- As I looked at each child, I couldn't help but be reminded what they were missing out on. Here they were, hooked up to ventilators and restricted to their beds, children who should be learning to shoot a baskteball, ties their shoes, snuggling up to read a story, hugging their parents goodnight, and dreaming big for their future. But instead, they lay there, and their parents slowly stop coming to provide care and love that they so desperately need.
- For some of them, their condition was uncontrollable. They were born with severe handicaps that are incurable. Yet, aside from that, they are children....sweet, loving children of the Lord. One girl who was 17 years old but had the body of my 4 yr old niece would turn her head to the sound of my voice. I have no idea what she could comprehend but she would look at me with these big, brown eyes and a smile would cover her face briefly, lighting her entire face up, and than it would dissapear and she would return to how she was. Some patient's faces stay with me forever....her smile is engraved in my heart.
- My patient was a 4 year old girl, admitted to this facility when she was just under 2. She had been in her stroller out for a walk with her mom when her mom stepped off the curbed to cross the street. A car came around the corner and hit the stroller, leaving her with multiple hematomas in her brain and impairing her neurologic status forever. There were pictures covering the board in her room of her as a toddler. The day she was born. Taking her first steps. It was hard to look at those and than see her helpless & confined to a bed. I don't know if she could hear or understand me, but I stroked her head and talked to her. I wanted to read her a story but her parents didn't leave anything in her room for her. She has a problem with her thermoregulation from the accident. I had to swaddle her like an infant...adding about 5 blankets and two hats on top of that. She was a precious little angel. So tiny and fragile. But you could see everything through her eyes. Yet you could also see how lost she was.
- Another patient I worked with was 4 years old as well, also living a normal toddler hood. However, she ate a hotdog that was not cut in half ( yes, you need to cut the first piece you cut in half) and it lodge in her throat, cut off the oxygen supply to her brain, and now she is braindead. Her childhood lost.
- The nurses did not seem to truly care. I don't know if they are just so removed from everything or too relaxed at the facility. But, they didn't do much and it really bothered me.No matter what state of alertness your patient is in, absolute care and compassion should always be provdied.
Go hug the little ones in your life. Squeeze them and tell them you love them. Life is just too short not too.