This weekend I spent some time at our local children’s hospital. The hospital just opened a gorgeous new addition and I volunteered to be a hospitality person of sorts, in the lobby at a refreshments table. It wasn’t too busy while I was there but I did feel useful and glad to be there.
This was sort of a last minute thing. I am on the Family Advisory Council and at our monthly meeting, which was this past Tuesday, they asked for volunteers. I could imagine how stressful the move would be for families with children currently in the hospital and what a huge undertaking it would be for the staff. I’ve only been on the council for about a year but in that time I have learned so much about the work that went into making this expansion happen and how dedicated and diligent the staff of the hospital is. They truly embody the family centered model. The space itself is breathtaking. Seriously the atrium at sunset, the healing garden, the children’s art work in the emergency department, art all over, the colors, light, comfortable patient rooms, all of it… gorgeous.
Back to Saturday, I didn’t go thinking that going would help me. I went because I felt needed and knew I could, but in the end it was actually just what I needed. Nick’s leg troubles have been weighing so heavily on me this week. I didn’t come away from his appointment with Dr. Standard feeling as positive as I normally do. I could tell Nick didn’t feel great either. Being at the hospital and watching children with much more serious conditions play and smile reminded me that Nick would be okay too. No one knows what the future holds for themselves or their children. Nick will be able to play and smile when all is said and done.
Being at the hospital was also an opportunity to meet some staff that I had not encountered before. One gal in particular was from marketing and we ended up talking for a while. We chatted about a lot of things, like the fact that families of kids with orthopedic conditions need support and how I have tired to use this blog and the facebook group to give people that, and receive it myself too. The families in the facebook group are amazing, as are the adults with fibular hemimelia. Their responses to my posts this week really helped me. Still I think many families often need more than we can offer on-line. I think hospitals need to provide this as part of the child’s care. Actual parent support.
I know I needed to talk about this weeks struggles and I really opened because this gal was just the kind of person who made it easy. I could tell she wanted to hear what I had to say. In the course of our conversation she suggested we try physical therapy for Nick. Dr. Standard had said this could be an option if the stretching we are doing doesn’t help but really after this chat yesterday I think therapy is what we should do NOW. It just felt like ‘duh’ of course we should do that.
I think PT will help Nick even if it does not solve what is going on now and when I told him he was happy about it. I KNEW he would be because I don’t think he felt like we were taking his pain seriously, but doing something, being proactive feels good!
Even though nothing has changed in this moment I feel so much better. Tomorrow I will email Dr. Standard and his PA and ask for the prescription for therapy. I am hopeful that it will help and grateful to this woman I met who helped me so much. Neither of us knew what our morning would hold but we both got something out of our conversation and we hugged and really felt connected in that moment. Being open, sharing, trusting others and getting outside myself again saved me. It always does. Now I am back on track to help my boy!