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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How to be The Best Children’s Hospital Roommate Ever!

I recently had the pleasure of a hospital stay with a sick kiddo. Phoenix Children’s Hospital is finishing the construction of an enormous, amazing new facility which features private rooms—but until it opens next year, we’re stuck in their old building where we have to share a room with another patient.

And now that the kiddo is healthy again, I’ve realized that it wasn’t so much a ‘hospital stay’ as it was ‘research for a great blog post topic’. You think I was just sitting around worrying about my child’s health? Ppsshhaw, please. No, I was seething at the behavior of our roommates and writing notes to help all of you become The Best Children’s Hospital Roommate Ever! Here are the rules:

1. Let your child dirty his diaper and don’t bother changing it for a while. And when you do, let it sit on the floor for at least an hour. Even strangers 4 feet away from you and separated by a thin rainbow printed curtain understand what a pain it is to walk said dirty diaper ten feet into the bathroom.

2. Engage in “I love you. No, I love you. No--I love you!” talk with your child in the middle of the night in a non-whisper voice. And you know what? Don’t feel bad about it at all. Again—your roommates understand the need for round-the-clock shmoopy talk with your kid and they are probably happy to give up their precious few minutes of sleep while they enjoy it.

3. Allow your friends and family to call the hospital room phone at midnight. Definitely talk about a missing receipt and going to church—its your prerogative, after all. It’s not like any sick children and their families are trying to sleep or anything and THESE ARE IMPORTANT TOPICS TO COVER WITH YOUR LOVED ONES. AT MIDNIGHT.

4. Let your kid scream at you belligerently during all his waking hours while he beats his mylar balloon to and fro around the room at a decibel level that pains anyone else in the room who might have sensitive ears (due to ear infection—this IS a hospital, after all). It’s his world—we’re just living in it. We know this and we love you for it.

5. Moms--let your husband meander around the place in his wife beater shirt, which nicely shows off the naked girl tattoos he sports from shoulder to elbow. On both arms.

6. Watch a lot of Telemundo. Loudly. Todo el día. Cada día.

7. Permit your child to wet-sneeze all over the place without covering his mouth and nose. Tip: This rule is particularly effective when your child’s roommate is at high risk for respiratory complications. We looove airborne contagions—and not just so that we can spend more mornings enjoying free coffee from the Kohl’s coffee cart!

That’s it. That’s all I got. My kid had pneumonia and we were miserable there in the hospital for a few days and life sucked. Other than the kiddo recuperating much faster than normal, the best part of the stay was the ambulance ride over.

I adore our hospital and the staff is world class, but a sick kid blows big hairy goat balls and no amount of amenities or sense of humor can make that better. No—actually, that’s a lie. Amenities and humor can totally make it better. Which is why I am already in love with the new Phoenix Children’s Hospital (which has yet to open) and why you love me.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, if I had to share a room with those people I would have gone crazy!!! Did you bite your tongue the whole time? I think I would have had to say something during those midnight phone calls-no one messes with my sleep, especially in the hospital where you barely get any anyway. Hopefully you won't have to go back anytime soon :)