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Mended Little HeartGuide

Diagnosis 3 In The Pay attention to your emotional state as well, and contact your physician or social worker if you are concerned about depression. Eat well and stay hydrated. Living on coffee and hospital cafeteria food is no way to treat your body, and it won’t give you the energy you need to continue to be your child’s best advocate. It is important that you eat nutritious foods and drink plenty of water during your child’s hospitalization. It is easy to lose track of time and miss meals when you are on “hospital time.” Combat this by carrying snacks such as granola bars, fruit or nuts. Exercise. Whether your child is in the hospital or at home, regular exercise is important for both your physical and emotional well-being. Try to schedule at least 20 minutes of exercise a day — even a brisk walk around the hospital counts! Studies have shown that regular exercise clears the mind, encourages better sleep and is a great stress reducer — things that are even more vital during difficult times. Distract, distract, distract! Keeping up with your favorite hobbies or developing new ones is a good way to take a mental vacation. Knitting, reading, drawing and blogging are easy ways to busy your hands and quiet your mind. Educate yourself. Knowledge is power! Learn about and understand your child’s diagnosis, medications and treatment plan. (Ask your doctor to recommend reputable websites where you can learn more and ONLY get information from those.) If your hospital allows, participate in medical rounds for your child, and request family meetings to get updates or discuss care plan changes. Ask questions if you don’t understand something. Keep a notebook nearby to write down questions as they come to mind. Get organized. Keep all of the information you’ve received about your child’s diagnosis in one place. The forms in this Mended Little HeartGuide will help you record important information. Get a binder to store and organize papers given to you by the hospital or doctors. Directions on creating a binder are also included in this Mended Little HeartGuide. Take back your family. Don’t let your child’s diagnosis define your family. Recognize that your son or daughter’s illness places every member of the family under increased stress and makes it more difficult for you to support each other. This is especially true for other children, who may have fears and anxiety that they aren’t voicing. It is important for your family to spend time together that is not focused on your child’s diagnosis. Plan family game nights, share special meals or attend a sporting event as a family. 1 General Information 2 Prenatal Hospital 4 Living With CHD 5 Forms 11


Mended Little HeartGuide
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