I have struggled this last week with this surprising emotion of actually missing being in the hospital. And I wasn’t about to admit it until last night when it just came out in a blog post.
As people reached out to me after my post, I realized how much I really needed to own it. For one, because it’s how I felt, and two, because others feel the same way.
I got this message from a friend:
“When they released ______ after him being there for three months straight, I flipped out. I was scared to be home alone with him, afraid that without the nurses there he would just up and die in my care. I missed the hospital SO much – the nurses I got to see every day and built friendships with, the way I knew he was safe, even though I hated seeing him there…..”
You build relationships with the hospital staff, nurses and doctors while you are there. You learn about their kids, they become fans of yours, you talk to them about life, they meet your friends and family who visit, and you develop a special relationship with them because they are there for 8-hours or more a day by your side during a really tough time in your life.
If we never went back to the hospital, I’d probably never see some of them again. That’s a little heart breaking.
Also, at home there is a fear. A fear of providing medical care for your very small child. There is a reason I went into public relations which is far far from the medical field. I am scared I’ll make a mistake. I am scared that I won’t notice some symptom or make a mistake and something bad will come of it.
This is not normal imperfect parenting fears, where you are worried what you are doing may delay potty training for a couple of months or your child may not sleep great that night because they had too long of a nap. This is: I could cause serious medical and potential life threatening damage to my child…AND NOT EVEN KNOW IT… type fear. Being in the hospital gives relief to that fear. You have nurses to help, to show symptoms too, and have medical professionals watching out for your child 24/7.
I struggled with accepting this feeling of missing because I didn’t want it to seem like I liked my baby going through the tough medical stuff. I don’t. It breaks my heart in ways I never thought possible, over and over again. So I felt guilty.
Guilty for moments of being okay in the hospital. Guilty for their being an upside to him in the hospital. Guilty for just missing it.
A lot of people have commented on how honest I am in this blog. I am glad they see it (and it’s not some euphemism for “TMI!”), because one of my goals is to be transparent. I am very insecure and don’t feel like many people get to see the “real” me completely. I have started building up more and more encouragement by being transparent on this blog. But with that, one of my goals is to own it. So much of our life is being embarrassed, ashamed, confused, and lonely by one feeling or another. I am convinced that we have a lot more in common with each other than we think. All it takes is for someone to own it. Own the fears. Own the crazy moments. Own the irrational and illogical that everyone goes through.
So this is me stepping up and owning it: There are times I miss living in the hospital.