Friday, July 11, 2008

Thoughts on a Hospital Room

We are at a Children's Hospital. In our room, in addition to the patient bed, there is a couch-thing that pulls out into a bed-thing.

It is exactly like what was in my dorm room in college. Many of you would recognize it -- big wooden thing, twin mattress, slides in and out.

Because they don't provide food to parents, I have a dorm-size refrigerator that I tote up every time. It's worth the back strain, especially since it's not my back. The Husband adjusts his schedule so he can come unload all our stuff. I just loll around, waiting for him to tote that barge, lift that bale.

And I have my guitar. Last night, LW and I played an extended remix of "If you're happy and you know it," that included verses such as "If you're sleepy and you know it, close your eyes ..."

Yeah, that worked.

So ... here I am, with the hum of the fridge, sitting on my couch/bed, occasionally picking up my guitar, with a roommate who doesn't want to go to sleep at a decent hour.

Talk about your deja vu ...

There is a rocking chair in this room, as there are in all the rooms on this floor. This one has a gold rectangle that informs me it is in memory of Francis, 2007.

If LW survives all this, I'm going to donate something and put a huge plate on it that says, "In honor of LW who is still alive and going strong." I appreciate the sentiment of wanting to make a room more comfortable in memory of a beautiful child ... but sometimes, on this floor, you just really need to see something that says Children CAN survive cancer.

Actually, I just read something that said exactly that. It was a story about a girl named Michelle Nolan who survived the very cancer LW has. And this survivor is older than me.

One of the weird things was that in the book, the mother details the very worst day of her entire life -- June 20, 1969. The day I was born, a mother's heart was breaking over her daughter having Wilms' Tumor.

Anyway, you'll hear no complaints from me about our hospital room. Back in Michelle's day (and still, to this day) there are parents who can't even spend the night with their child. There are horrid things called visiting hours and wards and just a curtain separating you from another patient.

We have our own room, own bathroom. Because we're just here getting chemo, the only thing Little Warrior is hooked up to is her iv pole. No monitors. No hordes of students wanting to examine her. For the most part, we're left alone, other than vitals checks and changing bags of fluid and chemos. We watch tv, and play games, and have tea parties, and sing songs. And when the walls begin to close in on us, we grab Mr. IV Pole and go to the playroom, or on a walk, or up to the 16th floor if the library is open.

Tonight, The Princess and Bo Peep are going to spend the night. We'll have a girls-only slumber party. We'll go up to the 16th floor and I'll let each of them get one thing from the vending machines.

I'm telling ya, it's so much like college, I keep looking for empty beer bottles and pizza boxes in the hall.


jbgrinch said...

I wish you a fun overnight and a chance to spend more time with both kids together. I was curious as to what kind of guitar you play and what kind of music. with thoughts and prayers to LW and you.

Lizard Eater said...

Ibanez dreadnought cutaway acoustic-electric -- nothing luxurious, but nonetheless, I'm luxuriating in it. I had been playing an acoustic that was custom-made ... just not for me.

I'm a folkie and the music I write probably reflects that. But I also like old country music, some rock and pop. Anything my friends want to sing along to.

Christine Robinson said...

I LOVE the idea of a rocking chair donated in honor of LW's recovery!

Hi, It's Kari. said...

A rocking chair and a rocking guitar. All **has** to be well then.

Holding you all in my heart.