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behaviour after hospital admission?

(4 Posts)
RachelG Tue 23-Sep-08 14:29:53

I wonder if anyone can tell me their experiences?

My DS (age 3) was admitted to hospital nearly 2 weeks ago, with a painful knee. He had several very painful blood tests, then an operation on his infected knee late that night. We stayed in for 5 days, during which time he had some more needles, and lots of prodding and poking.

Now we're home he's on antibiotic medicine 4 times daily (tastes vile), and he has a huge scar which he hates - screams if he sees it.

Physically he's doing brilliantly - running around as normal.

But my Mum (who looks after him while I'm at work) is convinced his behaviour has changed. She says he's far more demanding, more aggressive, more "contrary" - and generally harder work. She feels this is attributable to his hospital experience, and says he needs extra attention and indulging for a while.

I'm not convinced I've noticed such a difference, but he is definitely hitting and scratching me more than usual. He sometimes lashes out if I try and make him do something he doesn't want to do - all normal I think, but he's doing it more lately.

I guess I just wondered if anyone else had had similar experiences. Will my lovely gentle DS go back to how he was, or has he been traumatised for life by this experience? The antibiotics have to continue for another month, which involves a small battle 4 times a day.

I know I'm lucky, as some people have far more hospital contact than this.


nellieboo Tue 23-Sep-08 14:49:50

My dd (nearly 3 at the time) spent a week in hospital in early July.

Sounds similar to your experience - lots of needles, IV antiboitics around the clock and a minor operation under GA.

She also had about a month of hated oral antibiotics, although we resorted to chocolate button bribes to get them down as she spat it out otherwise.

After hospital dd was more demanding and clingy. Terrible at sleeping at night too as she tended to stay up all hours in hospital and the blinds weren't very good at keeping the evening sun out.

But gradually this has decreased and now I can't really attribute any of her behaviour to more than being a typical three year old.

Funnily enough, she has been absolutely fine about going to the hospital since (we have already been back at A&E to have her head glued up after a fall).

My elder ds (5) now feels left out because he hasn't has the experience and speaks proudly of his pre-school booster ('my operation' he calls it). Although dd tried to hit the nurse for hurting her 'brudder' when he was given the injection.

I'm pretty sure things will go back to normal for your ds too. Dd found it unsettling, but not much more. As everyone says, kids are very resilient.

NorbertDentressangle Tue 23-Sep-08 15:06:48

A friends 3 yo has just had 2weeks of being in and out of hospital (1 planned admission and 2 traumatic re-admissions).

Hes now back home but they are having problems with his sleep mainly -he was so used to having his Mum next to his bed and being woken at strange hours for obs and meds that any routine has gone out of the window.

They are trying to get him back to going to bed at 7pm (it was gone 10pm the first few nights back home)and in his own bed (was refusing to sleep anywhere other than sofa with parents next to him).

Its had a knock-on effect with his eating and general mood and behaviour too. I guess that, as a patient, they have worried parents/family/friends giving them lots of time/attention/gifts/treats to cheer them up etc and become used to that??

Good news is though hes starting to get better and things are improving.

Its only natural that such a change of environment is going to upset them temporarily. It will take time to get things back to how they were but there should be no long term damage from the experience. (friends little boy now has fond memories of the computer games they had on the ward rather than the blood tests for example)

Good luck

RachelG Tue 23-Sep-08 19:02:37

Thank you both for your replies, I feel better now.

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