Since all 3 of my kids inherited my asthma (sorry guys!) we have had LOTS of late nights/doctor visits/ER visits and hospitalizations.
One of my last posts was about Kids in the Hospital
I promised I would share the story about Kitty being in the hospital on her birthday.....so here goes.
Son #2 and Kitty both had pneumonia (again). I mean - what else is there to do in winter?! Son #2 was admitted to the hospital the day before Kitty was and she was SO MAD that she had to be in the hospital again.
But there she was, the day before her 7th birthday. After were settled in her room and had her oxygen on, IV hooked up, and had met all of the nurses, I realized I would have to cancel Kitty's birthday party for the next day.
The woman in the photo above is the hospital's "Child Life Specialist" (CLS) . She helps the kids play games, gives them donated blankets and stuffed animals and generally tries to make the hospital a less scary place for kids.
CLS came to check on us and see what we needed. After a sleepless night, I was in a daze and mumbled something about Kitty's birthday was the next day and I would have to cancel her birthday party.
She said, "Don't do that! Just have the kids come here!" Since I was a little sleep deprived, I wasn't processing what CLS was saying and stared at her blankly.
CLS said that they have had other birthday parties at the hospital, and we could quickly plan one for Kitty. She asked what theme Kitty wanted? That year it was puppies. CLS said she would decorate the spare conference room, ask the hospital cafeteria to bake a puppy themed birthday cake, and arrange for security to escort the group of kids to the secure pediatrics floor of the hospital.
Hubby had just arrived at the hospital to switch places so I could go home to shower and change and see our other kids. I was re-energized with CLS's plans, so I stopped by the party supply store for puppy themed party supplies.
I called the parents and said there's been a change for Kitty's party, can you come to the hospital tomorrow? We'll have the party there!
The last thing to figure out was how to get Kitty to the conference room with all of her friends.
Since this was her 6th hospitalization, we had to be sneaky. The next morning I told Kitty that she needed another chest x-ray, but that we would just walk down (and pull her oxygen tank behind us) instead of taking the wheelchair. So off we went down the hall. Only I turned right instead of left and went down a different hallway. I stopped in front of a door not far from her hospital room and said, "Okay, let's go in!" She looked at me and rolled her eyes and said, "Mom - this isn't x-ray!" (Seriously? What 7 year old kid knows what the x-ray department looks like at the hospital??)
I threw open the door to the conference room to a loud "Surprise!!!" from all of her friends and their parents. CLS had done a GREAT job! There were balloons, posters, and lots of puppy themed toys and games.
In the photo above, you can see the kids wearing their black puppy ears and white puppy paw print hats while they sit around a table. CLS found cute silver dog bowls, filled them with beads, and helped the kids make beaded "dog collars".
I don't remember the other games, or even what the cake looked like.
But I do remember being filled with love. Love for Kitty. Love for Kitty's friends and their families. And love for CLS who took the time to coordinate a hospital birthday party for one VERY sick little 7 year old.
She helped us make the best of a bad situation.
And for that, I am truly grateful. Despite what I see on the news each night, there is still good in the world.