Our 1st Visit to the Children’s Hospital… Sweetness!

15 Aug

No photos today, although I WISH I had video of the first little girl (her mom was taking video on her iphone).  

Anyway, we got to the hospital and met with the volunteer coordinator, Krissy.  Paris and Jaedin were with me, but Abyni is too young, so she had to stay home.  I was going to have Jaedin take photos of the kids with Bean and send the photos to the parents, but Krissy said that we’ll have to wait for next time so that she can get release forms for the parents who want photos.

We went to a couple of rooms, but those kids were asleep.  The coordinator stopped at the next door and told us that our first patient was a 2 year old little girl named Faith.  We walked in to see this tiny little girl surrounded by lots of white sheets and pillows around her.  IVs in her arms and some sort of things stuck to her chest. I felt at a loss.  What should I say?  What should I NOT say?  What if I did it wrong?

I took a breath, kneeled down beside her bed and Bean started talking to her.  She was so so sweet and just a gorgeous little girl. She was obviously a little out of it and sleepy, but after Bean talked to her a little bit and played peek a boo, she tentatively held out her finger and brought it up near Bean’s mouth.  Bean pretended to nom nom nom on her finger and we had our first smile.  It was the best thing ever.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the parents leaning closer, the mom with her phone, trying to get video of that smile without distracting her.

Then Faith started reaching further, reaching under Bean’s arm.  I couldn’t figure out what she was doing, but I was trying so hard.  She hadn’t made but a few unintelligible sounds since we got there.  I didn’t want to do anything wrong, but I loved seeing her smile.  

Then she tugged on Bean’s arm and Bean leaned over… and she reached up, with an IV in each arm, it seemed to be a struggle, but she wrapped her arms around Bean and squeezed him with a big hug.  I think I had tears in my eyes.  I looked up at her mom, and she just… it was an amazing look.

After a few seconds, she pulled back and played with Bean, holding her finger out for him to “bite”, which always brought a big smile.  

Then it was time to go.  She was obviously wearing down, so Bean said “Bye Bye” and she gave a little wave with her free hand… and then reached out for another hug.  She held him so tight and laid there, patting his back for a little bit.  My joints were killing me, my feet were cramping up horribly, but I couldn’t bring myself to move.  That was the sweetest hug… 

We finally got out of that room, and I was seriously hobbling for a while after squatting down that long… and regrouped a little bit and got my emotions under control.  The next patient was sleeping, and the next was busy with the oncologist, so we went to our second and last patient.

An 8 year old named Rebecca. I was a little paranoid.  What if an 8 year old would just look at this crazy lady holding a puppet and just think it was stupid?  There was no going back, so we forged ahead.  I’m so glad we did.

We walked into the room and Rebecca was sitting up on the edge of the bed.  Bean said “Hi Rebecca!” and she giggled.  Then he asked her something else and she just giggled.  All he got were giggles, so suddenly he said, “Oh No Paris!  I don’t think she can talk!  She has no words!” all the while, Rebecca is giggling more and more…during this time her parents and siblings came in and stood in the corner watching.

Bean was getting really concerned, but willing to play along, so Bean says, “Okay, Rebecca, since you can’t talk, we’ll just play a game.  I’m going to ask you questions, and if the answer is YES, you giggle ONE TIME, if the answer is NO, giggle TWO TIMES.  Okay?”  (she giggled)  “YES?” turning to Paris, he says, “Paris, did you see that?  She giggled ONE TIME, so that means she wants to play with me!”

Then he asked her several questions about herself, if her name was really Rebecca, if she was 8 years old, if she liked sparkly things (she was wearing a sparkly head band)… then he noticed that the family was standing in the corner, so he leaned closer to Rebecca and said, “Rebecca, don’t be worried, but there are some strange people standing in the corner STARING AT US!  NO!  Don’t look!!!  Just PEEK…. see them?  Aren’t they silly?”  And she giggled some more.  Bean asked if she had a sister and she giggled, then he asked what her sister’s name was… and she giggled some more.  Bean turned to Paris and said, “Paris, did you hear that?  She doesn’t even remember her own sister’s NAME!”

He continued to ask her questions until he saw her stuffed bear and asked, “Hey, you have a bear!  What is its name?”

She took her bear into her lap and said, “Hugo”

Bean freaked out, “PARIS!  PARIS!!  DID YOU HEAR THAT?  She can TALK AGAIN!  We’re making her better!!!”  To which Rebecca giggled so hard that she snorted!  Her family laughed in the background:)

Bean and Rebecca talked some more and giggled a lot.  At some point, her little brother finally got the nerve to come over and get a hug from Bean, and then he bolted back to the corner.  Rebecca gave Bean a hug good-bye, and we finally made our way out of the room.

It was only two kids, but it was such a wonderful visit with both of them… I can’t wait to do it again!  We’re shooting for once a month right now, but maybe we can work up to twice a month later.  I would love to commit to going every week, but I’m trying to not over-commit so that I dont’ end up spreading myself too thin.

We left and Jaedin said, “That made me so happy.”  He loves volunteering, so I wasn’t surprised.  We all left feeling happy that we were able to cause some wonderful smiles and giggles.  

Krissy invited us to their Christmas Party in December.  Its a big fundraiser/entertainment night and she said that she’d put us on the list.  

Wow.  What an emotional morning!  I am so glad that we went!!!

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5 Responses to “Our 1st Visit to the Children’s Hospital… Sweetness!”

  1. Stacey Thompson August 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    YAY that is awesome!

  2. Momma Jorje August 15, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    Wow! Just Wow! That is SO wonderful! It makes me want to find a good way for ME to volunteer there… though I have my hands full with very young ones at the moment. I love Children’s Hospital and prefer to go there for the tests we’ve needed.

    • Bean's Monkey Business August 15, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

      Thanks. The whole experience set a whole new ‘tone’ to our entire day. I wish I could do it every day without feeling completely overwhelmed. It was pretty emotional for me, too, just thinking about it from a parent’s perspective. When that first little girl smiled for the first time and hugged Bean, the emotion in that woman’s eyes… it just left me speechless for a bit, totally took me out of character, so I guess its good that Faith was taking her time hugging Bean, because he couldn’t talk anyway!:)

  3. mommajorje August 15, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    Wow! Just Wow! You are an inspiration. What an amazing experience!

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