I went to visit two heart kids the other day at the hospital. My mom and I make an effort to go and visit the kids and their families whenever we can because we know how much it meant to us when people would come to comfort us when we were in the hospital. Both were little girls. I had met the other one before and last time I saw her she was full of energy; pulling at my necklace and jumping up and down in my lap. The day I went to visit her though she was extremely tired and she had been sleeping most of the day. It was just another reminder that one day you can be full of energy and then the next feel like you had nothing left in you; especially for heart kids when they are already so tired as it is. She celebrated her birthday on Monday and her mom got teary eyed when she said she had been hoping she wouldn’t have to celebrate another one in the hospital. I gave the mom a smile and told her, “She is young and won’t remember this birthday anyways. But what’s even more important is that she got to celebrate a birthday period.”
The other little girl I went to visit was a little ball of fire! If she didn’t have the IV in her hand at first glance you would never have known she was sick; until you took a closer look at her and saw her blue lips and fingertips. This little was running all over the place, not giving a care in the world that her IV was pulling at her. We sat down on her bed while my mom and her mom talked quietly and the little girl started to put stickers all over my face as we laughed and played with her SpongeBob doll. A nurse came in and took her temperature and then asked to check her oxygen with the small pulse-ox. She started to cry and say she didn’t want it. (The pulse-ox is just a small piece of tape with a light on it that is able to see the percentage of air you have in your lungs; it doesn’t hurt or anything.) As the little girl cried and said she didn’t want it, I couldn’t help but blame her. While she very well knew it wouldn’t hurt, she still didn’t want it. She didn’t want anything more on her body. She didn’t want anything more done to her. She just wanted to sit on the bed, eat her Doritos and play with her toys like any other normal little girl should be doing. But instead she is cooped up in a hospital room with an IV stuck in her arm and having people poke and prod at her at all of the day and night. I placed my hand on the little girl’s lap and asked her if she would put it on if I did. She said yes and told me she wanted me to wear it first, so I did. She clapped when the machine said my oxygen was at 94% and then she gladly helped the nurse wrap the equipment onto her tiny finger with a big smile on her face. This little girl’s oxygen was at 77% but she had just as much excitement and energy as any other little girl I have ever seen. Once the nurse left the little girl crawled into my lap and told me, “We both have funny hearts.” I held back tears and gave her a peck on the top of her head and said “Yes we do.” When it was time for my mom and I to leave the little girl turned to her mom and repeated with tears in her eyes how she wanted to go too. She kept begging her mom to let her go home. I know the feeling all too well. . . While I know that the hospital is the best place for me when I am sick, I never want to be in there. I never enjoy being in there as a patient. I remember in 6th grade I would cry to my mom and I would beg her to take me home. I remember telling her “Mom, I’ll even eat that horrible meat you cook if you just get me out of here!” I realize now though that my mom and dad hated me being in there just as much as I did. But I got out of the hospital and I have been able to live these past four years of my life like any other regular teenage girl. Gone to prom, went on Spring Break with my best friends and graduated from high school. I have no doubt in my mind that the two little girls I visited the other day will do the same.
Love and Hope,