I slept in the PICU with Acorn last night. As close as we are to being done...as long as it's been since he's been in-patient in a hospital (15 months)...I thought we were done with this sort of thing. We'd made it almost half his life without an admission.
I posted on twitter last night: why is it that friends with normal kids freak when in hosp, but have no sympathy for us when we are?
I've been thinking about that a lot today. The thought was prompted by the response on a local parenting board to my post that we were in the hospital. Most of the responses were sort of generic - lots of hugs and "I'm sorry" sorts of statements. A few months back, someone else on the list had a similar sort of post...but they'd never actually had their child in the hospital before. They had people bringing them dinner for a week after they came home. There have been others, too, where the response was gushing, a combination of horror and empathy and insistence that things will be ok.
Even on facebook, a few high school friends state that having a child in the hospital is the worst thing ever...but really, it's not. There are far worse things in life.
Talking with my husband, he points out that for us, this isn't the worst thing that's ever happened. We're very comfortable in the hospital, even more than a year since our last stay - we've practically lived there for months on end, we know how to operate all the monitors and equipment, we know enough to make nurses uncomfortable at times.
He suggests that maybe it would drive more sympathy if my statements were less matter of fact.
But this is our life. It is what it is, and I cannot pretend that it's something it's not.
It's no wonder, then, that so many families with children with special needs struggle, if so many of our neighbors, friends, and coworkers think that our lives aren't worth basic sympathy and courtesy because we're used to dealing with so many crazy things.