When my children were little, I was blessed with being able to stay home with them. We had 4 children, 2 with sensory and mental health issues. There were many doctors and many appointments. It was all very overwhelming.
It seemed impossible to keep the house clean and get everyone where they needed to go. But I settled into this busy life and let go of my expectations. I settled into a nice, doable routine.
Then one Memorial Day, it changed. As my husband, John, was helping to get our 4-year-old into a bath, he spied a mosquito in the house. In his attempt to get it, he ran across the tile floor, like we had repeatedly told our kids not to do.
He stepped on a towel, slipped, and landed with a thud on the tile floor. He had the wind knocked out of him but was mostly OK. But with the aches and pains, my husband found himself unable to work and needing surgery on his hip.
Suddenly, my husband was home during all the appointments and doctor visits. He saw the many things I was handling on a daily basis. It was his first day home when the appointments began. As I hustled the children toward the door, John, surprised, asked where we were going. I quickly explained and rushed out the door.
That night, as I prepared the medications for one of our children, my husband asked if he could help. After telling him med by med what to prepare, I came to a realization. We talked about our daily lives in passing conversation. But we had never gone over things in detail. He had no idea which doctor we saw for what, where their offices were, or how to contact them.
It took months of work and many referrals to get all the therapies, specialists, and diagnoses we needed. If something happened to me, and John didn’t know where to find the information, that would be a problem. John and I took the opportunity that his temporary disability had given us for him to learn about the kids’ routine and needs.
We went over the doctors, appointments, and prescriptions for each child. He learned what was going on and could take over if something happened. We used Google Drive to store information. We could both update the prescriptions, doctors, and other important information.
Several years later I am now working, and John has followed his passion and is working at a school. During the summers, he seamlessly takes over the appointments and updates our Google Drive as needed. This has eased our stress. I know he can take over if needed.
I never realized how important it was to make sure John knew all our kid’s medical and educational needs. And how much easier it would be on me when I could share the load.
Learn more about organizing medical records on this website.
I was surprised how parenting a kid with intensive needs affected my relationship with my older children and my extended family.
Categories: Family Support