Two weeks ago, Abby got really sick.
If you’re a parent you know how scary that can be. She was running a high temperature, but medication wouldn’t bring it down. When the ear thermometer registered 102.9 degrees and she was too sick to walk to the bathroom, I piled all three kids into the car in the dark and drove to Urgent Care.
If you’ve ever been to a place of medicine with multiple children in tow, at bedtime, you know how rough that can be. But none of that matters when your baby is sick.
They tested for all kinds of things: strep throat (nope), bladder infection (nope), sore throat (nope), ear infection (nope). The list went on and on until, finally, the nurse took her temperature again and it was 104.5 degrees. AFTER MORE TYLENOL AND MOTRIN. I was not wrong. My daughter was very sick.
You might know how this story goes. The doctor was concerned and wanted her to be tested for a very obscure and dangerous decease that causes high fever and can affect the heart. At those words MY heart went into my throat. He recommended we drive her immediately to the children’s hospital down the road.
Thank God my husband had joined us, because my hands were shaking.
So, again, we bundled three children into the van and drove down the street to the Children’s Hospital. I carried my daughter into the Emergency Room, limp in my arms, and prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed. Oh God, let it not be something terrible. Oh God, let it not take forever in this place.
It didn’t take forever to see a doctor there, but it did take us eight hours. Eight hours of sitting in uncomfortable chairs, eight hours of a sick daughter who needed to sleep, eight hours of wondering why in God’s name I didn’t pack a few snacks before leaving the house. My husband took the boys home for the night but they still sat with us in the ER for a couple of hours getting hungry and dropping their toys on the floor (ew).
This story has a happy ending: Abby did NOT have a rare and dangerous disease. She had a bad viral infection that hit her really hard for a few days, but she recovered. We did, however, spend the night in the ER, complete with Abby getting her first IV fluids and me holding her down while the nurses put in said IV. I cried into her blanket.
I learned a lot from that visit to the Children’s Hospital Emergency Room with my daughter: parents with sick kids are at their wits end. They are worried, tired, and exhausted, yet they keep it all together for the child’s sake. I saw so much bravery in that place. This is why, when I was approached about sharing a Random Act of Kindness for Consumer Crafts I said YES immediately and knew exactly what to do.
Every parent needs an emergency activity bag for unexpected trips to the hospital or urgent care. Just as a pregnant woman needs a hospital bag, every mom needs an emergency tote in case one of her kids gets sick enough to need medical attention. It took me three kids to learn this, but I have finally learned it!
I put together these Emergency Activity Totes for an anonymous family at the local Children’s Hospital. I’m so, so excited!
EMERGENCY ACTIVITY TOTE
We are donating these to the local Children’s Hospital and they will be given to a family who’s child is admitted. I made both one boy and one girl’s version, but wish I could have made a hundred more for all the families spending the holidays within those walls!
For these bags I used the Natural Tote from Consumer Crafts (great quality, by the way!). I added a front pocket using some quilting cotton fabric, and a snap closure. The water bottles just came from the grocery store, but I decorated them with washi tape and these chalkboard stickers. Love those little things!
I also made a few fabric drawstring bags to hold supplies, figuring that any mom in a hospital setting needs a little beauty to look at. Plus, these can be reused for other items later.
All of the supplies listed below were purchased at ConsumerCrafts.com.
Felt Bookmarks (for decorating)
Princess Pony Stickers
Funky Owl Felt Stickers
Safari TOOB Petting Zoo animals
After the bags were assembled I thought of more things I would like to add: hand sanitizer, travel pillow and blanket, iTunes gift card, quarters for a snack machine, eye mask, and ear plugs. Wouldn’t that make the PERFECT emergency room tote?
But I think these bags are pretty great as they are! Wouldn’t you like to stock your closet with one? I think I’ll make a few for our family, too.
Thank you so much for reading! And a BIG thank you to Consumer Crafts for sponsoring this post! We are trying to teach our children about the True Spirit of Christmas this year, which for us means understanding the suffering of others and doing something to ease that suffering. Christmas isn’t just about receiving gifts or giving them to those we love. One of my favorite things about the Christmas Story is the underlying theme that entering into the lives of others is what gives us the opportunity to help them. I’m thankful for our Emergency Room experience because it has helped me to have compassion on others who are in similar or worse circumstances.
How can you enter into another persons life to ease their suffering this Season? Is there an Act of Kindness you and your children can do together?