Friday, November 2, 2012

The National Jewish Hospital is an amazing place

Upon the first tour of the pediatric day program ward I realized I over-packed and worried a lot more than necessary.  I had pictured us being put into a doctors office and left there for two weeks while I try hopelessly to control my children, while feeding them a hundred packages of fruit snacks on a daily bases. 

I even pictured myself leaving the two week program early because of it being to hard to handle...looking back I'm embarrassed of that thought.  How could I be so weak? I hadn't even started and I could envision myself being a quitter! What a horrible example to set for my children.  Thankfully that was not what transpired.

Upon arriving we are given a tour of our unit.  It is small but everyone has smiling faces.  There is a fridge, with snacks for the kids...whoa why am I lugging this junk food around?  I still need this bag though so my kids have stuff to do.  I spent a lot of time preparing small art projects and activities for Harlee to do while waiting.  A few small toys and coloring books and crayons, my kindle is full of new apps and there is Team Umizoomie on my phone.  I am ready for the boredom of sitting in a hospital for two weeks.  Wait...what is this, is this play room??  Only child appropriate TV allowed here, which is great for a TV natzi like my husband and I.  We are very picky about what our children watch.  There was a 'teen room' down the hall for the older kids to watch more adult TV.

Cheyenne playing in the little playroom.

We are shown to our room which not the dreaded doctors office but a real hospital room and it's baby proofed, that in it's self is a mother's dream.  First things first, Cheyenne is giving a ton of toys.
Cheyenne and some of her in they gave her more than you see here.

Every child is rewarded for all the stuff they are required to do. Everyone has a sticker chart. Each required activity has a sticker value, once your chart is full you go to the reward closet. Cheyenne loves the stickers but the overall idea is lost on her, so the nurses bring her toys every once in a while.

After her first prick allergy testing they bring her a baby! Her favorite thing!

So then they have this super play area that is sponsored by the Ronald McDonald House.  This place is amazing.  It has indoor play area AND outdoor play area.  This place is awesome!  I would take my kids here even if we weren't in the hospital.

At this point she thinks we are on vacation. 

This super play area isn't open all the time, only when a child life specialist is available to be in there to watch the children.  On another day the child life specialist came with us to Cheyenne's throat X-Ray to help distract her from the 'big scary machine'.  I had never even heard of a child life specialist I wish I could hire one to come live with me. 

My husband and I went on a 'date' to the hospital cafeteria for lunch.  They happily kept both of our children even though Harlee wasn't a patient.  In fact it was their idea.  Apparently we are in desperate need of more date nights.  I don't think the girls even noticed we were gone and Harlee keeps asking me for these markers.

In the end there was no worries.  Being here was comfortable.  Being here was easy.  I feel so blessed to have been a part of this program and even more blessed after seeing the other children here and the miraculous things they do here for extreme allergies and eczema.  I would recommend this program to anyone who has a child with allergies and/or eczema.  The toys I brought went unplayed with, the projects for Harlee went undone and my snacks went uneaten, which was just fine with me. I even kept my kindle to myself and got a little reading done.  I didn't need to worry about anything before coming here. 

Now that it's all said and done  I look back at our time in the hospital and feel grateful and I see memories instead of they suckyness I imagined.

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