Dear Moms, Dads, Grandparents, and All Other Caregivers,

If you find yourself reading this letter, I can only assume it’s because you, like me, are the parent or guardian of a child with complex medical needs. I would also assume you are considering opening your home and heart to home nursing. You, friend, are about to embark on a brand-new adventure. You are about to trust home health nurses with your most precious gift — your child.

Maybe you aren’t ready. Maybe you are scared. Maybe, just maybe, you feel like you should be able to do this all alone, like some sort of superhuman. I'm here to tell you all of those feelings are normal, and I know this because I once felt them all. My son was born eight years ago with multiple  congenital anomalies, birth defects and a list of health conditions as long as my arm. He has had every kind of feeding tube possible, including a semipermanent IV. He’s had dozens of surgeries and has spent more nights admitted to the hospital than I can count.

But I won’t overwhelm you with the intricate details of my son’s medical journey. After all, that’s not really why I am writing this. I am writing this with one intent: to ease your mind and calm your nerves as you begin the journey into home health nursing.

I once heard a speaker say, “Home nursing is something no one wants but a lot of people need.” Wow. “So stinking true!” I thought. I didn’t want my son to be sick enough to need nursing in our home, but the truth was, he did. He needed nurses to watch him and provide medical care for him while he slept during the night, while his dad and I worked and while he was at school. He needed the kind of care a hospital or facility would provide, but because of home nursing, he could get that care right in our living room. As you know, our children can’t just go to day care or be left with a sitter. We need people with very specific skills to meet our children’s everyday needs. We need nurses, and even though we might feel like it sometimes, we are not superhuman. We need help.

This is a big leap you are taking and the road will be rocky at times, but let me tell you: It’s going to be worth it. Nurses will start as strangers but quickly feel like members of your extended family. You will feel a weight lifted off your shoulders that has started to feel so natural, you didn’t even know it was there. What feels like chaos now is soon going to feel like a new normal, and everything is going to be all right.

Another Medical Mom,
Liz McNulty