One of my students had surgery while we were on vacation. She came back to school last week with two casts on her lower legs and a really big story to tell.
Naturally, we had her share at Morning Meeting. She talked about the surgery a little bit, talked about her casts a lot and asked for questions/comments. Many of the questions were about her crutches (were they hard to use, what were they called), how did she come to school on the bus (she didn’t), and did she need some help (she told us that she would ask for help when she needed it).
She brought several tools from the hospital to share with us: the air mask she used when getting the anesthesia (she called it the “strange air”), her identification bracelets, and her stuffed bunny from home with two casts on the legs as well.
Here’s what I couldn’t stop thinking about as she was sharing: there are some pretty brilliant people at that hospital.
First of all, I'm still thinking about what a wonderful idea it is to have a child bring a favorite, cuddly toy and affix it with the same casts. It allows for a feeling of solidarity, for play, and for sharing with others. Then the fact that they allowed her to take the mask from her anesthesia home as well pleases me greatly. Again, she has something with which she can share, and it allows for more play after the fact to process the entire experience.
It was weird enough for me, as an adult, to go through anesthesia the two times I’ve had to deal with it, but as a child, it must be a vastly different experience. Anyway. Not a lot to say about all of this, just that there are some pretty amazing people out there that do pretty amazing things for children when they go to the hospital.
I am so thankful that they exist.