Thursday, May 27, 2010

What a Week!

Jack and I had quite a week at Vanderbilt.  If your child has to be in the hospital, that's the place to be.  His official diagnosis was severe dehydration.

The first couple of days he had a fever that would not go away, so they did blood work to determine if he had an infection, which he did not.

His blood pressure was extremely high as well for the first few days, and he received fluids via IV for the first four days we were there.  He was a sick little boy but is much, much better now.  I spent the night with him every night but Thursday.

We had a brief due for work on Friday that I had to come home and complete, so Chris stayed with him Thursday night and brought him home on Friday.  We were SO excited for him to be home and for all of us to be together again.

The hospital is so great about having activities available for the children who are there.  They have child life specialists who come to the child's room with toys and games, bubbles, etc. if you can't leave the room. There are music therapists who come around and play music in the room and bring instruments for the child to play.

We saw Scooter, who is a three legged therapy dog.  He was SO cute.  Jack absolutely loved him.  He got into bed with Jack and let Jack love all over him.  Jack kept saying, "I love you puppy."  It was so sweet.  And Scooter's owner was so patient and kind. A volunteer came to our room one night to sing to Jack - he was a man named Chris who is just a volunteer at the hospital and he goes around to the kids' rooms with his guitar and sings to them.  (I mean, we do live in Nashville!)

On Wednesday there was a woman from the Nashville Zoo who came and brought a "big kitty" as Jack said.  I forget what the actual breed of animal was, but it essentially was a big kitty.  Eating raw steak.  Clearly that was not a "come to your room" presentation - there is a performance area in the hospital where larger performances take place.  If your child can't make it down for that, they performances are broadcast on the hospital TV channel in the patient rooms.

On Thursday Jeff Allen came with another singer named Karla and performed for the kids.  They came with a group called Lollipop Theater, which brings movies and other entertainment to children in hospitals.  They were really engaging and good performers.

They both sang a couple of songs and then the audience "helped" them to write a song.  People yelled out things they don't like (Jack said, "Takin a baf!") and they incorporated some of them into a song.  They sang the song while the kids played instruments and sang along.  It was recorded on someone's MacBook and they are sending copies of the CD to the kids who were there.  Jack was really into this.  He was singing and dancing in the audience.  Later when they asked if anyone wanted to come up on stage and help he was the first one up.  In the lap of Jeff Allen.  That's not quite what they had in mind, as the other children all gathered around the steps of the stage with Karla and the children's instruments.  Jack stayed in Jeff's lap the whole time, singing, dancing, and being adorable.  We had to sign a photographic release at the start of the program if we consented to our child's photograph being taken and possibly used for promotional materials, etc.  There was a Vanderbilt photographer there as well as a photographer from Lollipop Theater. Both of them approached me during the performance and asked if I had signed the release.

Vanderbilt also has some great play areas and outside spaces that we took advantage of when Jack was feeling better.

 They really thought of everything when building this facility - the play areas are fully enclosed so the children can't get out, but also locked so nobody can get in unless entering from the hospital.  Jack loved the fish pond and all of the statues in the garden.

There was a man fixing a pump and Jack asked him like 40 times if he was sleeping, as he was laying down to fix it.  The outside areas are such nice, relatively quiet (as quiet as they can be in the middle of the city) and private areas.  Jack and I were both dying to get out of that room and get some fresh air and those areas afforded us the opportunity to do so.

I am so thankful for the care Jack received, the thoughtfulness that was given to us, and the care that we got while we were there.  The people who work at Vanderbilt truly make the experience a good one.  Everyone is so attentive and considerate, they were all fun and silly with Jack - it really is the best place to be if you have to have a child in the hospital.  (Although I do wish I had that night view from my house!)

No comments: