lips. I feel better and stronger, more able to deal with whatever new care plan exists from our recent stay. Try my Krazy Kolorful Kale Salad. So easy to make and quite yummy. #3 Seek Quite and Rest (and uninterrupted sleep) I know that when I come home from a hospital stay, getting a grip on my house and all the disorder that may exist drives me to overdo at times, leaving me more exhausted than when I left for the hospital. This does no one any good. I have found over the past almost 22 years, that seeking quiet time with my daughter is more healing than having all the laundry clean and folded. I need to have time holding my girl and relishing the fact that I got to bring her home. I know that one day, this will not be the case. I don't want to ever have any regrets about not spending enough time holding her, talking to her and loving her. Laundry and dishes be damned. She is more important.
Grandma and Courtney going for a long stroll.
#4 Seek Sunshine If you are able, go outside and take a nice long walk. I know that being cooped up in a hospital with processed air leaves me cranky and searching for sunshine. Nothing beats taking a moment or ten to take in God's perfect beauty. It has tremendous healing properties, from the time in quiet to think to the Vitamin D you're receiving. #5 Be Kind to Yourself (clear your schedule) This is the hardest one for me. I am a people pleaser by nature so my greatest fear is to disappoint someone. Ugh! I just hate it. This past visit we got home from the hospital with Courtney late Friday night. We were scheduled to do a 1K walk/run for her alma mater the next morning at 7:30 a.m. I guess I could have gotten up and run the race but the thought of leaving my Courtney, even for a short time, was unthinkable to me. So I had to disappoint someone. We also had to reschedule an NFP class we were teaching on Sunday. As much as I hate doing that, I have come to understand the importance of those first 72 hours being home and the need for them to be quiet and calm. So there you go. Five things that help me get my bearings again. Between this and all the awesome prayers being said on our behalf, life will return to normal pretty quickly.