I’m an Alien
The hardest transition when you are a parent to an adult with a disability is that your child no longer has the safety of the pediatric ward when they become ill.
In the pediatric ward, everyone is in the same boat: parents looking after their children. Now that Savannah is sick again, she has to be in the adult ward where there aren’t any other caregivers staying with loved ones. So I’m an alien here.
On the plus side though we automatically get a private room because I’m not allowed to stay with Savannah in a general ward. It’s cheaper and easier to have me around or else the ward has to employ an extra nurse just for the adult with special needs. The nurses are really nice to us. I think it’s weird for them that they have nothing to do for Savannah but make sure that I’m administering the medication correctly. Bathing, toileting, lifting and carrying is all on me because Savannah is so anxious and doesn’t want strangers touching her.
The downside is that it’s a scary place when other adult patients aren’t so nice and we hear the yelling and arguing with nurses.
There is also an elderly lady in a room down the hall with dementia and at night she screams out names every couple minutes. It’s a little frightening to hear but at the same time I feel for her and her family. Being a caregiver to my child is more natural… Not easy just natural. But it must be so tough for this lady’s adult children to cope with the emotional and medical chaos of their elderly parent while maintaining their own lives. I said before.. Sometimes I learn too much about life.
Savannah’s doctor has a reputation for being the good looking doctor. He is Greek so I guess that explains it according to the nurses. All the nurses swoon when he arrives. When they ask Savannah if she thinks he is handsome, Savannah replies with a deadpan expression “No”. The guy is about her father’s age and as she says “eeuw” 😉
For some ungodly reason tea is served at 4:30am so I’ve been awake since then. I’ve already showered, bathed Savannah, administered her meds (the fight against the nurses injecting her is less stressful each time) and I’ve tried to entertain Savannah by taking selfies with her and reading Anne of Green Gables, until she is sick of me and turns to sleep.
Then I have my own care pack and entertainment pack with which to pass the hours of interminable waiting for Savannah to turn the corner.
If you know of someone who is a caregiver and you want to do something nice for them: Take a close look at the picture of the items that make up my care/survival pack. By providing one or two of the items or similar items to a caregiver, you can make a real difference to their physical and emotional health. A subscription to an online network or a contribution to their data bundle are other ways of helping that are meaningful too.
When I have ways of coping in these stressful, unusual situations.. I’m less of an alien.