Just In Case

July 21, 2008 Kyron 2 Comments

I just spent the past week at Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta – Egleston on 5West (big shoutout to the great staff there!!) Katherine developed what we believe to be acute (rather than chronic) pancreatitis. And if that wasn’t enough to cause this poor kid enough insane pain to break my heart she also had a greaCHOA 2 Just In Caset case of fecal impaction. Well I guess the good thing is that we got a two for one stay – got completely cleaned out while we dealt with the pancreatitis.

It was the second time I’ve really had to deal with hospitalization for Katherine since Donovan was born. It hasn’t gotten easier. As awful as it was I know full well I’m really lucky. I have both sets of grandparents who live within 10 or so miles of us and are

  1. retired (or mostly so)
  2. available (with rare exception)
  3. very involved with their grandchildren

My father and stepmother were with me as we took Katherine to the Emergency Room. Philip’s parents took over picking Donovan up from school. Of course that was only the first obstacle – we had a full week of obstacles while we juggled getting my husband to work, Donovan to and from school all while trying to maintain some sense of normalcy for him and someone to come up and relieve me once a day for an hour or so in an effort to make sure I wasn’t headed for a rubber room by the time this whole week was over. All things considered the week went pretty smoothly but it could have easily been disastrous!

At age 16 my parents left me at night when I was in the hospital. My mom was there all day with me but leaving me at 8pm and returning at 9am or so the following morning really wasn’t a problem. This is not even a consideration with Katherine. Katherine got freaked out every time I walked across the hall to the family kitchen to grab a cup of coffee let alone what would have happened if I had left her overnight and yet without my family I’m not sure what the heck would I have done!

We were in the best possible place, not only for Katherine’s medical care (a top rated children’s hospital in smack-dab in the middle of Emory University) but a children’s hospital is only dealing with children and is set up to give a lot of support to parents and the small patients alike. That being said I’m certain (because I read the handbook) that Donovan would not have been welcome to spend the night although he was welcome to visit during visiting hours. Realistically with all that was going on with Katherine physically however (and trust me when I tell you I’m doing you a favor by sparing you the gory details) having a toddler (who is making up for lost time with regards to the terrible twos) in the middle of all that was going on there was not going to be in any way desirable. I consider myself pretty good at handling both kids at the same time but even I didn’t want any part of that action!

About 2 days in as I was figuring out how Donovan was going to be picked up by one set of grandparents and transferred to the other because of various scheduling issues it suddenly occurred to me that there had been a time in my life where this whole thing would have been impossible. How do parents who have no family support or are single parents do it all under these circumstances? It suddenly dawned on me that eventually I wasn’t going to be so lucky. My parents as well as Philip’s are getting older and at some point I could very well be on my own in having to handle a situation just like we had this past week. Of course I hope it’s not going to be for a very long time, but I can’t really count on that. Because of this I need to figure out some basic kind of plan to have in place just in case. Realistically it’s probably not quite as important as all the legal plans, financial plans and the life plan or letter of intent….but it could go a long way to increasing my peace of mind to have something written out – Just In Case.

I went to therapy several years ago – things had just gotten catastrophic in my mind – work, home, everything. I couldn’t function except in the most basic of ways. My therapist – who I wish I could clone for the world he’s just that good – said ok so what’s the absolutely worst case scenario? I described it in vivid detail. He said ok. So now we’re going to write down what you’re going to do in that worst case scenario. He and I came up with the plan and it brought me some real comfort. I carried that plan around with me for quite some time. I was certain I would need to call on it at any moment. While I haven’t carried it around for the past year, it still sits in my jewelry box – Just In Case

Let’s just hope the Just In Case never is. Meanwhile I’ll continue to get my plan in place icon smile Just In Case

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Categories : General, Medical, Strategies

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Barbara says:

    Any chance the grandparents will last until Donovan is college-aged? If chances are good…perhaps you can take comfort with that thought. That’s another thing about worst-case-scenarios – low chances of happening. Not to say that writing a plan out is unnecessary. Glad to hear Katherine is better. Sending sincere good vibes.

  2. Stacey says:

    I remember one time when my daughter and I roomed in with my son Shane who was 3 years old — we spent 4 days in the hospital with pnemonia!
    — Then I spent 4 days in the same hospital with pnenmonia –also!(They also thought I had Leggionaires– so I wasn’t availible for visitors!
    Geez– That was back in 2005 and I still shudder when I think about it…

    Enough about me…
    I hope this post means you and Katherine– and Donovan are feeling better?
    Please… do pardon my lack of spell check!

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