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seriously ill children ( NOT really AIBU)

(26 Posts)
socharlotte Wed 17-Oct-12 13:48:04

I recently met up with a friend I had lost contact with and we went out for a meal and a catch up.
Very sadly her young son has had a life threatening cancer, but happily has been free for 5 years now.But what she told me made me really sad.I can't stop thinking about it.
The first thing was parents who were facing reposession of their homes because they couldn't work and therefore couldn't pay the mortgage .
The second, more shockingly, parents who ddn't visit their children at all.
I don't really know what my AIBU is, I am just struggling to process the horror of these situations sad

ReallyTired Wed 17-Oct-12 13:53:18

"The first thing was parents who were facing reposession of their homes because they couldn't work and therefore couldn't pay the mortgage ."

It is hideous when a family with young children lose their home. I suppose the important thing is communication with lenders.

"The second, more shockingly, parents who ddn't visit their children at all."

That is very sad. Although it may be very hard to visit a child in hospital if you are a single mother having to find childcare for 3 snotty nosed toddlers.

FutTheShuckUp Wed 17-Oct-12 13:56:31

I doubt parents dont visit their children 'ever', and im a nurse in a kids hospital and have looked after tons of seriously ill children and some of those have had less than birlliant parents- none that NEVER visited though...

socharlotte Wed 17-Oct-12 14:30:20

One girl she spoke about was a teenager who she said her mother hadn't been in 3 months.

confuddledDOTcom Wed 17-Oct-12 20:55:57

I've had three babies in the NNU and know there are parents who don't come in too often but do visit. You soon figure out who's parents don't come because the staff are either complaining about being a baby sitter (they seem to forget that some parents are there!) or they make a big deal about it when the parents do turn up. I've even heard them discussing making a referral on a couple who rarely visited and were evasive about questions about how they wanted to feed (standard questions because they have to support the parents).

I've heard other people who've had children in hospital and there's been parents they never see. It is sad but you don't know what's going on at home.

Trazzletoes Wed 17-Oct-12 21:08:38

I remember watching a programme last year about a neo-natal unit in a Liverpool hospital and there was a newborn whose mum visited every few weeks. She was a single mum with 2 other children, reliant on a complicated and long bus journey to hospital and basically couldn't afford to visit. It was awful.

DS is currently seriously ill. We have been told by just about everyone that I will have to give up work. Fortunately I have an incredibly supportive employer and they are looking after me. DH has a good job but I can't imagine how hard it would be if we were reliant on my salary. DH is upset that we are so reliant on his income that he can't adjust his hours to spend more time at home. The stress we're going through at the moment is incredible. To not know we could rely on the roof over our heads would just be too much. It's terribly sad that banks can't give a little leeway in such circumstances.

Sirzy Wed 17-Oct-12 21:16:31

Generally speaking a parent won't leave their child in hopsital unless there is no alternative. I am lucky that I have a very supportive family so in all of my sons hospital admissions he has never been left alone but then hIs longest admission was 10 days so when it's into months it must get a lot harder.

I did feel sorry for the baby who wasn't visited at all in the 48 hours Ds was in hopsital once. The staff where taking it in turns to walk around the ward with him and play with him

ElectricSoftParade Wed 17-Oct-12 21:22:12

Trazzletoes my very best to you and your DS.

My DS was in PICU from birth for nearly 10 months and then a childrens' ward for 6 months after.

Prior to children I would have judged i.e. I would never do that etc. but after my experience, I couldn't. I was very lucky that DS became healthier and I had a place to stay (a flat for parents provided by a charity, I could not have afforded to live in London for the period). Some parents can't, some don't want to, some parents try their very best. Others, like me, are lucky both with the eventual health of their child and being able to stay very close to them.

WRT the banks, well, it's business. Hellish though it may be, it is business.

As well as being lucky with the health of our DS, we were lucky enough to have a great support from our families so our home remained safe. I know not everyone is that lucky.

My very best to DS, you and your family.

confuddledDOTcom Wed 17-Oct-12 21:23:06

I know someone who doesn't believe in staying in hospital with her children and criticises me (whilst I'm in hospital for 7 weeks with one of mine!) for doing so. She says the children at home need her more. Neither of them work and they have good support networks. Personally I would rather my children know that if they were to go into hospital I would never leave them unless someone took over from me (I've been in hospital every day for 7 weeks, I've also done half day shifts with OH because I was pregnant and the hospital wouldn't allow me to be there all the time so he did the nights) so that if ever they were ill they know they don't have to be scared. I do get it if it's not possible, but to choose to put the healthy children ahead of the sick child who's probably very scared on their own in hospital is different.

ElectricSoftParade Wed 17-Oct-12 21:26:32

I should say that DS was my first child so I was able to be there all the time. If I had had an older child I frankly do not know what I would have done. Happily DD is a healthy child.

Bigwheel Wed 17-Oct-12 21:31:11

It is very sad. My dd was admitted to hospital at a few days old and I spent a week basically sitting by her cot willing her to pull though. It was an awful,stressful time and I can see why some parents find it almost to upsetting, to stressful, to lacking in skills and knowledge (that feeling of being useless and unable to help) to visit. Many times I wanted to turn and run and bury my head somewhere to pretend it wasn't happening. But I was lucky to have a good support network around me.

