Caring for siblings during child's hospitalization

Shelley Hurguy, RN, Certified Holistic Health Counselor, shares advice from personal experience for parents on how to help care for your other children during your child's hospitalization
Caring For Siblings During A Child's Hospitalization
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Caring for siblings during child's hospitalization

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It's a challenge giving your children that aren't hospitalized the physical and emotional support they need when one of your children is hospitalized. It's easy to get caught up in the child that is going to be hospitalized and that makes sense; it is a big deal. But I think it's really important not to forget those kids that are going to be at home. Not only are they going to be missing their brother or sister, they're also going to be missing a parent or both parents. We always enlisted the help of my children's grandparents so that each child was with a family member, whether it be the ones that were at home or the ones that were in the hospital. We encouraged our kids to draw pictures and make cards for their sibling that was in the hospital and then we'd put them up in their room. We would let them talk on the phone every day. They never really had much to say but I think it helped make them feel connected. I was always blown away with how genuinely concerned they were about their sibling. And I think it's important to validate that for them. My husband and I would always takes turns; every day one of us would go home to take a shower and be with the other kids. Sometimes it was only a couple minutes but we made sure that we sat down with each one of them and listened to them, spent time with them, laughed, played a game, read a book, something. Even though it didn't seem like much, it made a difference to them.

Shelley Hurguy, RN, Certified Holistic Health Counselor, shares advice from personal experience for parents on how to help care for your other children during your child's hospitalization

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Shelley Hurguy, RN, MSN, CRNA, CHHC

Certified Holistic Health Counselor

I am holistic health coach with a certificate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I have a Master’s Degree in Nursing, and worked as a Nurse Anesthetist for over a decade. I have been trained in more than one hundred dietary theories and found my passion for the power of healing through food when I read Paul Pitchford’s Healing With Whole Foods in response to my daughter’s medical challenges.

My daughter was born with a congenital bowel defect and endured several surgeries before her first birthday. After a highly specialized surgery to render her continent at age eight, my daughter was sent home with a list of medications that were intended for use unendingly. The medications contained chemicals and food dyes meant to alter the passage of food through her gastrointestinal tract, and I couldn’t find a natural supplemental alternative. I began to research dietary solutions to her body’s response to food, digestion and elimination.

During this time of navigating my daughter’s medical condition, professionally, I was administering anesthesia to patients undergoing bariatric surgery; a process of shrinking the stomach so the patient is forced to eat less food. I knew there had to be a better way to solve the issue of obesity, and that there was more to being overweight than just eating too much.

I have learned that what we eat and what we don't eat can profoundly affect and heal our bodies. I offer personalized “roadmaps to health,” created to suit each individual’s body, lifestyle, preferences and goals.

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