Knowing Your Health Care Options

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lh_childrens_hospYesterday, I went on a “mom field trip” to visit my new friend Genevieve who has the enviable job of “Social Media Coordinator” at our regional children’s hospital, Children’s Hospital of Central California.  In her newly created position, Genevieve is using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to better educate the families of the Central Valley about her hospital, but more importantly about health care in general.  This is one cool lady, doing a fantastic job that will impact lots of families living in our valley.

During our tour of the NICU, Genevieve and I spent some time talking about how we wished we had been more educated about our health care options during our pregnancies.  I must admit that I gave absolutely no consideration to that horrible “what if” question and would have been completely unprepared had my boys needed neonatal intensive care services.  I thought about strollers, clothing, and a car seat, but not about what I would have done if one of my babies needed immediate treatment following his birth.  One of the things that is great about Genevieve’s new job is that she will have a voice to help new and first time moms think about these types of things before they actually might need to make a decision.

Strolling through the NICU and seeing the care being given to those tiny little treasures made my heart swell.  No mother wants to see her newborn preemie hooked up to equipment, but thankfully there are places like the Children’s Hospital of Central California where skilled and dedicated doctors and nurses are ready and waiting to help our children.

Do you have a local children’s hospital?  Have you—during your pregnancies or even now that you have children—given any thought to where you would go in the event of a health care emergency or crisis in your family?  Let’s say a prayer today, on the Feast of St. Blaise, for all of those providing health care services to our families.

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About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children’s fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa’s articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

4 Comments

  1. My youngest was born a little over 24 years ago, full term but caesarian due to her size and my wife’s health condition. She was born at our local community hospital but was having suffering respiratory distress whcih required her to be transported some distance to a larger medical center with a neonatal intensive care unit. I remember feeling weak and needing to sit down, feeling helpless, what do I do? My wife was not out of recovery and I needed to sign consent forms, understand what I could about a very fluid and serious situation. It litearlly felt like the wind was knocked out of me. I asked the staff to call our parish to have one of our priests come and baptize her and tried to get everything written down and stright in my mind because my wife, my partner, the mother of this child, needed me to do the right thing and to explain it to her. All-in-all crazy for 45 minutes. Then the Ambulance with a nurse from the medical center arrived and took charge. They helped my daughter breathe almost immediately and, they helped ME to breathe. My daughter arrived at the NICU, was cared for, I was cared for, and she recovered without incident.

    The thing to get across here isn’t that my local hospital was bad or wrong, it was that the folks who handle emergency neonatal patients understand they have more than one patient….they have the baby and the baby’s parents. I was “treated” with understanding, compassion and complete 24 hr access to the unit, in person or by phone with as much information and answers to my questions that I could handle. God was in those folks, present at that time, holding me and my family through them.

    Thank you for reminding me of this God-moment. I prayed for all of those people on staff there that day as well as those working there and ewlsewhere now.as I wrote this.

  2. We were through one major surgery for my daughter (when she was 22, luckily everything turned out fine). When you pause from worrying about their health, you start worrying about whether the cost is covered by the health insurance, and if they will have problems getting health care insurance in the future with a “pre-existing” condition.

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