How Family and Friends Can Help During a Hospitalization

Keara Engle avatar

by Keara Engle |

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I’ve previously discussed how doctors and nurses can help in difficult times of health crises. But family and friends can be a big help, too.

My 3-year-old son, Cayden, has been hospitalized in recent weeks, so I’ve pondered some of the ways that my family and friends have helped during this difficult time.

I’ve found it very helpful that people have offered food. When in the hospital for a long time, eating the same food gets old. And let’s be real, it isn’t the best to begin with. The hospital where Cayden is tries to help parents by offering a meal tray each day in the room. Parents can also request a meal voucher to use instead in the cafeteria. While these are nice gestures, it’s not the same as a home-cooked meal.

I’ve been depending on my mom, grandma, and some of my friend’s parents for meals. They usually ask what I’m hungry for, but anything is better than bland hospital food. Some of the nice meals I’ve received include chicken Alfredo, a turkey dinner, spaghetti, a chicken pot pie, and different types of soups.

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The GoFundMe page that my older sister created for us, along with other donations, has also been helpful during this time. Buying and ordering food can add up. Gas is also expensive right now. I’ve had to go back and forth between the hospital and my house to wash clothes, shower, and retrieve things we’ve needed. Without the financial support, I don’t know how I’d be able to do all of these things.

Lastly, just talking to the important people in my life has been beneficial. Whether I need to call someone and cry or have them there in person, my friends and family are there to support us as much as they can. I can’t remember how many times I’ve had to call my mom, dad, and grandparents during all of this. I’m very fortunate to have their support, no matter what.

I’ve had some difficult conversations with Cayden’s doctors over the past few days. We’ve discussed things like a tracheostomy tube and palliative care. I don’t think I’d be able to get through these difficult times without the support of the important people in my life.

I’m thankful for all the ways my family and friends have supported us during this hospitalization. While it’s not easy for any of us, they know it’s very hard on me. Sometimes they don’t know what to say, and that’s fine. The love and support that has been provided over the past few weeks means more to me than I will ever be able to say. I’ve talked about how support systems are crucial for special needs and rare disease parents, and right now, we need our support system more than ever.

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Note: Pompe Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pompe Disease News, or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Pompe disease.

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