Hospitals, thankfully, have not been a large part of Kiran’s journey. Unlike many children living with congenital heart defects, Kiran has actually only been hospitalized four times so far, only one of which was unplanned. Most of you who have read our story will know the story behind those four hospitalizations: after birth, at two and a half months old with a cold, g-tube placement surgery, and open heart surgery.
Here’s what hospitals have taught me:
I have a voice. I am the expert on Kiran, and I am his advocate. I can and I will ask questions when medical professionals use language I don’t understand. I will speak up about what Kiran needs to feel more comfortable.
I don’t have it in me to leave. I am the mom who sits in that hospital room with him every minute, sleeps in that hospital room with him every night. I recognize it isn’t necessarily healthy, but it’s what I have needed the times he has been hospitalized.
Going along with that, I have learned to accept help. I have learned to say YES to any food or especially coffee … and especially if it is coming from somewhere outside the hospital walls.
My mom is, hands down, my best hospital companion.
The non-surprising?: Hospital life sucks.
The surprising? In my experience (and also due to our specific journey, with few hospital stays, and all of them occurring in his first year of life): Hospital life also allows a bit of reprieve. Even though I have been the mom who never leaves, the hospital life I have experienced has given me a certain peace, knowing Kiran is safe and with the “experts”. At this point in our journey, I would imagine that feeling may be very different.
I am thankful we don’t live the hospital life often. It has been 2 1/3 years since Kiran has been hospitalized. Yeah. I have a feeling I will feel very differently the next time we end up there.
There will be a next time.