ElectricSoftParade Wed 17-Oct-12 21:49:52

Bigwheel I hope your DD is getting better and you are well too x

whathaveiforgottentoday Wed 17-Oct-12 21:54:20

I remember visiting my brother when he was in hospital who spent 6 weeks in hospital aged 8. There was a toddler on the same ward who was almost never visited. The nurses used to make a fuss of her as she'd spent most of her young life in hospital and the parent (s) had rarely seen her. Very sad. No idea what was wrong with her as I was only about 7 myself.

PedanticPanda Wed 17-Oct-12 22:11:14

"The first thing was parents who were facing reposession of their homes because they couldn't work and therefore couldn't pay the mortgage."

Sadly I know this is definitely true. My old neighbours had 3 kids, youngest was newborn when they found out their young 3 year old son had a very aggressive form of cancer. They had to juggle one parent being at hospital with the son and another at home with the girls. Job had to be put on hold and their house was lost. Unfortunately their son didn't make it either, there should be more in place to help parents through these tragedies. sad

ElectricSoftParade Wed 17-Oct-12 22:23:42

PedanticPanda I agree.

What I said up ^ about being in London and having a flat provided by a charity: it was my/our only saving grace of the time. I could not have afforded to continue paying for our "normal" life and me staying in London (Denmark Hill, Kings College). Can you imagine being given a flat to live in for all those months? I didn't know people could be so, so very kind. I didn't have to pay a penny.

I did, and still do, give to that particular charity. They made the worst time in my life bearable. ?I truely cannot thank them enough. I was lucky as was DS.

whathasthecatdonenow Wed 17-Oct-12 22:27:54

When DN was diagnosed with a brain tumour it was an hour's notice then a blue light ambulance trip to the large children's hospital over an hour away. DSis and DBil have 3 other children who they basically did not see for 10 days as DN was so ill she couldn't have visitors other than her parents. Myself and my other sister split the childcare - I did the overnights and early morning, DSis took over so I could go to work, and I took over at the end of the day. If we hadn't been around then I don't honestly know what would have happened, it can't be easy at all juggling jobs, hospital and other kids.

PedanticPanda Wed 17-Oct-12 22:35:33

electric was it the Ronald McDonald fund? I donate to them whenever I see one of ther buckets, they are a great charity.

WilsonFrickett Wed 17-Oct-12 22:38:36

I hadnt made the link between child disability/ serious illness and poverty before I started posting on the SN boards here. It is truly shocking in this day and age that having a sick child can tip an entire family out of their lifestyle and into poverty and homelessness, but it happens all too frequently.

but it can't be true because they all get free cars, don't they

Trazzletoes Wed 17-Oct-12 22:52:31

Thanks Electric.

ElectricSoftParade Thu 18-Oct-12 11:19:35

It wasn't the McDonald hostel I stayed in, I was lucky enough to stay in a 1 bed flat just 5 mins from the hospital. I was waiting for a room in the RMc house but the flat came free. The McDonald house was lovely and I got to know quite a few of the parents who stayed there.

The place I stayed is owned by a Greek couple whose daughter was being treated at King's. They bought 3 flats in a block specifically for parents whose children are being treated at Kings. They sadly lost their daughter but wanted to help others who were in a similar situation.

I will be forever grateful to them.

GirlWithALlamaTattoo Thu 18-Oct-12 11:26:20

My uncle was in hospital as a child in the 1940s; Grandma visited as often as she could, but with a complicated bus journey and two other children and more restricted visiting ours in those days, it wasn't as often as she would have liked. She got there one day to find that a nurse had taken him home for tea! To the end of her life she remembered the kindness of this nurse. Imagine the uproar if it happened now.

confuddledDOTcom Thu 18-Oct-12 17:02:42

I was given a flat in the hospital last time I had a baby, they kept me in the ward as long as they could then moved me to the flat until my baby was ready to go to the ward. I've always refused to go home without them, to the point I won't even pop home. This will be baby #4 and likely to be in hospital too, I'll do the same again, you can't go in the middle of the night when they need you for something when you're home or even in the day.

WilsonFrickett Thu 18-Oct-12 17:39:12

Electric that last post has made me cry. How wonderful that there are people in the world who can be so kind to strangers. thanks

awhistlingwoman Thu 18-Oct-12 17:44:57

Electric that is so lovely, what an amazingly generous couple.

Sometimes circumstances just don't allow it. My DD2 was in hospital for four months, three in ICU, in a hospital a hundred mile round trip away from our home. I visited every day but only because she was my only living child, because I was on maternity leave and because I have my own car and could afford the petrol to make the drive everyday.

Wilson I know, I never thought about either until, in a very minor way, it happened to me and I can imagine that it happens only too quickly. There isn't enough support, financial and otherwise, for families with seriously ill children.

Whistlingwaves Thu 18-Oct-12 19:32:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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