A recent experience with my Dad getting admitted to the hospital and finally returning home almost back to normal after 12 days of time in hell for him, and the entire family, led to a lot of new lessons learnt in a short span for me!

12 days might seem fairly short compared to the experiences of a lot of people. But it was new for us. My Dad, a 65 year old man, who’d never fallen seriously ill, never been hospitalized for illness, was too much to take. Well, the pandemic didn’t make it any easier!

This article is just a list of lessons I learnt about me, my Dad, and my family. A note to others who might go through a similar situation(which I never hope for). A reminder to myself about the fact that not all things are under my control.

What I learnt about my Dad-

  1. He’s going through his second childhood, whether he (or we) accepts it or not, it’s true

What I learnt-

The day my parents turned 60, I told myself- ‘I should be/I am prepared for anything from today on, they’re old, I should be ready to let go…’

Well, I remembered this a zillion times when I saw him lying in the hospital bed, and asked myself- ‘Am I? Really???’

I laughed at myself.

  1. I’m not ready, I’ll never be, probably none of us will ever be

Some pointers to note, while taking care of your loved ones at hospitals-

  1. You’ve to take up role of a parent

Things to pack for the patient-

  1. Bedsheets, bedspreads, blankets, pillow, etc- on need basis

Things to pack for the caregiver-

  1. bed sheets/blankets

Pointers if this happens during a pandemic-

  1. Hand sanitizer bottles in everyone’s bag who’s taking the caregiver role

Generic advice-

  1. Take turns with family members to stay with the patient- taking care of a patient is mentally and physically exhausting

I hesitated taking help from people initially thinking my Dad was COVID positive just to be safe. Even after we were sure it wasn’t COVID, I avoided taking help from a lot of my friends who were willing to.

But there came a point, when I gave up and reached out to them- made sure everyone strictly followed COVID protocols while running around- but I was glad I did that. I don’t think I was capable of pulling through this if it wasn’t for them.

P.S- My Dad is recovering well, we are all glad to be back home.

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