|Interview with Christopher- Part 1|
INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTOPHER- PART 1
LeAnne: When do you first remember being in the hospital? What was it like? What are some of your most vivid memories, both good and bad, about being in the hospital?
Christopher: I don't remember being in the hospital until I had to go there when I was in the first grade. I remember meeting a boy who had burned his head in a fire, and I remember watching a lot of movies. I watched the movie Dumbo with GaGa (Christopher's grandma, my mom) at night when she would come up, and I remember watching Spy Kids a lot.
I really don't remember having to have three surgeries, but I do remember the time when the IV that was in my foot went bad, and all the fluid started going into my foot. My foot was huge, and it really hurt! I remember being really mad about that. I also remember kicking one of my nurses, but I don't remember why I did it. I felt really bad about it, and I do remember Dad being really mad at me and telling me to never do that again. Everybody was really upset about it, so then they sent in an "anger management lady" to talk to me about it. She gave me some toys and some ideas to try when I was mad or scared. I remember she gave me a squishy thing to put in my hand. I was supposed to squeeze on it and just look at my mom when I had to have a procedure, and it really worked too!
One of the worst parts about being there was when they would tell me that I might get to go home, but then they would change their minds. I really wanted to go home, but they wouldn't let me. It happened about 5 times, and it really made me mad.
The only good thing I remember about being there was when the all the kids at my school sent me cards and letters. They made these big banners for me, and we hung them up on the walls of my hospital room. Some of them came to visit me while I was there too.
A funny thing I remember is that my cousin, Courtney, came to visit me, and she thought it would be fun to be in the hospital because of all the attention and presents that people gave me. I told her that it wasn't worth it! I just wanted to go home!
LeAnne: How did you feel about having to have feeding tubes? Was there anything good about it? What really bugged you about it? Did it hurt?
Christopher: They never bothered me. I didn't know anything different. They have just always been there. I always felt like they were just a way for me to show other people that you can have disabilities and still be happy.
The good thing about them was that they were an opportunity for me to share with other people, and I also liked the part about being able to just drain my stomach out into a bag if it hurt or I got a stomach ache. I never had to throw up. When I get my feeding tubes out, that will change.
The worst part was having to be hooked up all the time. It took a long time to get in all the formula that I needed each day. It was also hard having to mess with them at night, especially if I stayed the night somewhere else. I love eating now, and going somewhere is so much easier. I thought it would be hard to have a healthy diet and learn to eat new foods, but now I don't ever want to go back!
They never really hurt unless they were infected. Most of the time I didn't even notice they were there. I was just used to them. The thing that did really bother me was when one of them would accidentally come out. It would scare me sometimes, and it felt weird. I know it will feel weird when I get them out for good, but I will get used to it!
LeAnne: How did it make you feel when people would stare at you and your tubes? Did people ever say anything mean to you? What kinds of questions would they ask?
Christopher: When people looked at me, it just made me feel special, like I was a unique person. I wasn't shy about them at all. I didn't care if people looked. Sometimes I would ask them if they wanted to see something cool, and then I would just answer their questions. I didn't mind. It was an opportunity.
Nobody ever said anything mean to me, but I always thought it was funny when people would do the "double take". Little kids got the funniest looks on their faces when they would see them. It was okay. I just smiled at them and answered their questions if they asked.
The most popular questions were always...what is wrong with your stomach and can you still go to the bathroom? I thought it was weird (he laughed) that people always wondered if I could go to the bathroom. I just told them that I could. I was asked that a lot.
I really never minded answering questions about it except one time when I was at a church camp. SO MANY people asked me while I was there, and I just got tired of explaining it so many times in a row. It was okay though. I just told them. I really never minded when people asked me questions.
END OF PART 1
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