When Annie was admitted to the ward she quickly made it known that she consisted of at least 30 % sass, 30% energy, and 30% pure spunk. I think she probably had to be that way.
Annie wobbled around the ward like an awkward duck. Her legs were bilaterally bowed into dim lit half moons which decreased her height by at least six inches. It looked terribly uncomfortable. However, she seemed unfazed. Annie boldly made herself at home in the ward, following around the nurses and demanding crayons.
Did I say she was 30% sass? Perhaps it was more like 50%...
I took care of Annie Friday, the day after her surgery. The day I had eight pediatric patients. Eight screaming patients under the age of six. It was a memorable day.
Annie was having some problems mixing pain with anxiety. She literally screamed all day. It took some serious couching and deep breathing exercise to calm her down. Thankfully, as Anne from "Anne of Green Gables" would say, "Each day is fresh with no mistakes."
When I came to work on Saturday Annie was a reformed-much-happier-not-screaming-at-every-moment child. Thankfully. Our friendship was solidified when I carried her and her two casted legs upstairs to the 7th deck for some fresh air.
Later that night Annie was visited by her father. He brought her some cookies and apologized for not bringing the plums she had wanted. I suppose in America it would have been the equivalent of bringing a new toy but being unable to bring the favorite cookies.
It makes me happy to think that Annie will be able to stand strait and tall. That her legs will keep up with her vivacious spirit.
I love Acan's ears. They pop out from the sides of his head and beg to be pulled.
Acan is back for his second club foot surgery. He's a sweet, smiley six year old. Acan's dad, who is staying with him, is very sweet and attentive to his needs. However, regardless of how wonderful your dad is, whether your a little of a big kid, there is just something really soothing about mom.
I remember being little and having my mom wake me up for school or church by gently rubbing my back. It was such a nice way to start the morning. (of course I also remember all the mornings of my dad standing at the door, loudly singing his own lyrics to some classic song that generally went something like, "Megan, you need to get out of bed, it's a beautiful morning and you have to get up"...the style differences between moms and dads :)
After I listened to his lungs and gave him his medicine, I tucked him in and sat by Acan's bed, gently rubbing his head and chest. He cracked a delighted contented smile, and then slowly closed his eyes and tilted his head towards me. I think kids need a women's nurturing touch. It's quite important actually.
Since his mother was not here to rub his head as he drifted to sleep, I figured I should do it for her. I'm sure she would be glad to know her baby was being loved.
Alfred is a bit of a legend in his own time. He has spent most of the outreach with us and his disembarkment from the ship does look like it will be in the near future.
You just have to love Alfred. He is a fun, sweet spirited, mildly sassy fourteen year old boy. He is here alone, with sporadic visits from his father. He is friends with Emmanuel, a fifteen year old who I have not seen have a visitors in the month he has been here, in the bed next to him. Together they play uno, laugh, and even play soccer in the hallway on their crutches. I am quite attached to them both.
On Saturday, Alfred brought a deck of card outside. He performed several very clever and nicely delivered magic tricks in which he discovered and uncovered the cards i had secretly chosen.
When I came on tonight both Alfred and Emmanuel said, "Oh sister Meggee, we'd be missing you today." Emmanuel asked me his typical, "Meggee, are you my nurse?" and then smiled when I said yes.
I tucked Emmanuel in before he fell asleep. He is a giant four year old trapped in a 15 year old body and I am sad for him because he has no parents with him. For a while, he was really having a hard time emotionally. It was sad. So I try to give him a little extra love.
It's funny how small things can make such a big difference to people. Emmanuel's smile when I tuck him into at night clearly shows how much he enjoys the special attention. It's nice to make someone feel special.
As I tucked Emmanuel in he asked me when I was leaving. I grew a little teary eyed. I really love being with the patients.
And I'm really going to miss tucking them in at night.