You know you’re a father of a 6yo girl with cancer when…

Over the last few months of being at hospital I’ve created a list of things that indicate I’ve got a girl with cancer:

  1. Vomit bags decorate the house
  2. You can talk the medication lingo Ondanse, Max, Dex, Loraz, Oxy, Lasix, Cyclo, Vinc, Dox, Cisplat …
  3. Don’t go to the beach or swimming as you know the central line can’t get wet
  4. A ‘day pack’ now includes a medications you know the ED don’t regularly carry
  5. You know your childs’ name, date of birth and allergy status
  6. It’s not uncommon or uncomfortable to have conversations about wee poo and vomit (much like when you have a baby)
  7. You know how to be a patient patient, you’ve jumped the queue before when things were serious, so you know why there are people ahead of you.
  8. Much patience and flexibility is required to get your child to do what you want (choose your battles, look for distraction/rewards, give limited choice)
  9. You know your childs’ name, date of birth and allergy status
  10. You know your childs hospital ID(UR) number
  11. You not only know all her stuffed toys names, but their attitudes
  12. Know that sometimes it’s easier to hook up NG feeding than have the one hour I’m hungry but I don’t know what I want conversation
  13. Have a hospital day bag always half packed ready to go
  14. Have a check list of the things not to forget for a hospital day trip
  15. You know your childs’ name, date of birth and allergy status
  16. Know that the car park full sign means you’ve still got 90% chance of finding a park (even if it takes 15 minutes to find it)
  17. Drink sensibly and keep under the limit, in case you have to drive back to hospital
  18. Know what is like to sit in the back seat of your car
  19. Can scan a room full of kids, pick out the one with a runny nose and divert your child from going anywhere near them
  20. Know that it takes at lest 2 hospital ‘towels’ to dry yourself
  21. Wash your hands before, during and after eating
  22. You have a three vomit bags in site at all times
  23. Stickers, the prize box and playdoh are currency
  24. Know the smell of an antibiotic wee
  25. Eat smelly food outside the room.. Unless you don’t mind catching vomit while eating.
  26. Don’t eat spicy food, just in case the after effects cause …vomiting
  27. Are skilled at the art of waking from a deep sleep, jumping out of bed and catching vomit
  28. Think you’re good at ‘biting your tongue’ when you’re tired and cranky and have an opinion on return everything
  29. You know that you can’t play Happy Chef in the iPad when she’s nauseous
  30. You know the difference between a cough and a the start of a vomit … ahh.. No, no you can’t
  31. Paper towel is the official note paper of nurses
  32. You can cook bacon and eggs on an underpowered sandwich toaster without fire alarms going off
  33. Blend 43 tastes ok if it’s double shot with two sugars and you really really, really need to be caffeinated
  34. Have no trouble discussing a bowel motions and what a poonami and overflow is with the doctors
  35. Can flick a vomit bad open on one movement of the wrist
  36. Just like camping… Use a cup if you forgot the bowl; a spoon makes an ok fork if you can’t find one
  37. As with everywhere.. Build a relationship with the receptionist and cleaner, they are valuable people to know

This is the start of my #HospitalHack series of posts, over the coming weeks/months I hope to share how I’ve made our hospital admissions a little more bearable.

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