What is every parents worse nightmare when traveling abroad with children?
It was a rainy but mild Saturday morning. My kids went to the big indoor play centre in the town where we were staying. They had a great time running about, getting their faces painted and meeting Santa. Everything was going swimmingly well until later in the day when my youngest became ill. In fact, so ill that we ended up calling the ambulance and with sirens blaring were taken to the nearest hospital. Being sick in your own country is bad enough but when you’re in a foreign country that has its own systems (and charges), your stress levels go through the roof.
The speed by which a child can become ill is mind-blowing.
In saying all of this, it’s not as though we were dealing with language differences or an antiquated health service. Actually, our experience with the Irish health system is comparable to ours back home. The facilities and staff provided to my child were excellent in the care my child received. On top of that, the charges were minimal which I know is a secondary concern but it certainly helps not to be laden with any financial burden in these stressful times. However, to cut a long story short, my child recovered well and we had no further health issues.
When you’ve been in one hospital, you’ve been in them all.
Over the last few years, we have experienced a lot of hospital stays. Most parents have experienced waiting hours in emergency rooms and have felt the panic when your child has become terribly ill. It’s always a wake up call when the most precious thing in your life gets ill. It’s daunting and the hospital environment never eases that sense of doom. You never seem to be able to breathe as the air feels stale and the bland walls only further enhances the stagnate atmosphere. Such an uninspiring place for all the inspiring work that is done there. I wonder why they don’t compliment each other?
Be thankful for where you live.
While I gripe about the trivialities of the hospital decor, I should be thanking my lucky stars. We live (and thankfully visited) a country that has a very good medical infrastructure. When my children have been ill, they have always been well attended to and as parents I have peace of mind that they are in good hands. As far as hospitals go, no-one likes them but we are sure as hell thankful that we have them. So my only advice when having to stay with your kids in hospital is to bring a good book, an I-pad and change of clothes. Suck up the boredom and be thankful for the professionals who do such a demanding job.
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