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What do you do in a (non life threatening) family emergency?

(10 Posts)
honeytea Thu 27-Sep-12 07:47:29

We had some bad news yesterday, FIL has been burny on his hands and face and is in intensive care as a precaution to check he hasn't inhaled any of the flames. We are all (especially dp) very concerned for him.

I don't have much experience of this sort of thing, my family is lucky that there has never really been any bad accidents or illness (touch wood.)

I was just wondering what other people do in situations like this, last year MIL had a heart attack and my DP and his 3 sisters drove 1000 km to be with her, that I think was the right thing to do as they didn't know how long she had to live, she did get better thankfully. Last night DP's 3 sisters drove the 1000 km to be with their parents because of the accident with the fire, my DP can't take the next 2 days off work. DP feels really bad that he hasn't gone with them, he wanted to go up at the weekend but to make things more confusing his sisters have taken our car as it is bigger and safer than their cars so we now have one of his sisters not so reliable cars so just the 2 of us driving up at the weekend isn't really an option.

Because fil is in intensive care he isn't allowed any visitors so even mil can't go and see him, so even if DP had gone up he wouldn't have been able to see his dad for the next few days anyway.

I have said to DP that I think it is a good idea if we go up once FIL is out of hospital so we can help practically and keep him company, MIL has the support of her 3 daughters and I personally don't know what actual help DP would be over the next few days, i don't think he should be so hard on himself. If he had decided to phone in sick to work and gone with his sisters I would have supported, I'm finding it hard to know what to say to him to make him feel better about his decision to not go up.

AIBU to say that:

He wouldnt be able to see FIL so it would be better to go and see him when he can actually be with FIL.

It isn't life threatening so it's not a last chance situation.

MIL has 3/4 of her children to support her and extra person wouldn't make all that much difference.

The 1st few days will be hard emotionally but the recovery will be long and a visit to them once FIL comes out of hospital would in many ways be more useful.

It's not a case of me persuading him not to go either way I would want to support his decision, it's just I want to be able to help him feel less guilt about his decision.

Sirzy Thu 27-Sep-12 07:54:48

It may not be life threatening but it's still bad enough that he is ITU so I think it's understandable that your DP wants to see him at the first possible opportunity.

I would go up at the weekend see how things are then take it from there. I think most people with a relationship with their parents would want to see them as soon as possible in this situation, being told all is ok isn't the same as seeing it for yourself

Bumply Thu 27-Sep-12 07:55:25

Presumably his sisters will only be able to be there for a limited time. If your dh can get there later to take over the shift so to speak then your fil/mil will have a longer period of visitors/support overall

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 27-Sep-12 08:00:47

There aren't any set rules of what should be done, but in your case I would let your DH go on his own over the weekend. If he feels he needs to be there then he should be. Sometimes it's not about practical help, it's about just being there to support each other.

I think you need to support DH doing whatever he feels best without trying to influence him either way. Let him come to his own conclusion, and then whatever he decides, tell him you think he has made the right decision. There will be reasons for whatever decision he makes, so you can just reinforce those after he has made his choice to help him feel better about it.

scarletfingernail Thu 27-Sep-12 08:10:10

I think all the points you make are valid ones, however if it were my parent in intensive care I would want to be there regardless.

If your DP feels guilty about not being there, then maybe he should go. But I think it would be wrong for him to take the time off from work as sick because it's not him who's actually sick is it? Can he not take some emergency leave, either holiday or unpaid? If the situation does end up escalating and your DH needs to be with FIL for longer than anticipated, saying he was sick himself could lead to problems at work.

honeytea Thu 27-Sep-12 08:10:27

Bumply I think that is a good idea, his sisters will come home at some point next week as they all have kids and then DP could go up the next day.

The problem with going this weekend is that his sisters have taken our car so we only have an old unreliable car also it has no snow tires which is fine where we live but DP's parents live just below the artic circle so there is a high chance of snow, it's not illegal to drive in snow with no snow tires but it is very unsafe. The other option is flying, DP could fly up on friday and then drive back with his sisters, he hasn't thought of that I will look up some flights and call him and suggest it.

I think he has made his decision bassed on practicalities rather than emotions, maybe me helping him see the practical reasons why he has made the right choice isn't a good idea.

WelshMaenad Thu 27-Sep-12 08:14:04

Well, if you're my inlaws, you fuck off on a long haul holiday regardless. Sorry, still bitter!

I would have to go to see my dad. Wild horses wouldn't stop me. I think the flight/drive back option sounds like a goer.

Only4theOlympics Thu 27-Sep-12 08:20:14

I think you need to find solutions for all eventuallities. Look for flights for both the weekend and the middle of next week.

The you can say -
If you want to go at the weekend here is how you do it.
If you want to go when your sisters are coming back here is how you do it.
If you want to go later here is how we do it.
Take all the practicalities away and then ask him what he WANTS to do.

You sound like a lovely wife BTW x

honeytea Thu 27-Sep-12 08:38:01

Thank you for all the advice. It really helps to hear what other people would/have done.

honeytea Thu 27-Sep-12 08:38:01

Thank you for all the advice. It really helps to hear what other people would/have done.

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