So I wrote about how humbling it was to visit a place like Sick Kids Hospital, to see all the children truly suffering and even dying, but I didn’t feel it warranted writing about my own experience at the same time as it distracted from the message, so here it is now.
My wife, Cameron and I arrived at the hospital around 8:40am in anticipation of our 9:30am appointment and was immediately warmly greeted by nurses and given a lot of video games and toys to occupy our times with. First we headed off to the cafeteria for a warm bacon and egg breakfast since we had a little time.
We were called in right away to have Cameron weighed, measured and pressure taken… however, due to his diet rendering him so skinny and his squirmy behaviour, they never did get his blood pressure. Their digital devices simply couldn’t get an accurate reading but he did great with standing on the scale and against the wall.
After a short period we found ourselves in the little doctor’s room where they put 4 drops on his arm and then punctured the skin a bit… at this point, I think Cameron had more of an issue with his arm being held and something being done to him that he didn’t understand than he did with any actual pain. He complained quite vocally but then calmed down just as quickly once it was over.
We had to wait a short while for any reaction, none came. So back came the doctor and this time, with needles. The doctor even told me that they were really quite painful… not at all like when you simply have blood drawn.
This time, Cameron let out some screams that likely scared the bejeebies out of any other children still in the waiting room. However, that being said, he never once tried to pull his arm away… never once tried to get away at all. Despite the overwhelming pain and his arm being held against his will and his obvious distress… he did what was asked of him. Cameron sat on his mother’s lap who held him, comforted him and most of all, was the one to keep his arm where the doctor could do his work… if they hadn’t allowed her to be the one to hold him, it could have gone a lot worse. He demonstrated a truly a brave character trait that I can be quite proud of… but not only me…
The doctor was apparently impressed with him as well because he left for a bit and then came back with a brand new book that he got to keep. It was a cute little animal puzzle book which Cameron loved quite a bit… and immediately got to work on. However, when my wife asked him “Do you want to take this book home or leave it here for other boys and girls to play with while they wait?” he quickly replied that he wanted to leave it for other boys and girls. Again, another great character trait.
The doctor checked his arm out and found no allergic reaction so we were onto the 3rd and final test, the actual medicine portion… he had to take a dose of penicillin and see what happens. Again, he wasn’t happy but he did as told.
The doctor heard how Cameron liked the book but wanted the other children to enjoy it and so he returned again shortly later and this time with a dvd! He gave my son the “Arthur and the Invisibles” DVD, still wrapped in plastic… for being such a great patient.
We finally got to leave after 1pm, we finally found out once and for all that he wasn’t allergic to penicillin (although now we have no idea why he broke out in hives when he took it when he was younger) and we were heading back to the hotel with a new movie for him to watch.
It sure did make for a long day but Cameron handled all the waiting, all the pain, all the discomfort and all the overwhelming issues that must have come from having Autism and being stuck in a place like a hospital… and he handled it very well.
For how well it all went, I sure do hope that we don’t have to do it again any time soon.