5 Ways To Deal With A Family Member's Health Crisis
It has not been an easy 2017 for me so far. My family has been through so much in past few months that when I think about it makes my head spin. My grandmother passed away in April and couple weeks after that my father suffered a major stroke. To say it has been easy would be lying. So, I have decided to write about it, like all writers and bloggers do, so that I can share the tips I have learned during these difficult times.
Prepare To Cry: There is nothing more sickening then getting the phone call that tells you that your father is in the hospital. It is always a shocking phone call that no one wants to get. I will admit that when I first visited him in the hospital I had two emotional break downs. It was difficult. So what I learned was to allow myself to cry, it is more than okay to be shaken up and worried; or even scared when something like this happens. So, cry but don't do it in front of the person who is sick. This moment, although affects you is not about you. It is so important to put on a brave face for your loved ones because I'm sure they are more scared than you.
You Will Have Some Anxiety: There is a lot that goes through your mind on the first days or weeks following a health crisis. You will spend endless hours thinking and worrying about healthcare, therapy, and medication, (thank God for Canadian healthcare). You will have anxieties about the family member being in a hospital, wondering if they are being treated well. You will worry about how this is going to change your life, because believe it or not it will. There will be a lot of anxieties, but know that this is all normal and with time, these anxieties will won't be so bad.
You Will Have To Help Out: When I go to the hospital to see my dad, I sometimes help him eat or open packages for him. It's weird to help a parent out in this way, but it will come to you naturally whether it takes time or it's instant. You will always be so surprised at how much you love someone when they are sick. Love is a powerful thing.
Call Them & Visit Them: If you have ever spent time in a hospital, you know it can be awful, boring, and just plain old sad. So, make sure to keep in constant connection with your loved one who is stuck in there. Call them a few times a day. Most importantly visit them, not for an hour but hours. Let's face it, we all have so much going on in our lives and when something major happens our plans get thrown out the window. But take the time to hang out with them. I can't see my dad everyday so I call him about 5 times a day and I visit him a couple time a week but when I go, I spend about 3 to 5 hours with him. Honestly, that is more for me than him. We talk and watch movies together and it is so nice. Before this, we never used to do that; and it is so sad that it took a stroke for us to call each other and to hang out. I promise myself that when he gets better this won't stop…well maybe I won't call him 5 times a day, it’s a bit much, lol
Treat Them Normally & It Will Be Okay: This one is hard because when someone is sick they aren't their normal selves and being in the hospital makes you anything but normal. But try to have the same kind of conversations and or banter with them. I find that this helped me out a lot and it also helped him. The thing is, as the crisis is happening, it feels like the world is turning in on itself. But know that everything will be okay because if it's not okay than its not the end.
I hope this helped you and if you have anyone you love in the hospital, I will keep you and them in my thoughts.
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*This article was originally published in May 2016*