|Being in the hospital is scary and sad!|
So...clearly, Christopher had some anger issues that he needed some help with. None of my "mom speak" was working, so they brought in the professionals. Christopher was definitely a candidate for anger management. It's true that frustration and anger are a normal part of dealing with chronic illness, and with children it can be a particularly tricky and delicate situation. Children have limited life experience and knowledge. Their ability to understand what is happening to them is also limited, and this often leads to feelings of intense fear and distress. It doesn't take a stretch of the imagination then to understand just why this often leads to angry, tearful, and emotional outbursts.
|It was a good thing for that nurse that Christopher didn't happen to have one of those things handy when she pushed the Morphine into his IV!|
|Help me, Doc! Why did I kick the nurse?|
She told him about "hospital school." She explained that they had a real school with real teachers, and that you could go there to work on some of your assignments from school. There were lots of other kids there too that you could talk to, or you could read books from the school library. The teachers often had lots of fun arts and crafts projects that you could do too.
His eyes lit up when she said the word choice. He didn't know he had any. It had seemed like all of his choices had been taken away, and here she was telling him that he still had control over some things. He grabbed on to that idea with both hands and held on tight. He was tired of feeling helpless and scared. It wasn't a lot, but it was something.
Next she took us on a tour of the video room. You had lots of choices there too. You could choose to watch a movie, play video games, or meet new friends. Christopher asked if he could watch movies or play video games in his room too, and he was delighted to find out that the answer was yes. That was a choice too.
We returned to Christopher's personal corner of the hospital, his room. The "talking doctor" brought in a Nintendo for Christopher to use, along with an assortment of games. He forgot all about his troubles as his little fingers began feverishly working the game controller.
Before she left, she said that she wanted to show him one more thing. That's when she pulled a huge velcro target out of "her bag of tricks." She handed him several palm size bean bags, and told him that he could throw them at the target whenever he was feeling mad. They "practiced" several times, and then she asked him if she could come back the next day with her special "therapy dog." Christopher loved the idea of having a dog visit him at the hospital, and told her to come back. He wasn't going to get to go home anyway.
|You get free choices too.|
At six years of age it's perfectly okay to watch the same movie repeatedly. Christopher usually went through movie phases. During his hospital stay he was in his Sandlot
The "talking doctor" helped make life at the hospital much easier, but the thing that really made a huge impact was Christopher's school. God showed us exactly why He had picked me up by the back of the neck that day. He showed us exactly how some of His plans would play out right before our very eyes. He brought the "cloud of Christian witnesses" right to Christopher's hospital room. Our school came around us and lifted us up in incredible ways through cards, letters, and visits to the hospital. The principal, teachers, and students took turns visiting Christopher at the hospital. They brought little gifts, letters, and cards to encourage him and to let him know how much he was loved. They even brought HUGE banners made by each high school class to decorate the walls of his room. By the time it was all said and done, his room was filled to the brim with the evidence of God's plans and handiwork carried out by the loving souls of our little Christian school.
Being in the hospital wasn't easy, but it was made easier by the amazing hospital staff and loving school family who worked hard to make a bad situation a little better. Christopher was still sad and scared sometimes, but he never kicked the nurse again. He found ways to vent his anger and distract himself from his unfortunate circumstances. To his surprise, he even managed to make some new friends who liked to watch Sandlot and play Nintendo too.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this: