Everyone who is anyone in the writing profession suggests that you “write what you know.”
At 3 AM, there were bed pan sounds to the right of us and vomit noises to the left. As I lay there, plenty tired but far from sleep, it hit me: This is what I know.
Thankfully all of my kids are alright, but it has been a year of surgeries for us. This was our fourth surgery in 9 months and our third child to have surgery. You know you’ve been to the children’s hospital a lot when a recovery room nurse says, “Hey! I know you” but then does a double take because the child in the bed is not the one she cared for before.
When we had our hospital cubicle sleepover, I was almost done writing my book Beautiful Paradox:Musings, Marvelings and Strategies of a Special Needs Parent but after that night I came home and added a hospital packing list to the book (complete with a recommendation to bring ear plugs).
Some people are experts on how to make gourmet food or how to travel like a jet setter. I, it seems, am a de facto expert on all-things glamorous, like how to spend the small night in noisy spaces filled with bodily sounds. Man, is it good to be me.
There really isn’t a place on the resume for “skilled minivan medical transporter” or “experienced bather of children in casts. Number of casts lost to water incidents on the job: 0” unless you work in the medical or healthcare profession (and I don’t). But these, nonetheless, are among the things I know.
If your job title includes “parent” or “parent to a child with medical or special needs,” then these are the things you need to know too.
Below are my recommended hospital packing lists, gleaned from first-hand experience.
Hospitals aren’t fun places to be. But if you have to go, you may as well go like a Scout and Be Prepared. (Badge not included.)
If you're looking for more tried-and-true tips like these, they can be found in Beautiful Paradox: Musings, Marvelings and Strategies of a Special Needs Parent, available on Amazon.