So my son, Josiah, and I returned to the University of Michigan Hospital today because I’d rescheduled his MRI of the head (aka Brain Scan) from yesterday afternoon to this morning, so he could participate in a special needs social event last night. We rarely have back to back hospital runs so this was kind of “fun”…
- Up late, running late, getting to the hospital “on time” cause we left a cushion!
- No traffic “cops” at the parking structure entrance like yesterday (when a screaming motorist & screaming parking lot “enforcement” personnel made me think someone just might pull a weapon–it’s Detroit area, after-all–& for once Josiah decided to Not escalate an already tense situation!)
- Doing loop-de-loops in the parking structure looking for a space…and Josiah feels some dizziness coming on (he’d already complained how he got dizzy at his recent Liver MRI & was concerned about dizziness from the procedure)
- Offering to drop J off near the entrance we might use (depending on what level I actually get to park on) & he finally takes me up on the offer–so hoping he actually follows instructions & waits in the right place–praying all the way…
- making our way through the various “buildings” (interconnected) of the hospital complex to the appropriate elevators & descending to sub-basement B-2
- walking the halls to the Adult MRI department (his Liver MRI was in the Mott Pediatric part of the hospital the other day) with Josiah getting spooked (it looks older & less kid friendly here) and saying that it looks like we’re going to the morgue (where we’ve never been but maybe he has in video games or shows?)
- filling out the “abbreviated” pre-procedure forms (3 pages)–thankfully they don’t ask about All Organ Systems, like the pre-op paperwork, for that level of recall is really exhausting
- Josiah wants to fill out his own forms (which is great)–I finish page one & give him page 2 and he gets stumped right out of the gate when descriptions of prior heart surgeries/devices are needed–sigh–I want to support his independence, but I know these things better, can write in an adult hand (his printing is large & grade-schoolish), and he’s already said he doesn’t want talking so wouldn’t appreciate the amount of verbiage needed to “coach” him here…I complete p 2 & he refuses p 3…
- no problems in changing, getting a locker (I keep the key for him), nor getting an IV–I’m not allowed back with him (he’d requested me to accompany him at the Liver MRI) and he actually goes along with the staff without issue!
- I remind the technician that he got dizzy when they moved him in and out of the other MRI machine & she says she can accommodate him there…since he didn’t complain of dizziness afterward it appeared like things went OK!
- sitting in the waiting room working on a book (I finished), a sudoku puzzle, and a word search…then perusing a number of photo based magazines where I’m bombarded with guilt-trips of the leftist agenda ad nauseum–sigh…no napping…a TV blasts out of sight while trying to sleep & I recognize Chip & Joanna Gaine’s voices from the Fixer Upper TV show…but too tired to attempt to watch this
- he’s done & we depart without issues & decide to swing by the “interfaith” chapel that’s just outside the elevator on our return trip to the 2nd floor
- We are alone in the “chapel” so we search for any signs that Christianity is even one of the faiths that might be represented in that room…there’s no cross visible, but prominent Islamic paraphernalia, slightly reserved Judaism items, and eventually a “New Testament with Psalms” Josiah unearths under one of the seats
- Josiah reads a Psalm from the lectern (we’re in full view of some security camera–yikes, does it have audio?), I sing a version of the 23rd Psalm aloud. Josiah and I both pray aloud for many things/people “in Jesus’ name”. Josiah begins singing “How Great Thou Art”–a song that always reminds me of my father & the first church of my childhood–solo (he asks me to Not join in) when a swarthy looking young man enters & sits adjacent to the Islamic prayer rug; J voluntarily stops singing & we decide to leave to give the other person privacy
- Traversing 3 different buildings to get to the Family Resource Center, where we use the computers & partake of complementary snacks/drinks
- strike up a conversation with Cameron & his mom about Cameron’s medical needs (brain tumor found 4/30, two surgeries, stroke, etc)–he’s wearing some type of helmet to cover his missing skull…I offer to post his prayer needs on my CarePages medical blog & they agree…we give pointers about living at the hospital etc.
- J & I both work on both CarePages.com and on WordPress.com blog accounts and attend to some email business at adjacent computers
- I decide to use one of the consult rooms to call my husband (I don’t have a cell phone) & they are now locked, a new development since my last usage
- get a staff person to let me in and complimenting her on her new hairstyle leads to an in-depth discussion about her recent Cancer & Heart Attack scare. We share various stories about medical issues, hospital employment (in my former life), and dealing with overwhelming emotions. We go on a bit about Transplant issues, me from the family perspective & her from working as staff in an organ procurement organization. She tells of a family that she turned down as a transplant donor because they didn’t want any of their son’s organs going to any N-words–Wow!
- we’re interrupted by a volunteer & later an MSW co-worker so we never “finish” our conversation…are those discussions ever really done?
- Quick phone call with my husband, who’s still at work
- J & I wrap up computer work & head up to the 12th floor for Skyline Cafe, the Thursday evening complementary meal & music offering sponsored by Delta Airlines & managed by Bob (musician) & Byron (social worker)
- We assist two different families with in-patient kids on IVs in the elevator
- We enjoy nearly an hour of acoustic guitar & vocal music as we eat pizza, etc
- after the event wraps up we speak with Bob & his wife Tracy about my husband’s band, The Lively Pelts, possibly participating musically sometime–I’d cleared this planned discussion with my husband previously–(Bob says Skyline happens Every Thursday of the year, except Thanksgiving)…
- discover that Tracy & I met before as she’s actually the Pastor at the church kitty-corner from our own church–wow–small world (& I’d almost applied for a recent job opening there)…
- Josiah tells some tales from transplant & beyond & several eyes tear up…
- we finally head home during a rainstorm with just enough time to spare to take care of one errand before that business’ closing time; I get soaked to the skin…
- I send Bob the promised email about the Pelts…and we await to see if God might open yet another door in our lives…
As you can see, even a “simple” day at the hospital can get pretty involved…and exhausting. Josiah & I both did decently and had an overall good time, which was capped off by the blessing of Skyline Cafe, a pretty rare treat for us nowadays…
Well thanks for stopping by and sharing a bit of our experiences. Blessings, Valerie
PS Please consider keeping Cameron & his family in your prayers as they travel a new special needs pathway…I’ve written more about their situation here if you’d like more details: