What Can Scare a Boy Mom? A Hospital Stay

Boy Mom’s have to be tough and brave, it comes with the job description. Boys like to do things like put snakes in their dressers, keep spiders as pets, watch zombie movie marathons, and climb really high trees. You would think that nothing could scare a boy mom, but you would be wrong.

I haven’t blogged for the past two weeks because I have been dealing with the one thing that can scare a boy mom. My oldest son had to spend a week in the hospital and have emergency surgery. From the moment I found out he needed to be admitted, I was terrified!

My son had been diagnosed with strep throat seven times since November. I thought we were going to yet another doctors appointment where they were going to yet again diagnose him with strep. Instead, I was told he might have an abscessed tonsil and we were sent to the hospital right away where a CAT scan confirmed the diagnosis.

We spent the next few days and nights in the hospital. My son had his tonsils and adenoids removed and is now almost 100% better. My terrifying week in the hospital gave me a deep admiration for parents who have to survive the nightmare of having children with illnesses that need long term hospitalizations.

Here is a list of reasons why a hospital admission is scarier for a parent than any scary movie.

1) You will be sleep deprived worse than those kids Freddie Krueger tormented in Nightmare on Elm Street. I learned the very first night that hospitals are almost impossible to sleep in. I had to sleep on a bench with a rock hard cushion. Every time I willed myself to attempt to fall asleep out of sure exhaustion, a nurse would come in, my son’s IV pump would start beeping, his monitors would make noise, or someone in the room next to us would flush the toilet and it would sound like a flood was coming. So every night I just sat by his side, watching my beautiful boy sleep, praying he would be ok.

My bed for the week.

2) When they wheel your kid into surgery, you feel helpless. More helpless than a person tied to a tree on a full moon as werewolf bait. The surgeon kept talking about all the worst case scenario things that could happen. He saying phrases like “he might need a tracheotomy if intubation fails”, “he could have a reaction to the anesthesia that might result in death”, and “the infection could get into his bloodstream”. I didn’t want to let go of his hand. I just kept kissing his head. I kept trying to quiet that little voice in my head that was terrified that this might be the last time I ever saw my son alive.

My heart went thru that door with him.

3) You will have to make hard decisions. You know those scenes in the Saw movies where the victims are given really tough choices and they have to make the decision they think will help them best survive. At the hospital, you are forced to make tough decisions and it’s your kids survival that is in jeopardy. The ENT specialist let me choose between surgery and trying another round of a different kind of IV antibiotic, when the first round of IV antibiotics failed. After hearing all the possible outcomes, I choose the surgery because it sounded like the best long term plan. My son was so mad at me. His birthday was four days away and he knew that if he had the surgery he would have to cancel his big bowling birthday party. He told me he hated me and even accused me of “giving away his tonsils”. I still think I made the right decision, but it really hurt listening to the things he had to say.

His last ditch effort to stop the surgery: hiding from the doctors.

4) It’s like that moment in a zombie movie, where the main characters last living family member gets bit. You would do anything to trade places with your little person so that you could take the pain away from them. I couldn’t stand to see him in pain. When the nurse messed up his IV and had to “dig around” to get a new one in, I had to resist the urge to shank her with my fork from breakfast. I am not a violent person, but when you see your son wincing in pain you just want to do anything you can to make that pain go away. If I could have made a pact with the devil right then and there to take his pain I would have done it, no questions asked.

5) You start to look (and smell) like the living dead. At the end of House of 1000 Corpses or Texas Chainsaw Massacre when the lead character is covered in blood and dirt. I probably looked that horrible. I didn’t realize it because I was so focused on my little guy. After day four with no shower, my dad politely declined a hug and told me I really smelled bad. I immediately called my husband who brought me up some clean clothes and I used the shower in my sons bathroom. I realized that for four days I was so focused on making sure my son was being taken care of that I had forgotten to take care of myself.

This is not me…lol

It was a long week and I don’t know how parents do that for months and even years. My heart goes out to every parent who has to live through the nightmare of watching their child be sick and hospitalized.

On a positive note, I am sure you have all been missing my amazing twitter updates on the pants war I am having with my 6 year old and I should be back in full force now that little man is feeling better!


Tiffany O’Connor is a mom to two amazing, energetic, and fearless boys. She is married to her high school sweet heart and has three college degrees. Her hobbies include watching TV shows about zombies, hiding in her hot tub with a bottle of champagne, and writing all about her misadventures parenting in a “man cave” at #Lifewithboys.

Connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook

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4 thoughts on “What Can Scare a Boy Mom? A Hospital Stay

    • April 28, 2015 at 11:44 pm

      Thanks Erin. I am so thankful he is better, but my heart goes out to all the parents who spend months in Children's hospitals

  • May 2, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Very interesting site and a good post. Thanks!

  • August 4, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Very good blog post. I certainly love this site. Keep it up!


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