My 8-month-old daughter Billie was recently hospitalized for a UTI. It was scary, exhausting, and emotional. She refused to nurse for four excruciating days (don’t worry, I pumped). She was lethargic and had a high fever. But after four long days and nights at an amazing children’s hospital, I’m happy to report my little girlie is back home and 100 percent herself.
My dad (who was with us at the hospital frequently) always taught me to find the humor in life. After reflecting on our scary experience, I’d like to share the top seven things that amused me at the hospital:
1. In the playroom at the hospital there was an old-school Casio-type keyboard with very funny typos. “Fly Me to the Moom” and “Capton Races” were our faves.
2. The staff at this particular hospital were extremely happy, smiling all the time. They referred to me only as “Mommy.” ( “Good morning, Mommy, we need to check the baby’s temperature!”) Turns out the hospital is sponsored by Disney World, and the staff is taught Disney etiquette training during their orientation. And it showed. (Except for the one Grumpy at the desk who my mom and I decided desperately needs a refresher course.)
3. Nurses one-by-one realized that they needed to use a blood pressure cuff made for a child, instead of a baby, on Billie’s healthy pulkies (legs).
4. Since I’m a nursing mama, I was considered Billie’s food source. So my meals were included and I was able to order anything I wanted from the extensive and delicious child patient menu. Among the items delivered in tiny portions were: Cheerios with milk, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes with gravy, chicken fingers, and grilled cheese. One night my husband ordered my dinner for me, and after repeating what I had asked for, he added, “She’d also like a cake pop!” (He ate it.)
6. Speaking of food, every single friend or family member who entered the room to visit brought me chocolate. My room was complete with cake balls, Oreos, Junior Mints, and Peppermint Patties. You can never have enough chocolate (especially in the middle of a very long, lonely night in a rocking chair). My 6-year-old really appreciated these gifts, too.
7. There were two chairs in the room, our rocking chair and a recliner. Since one of us was always in the rocking chair with the baby, any visitors or guests used the recliner. The problem was, this chair was covered with some sort of easy-to-clean plastic fabric. It literally sounded like someone was passing gas every time it was used, and it was LOUD. This made for several awkward/funny moments. It was even worse when my tired parents or husband tried to recline in it. Usually they mouthed “sorry” as they quickly reclined and then didn’t dare move again.
When I finally did come home, I felt like I had been gone for an eternity. I hugged my husband and all three of my kids that night and promised that one day very soon, we would celebrate our homecoming. I’d make them all some delicious “platkas,” and maybe even some cheese “splintzes.”