Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bloggers tour Children's Hospital

A few weeks ago, I received an email inviting me (and few other local bloggers) to tour Children's Hospital of Alabama and attend a luncheon. I of course accepted immediately, who doesn't want a "VIP" tour of the place I've spent more than a few nights in over the last 9 1/2 yrs? The other bloggers (Nanci, Birmingham Mommy, Andre, and the most adorable pregnant lady) were also invited to ride in THE LIFESAVER HELICOPTER but three of us had to decline. I had a sudden fear of my feet leaving the ground and my knees got weak so I decided standing on top of the hospital right on the landing pad for the choppers was as brave as I wanted to be today.

The hospital had their Christmas trees out and how cute is the one with the little smocks? I walked around taking pictures and it felt like yesterday when we were here at the end of '08 fighting the infection that took my child's beloved cochlear implant. There was no guarantee of ever hearing my voice again, AC/DC, firetrucks or anything else this child's world had been filled with. He was 7 when I asked him "Do you want to hear anything else buddy before we go to the hospital, anything at all?" He quickly answered no, knowing the pain it would cause just to put it on his ear with so much infection inside.

Reality suddenly consumed me when I realized I didn't have my son with me. This day had nothing to do with surgery, stitches, medical terms I needed to learn and bandages for my now 9 year old. Today, I was a visitor. I was with a group of fabulous people who loved to blog (just like me) and we had a luncheon to attend. We did visit all over the hospital, even the NICU where a nurse remembered giving Gage his PIC line a couple of years ago when she was in that department, I knew I recognized her!
Then we had lunch together over at the Children's Harbor with Mike Warren THE CEO of the hospital!! After we finished eating he chit chatted...
We all went around briefly telling about ourselves and my heart was about to beat itself out of my chest. What could I possibly say to this man concisely in a couple of minutes? Do I just say "Thank You?" No...I don't know him, I love the hospital and our doctors but I didn't want to give the common thank you. I ran several thoughts through my messed up head and it was my turn...
I gave a general idea of blogs (international, national, and local blogs I have or still do participate in or own). I then tell him my son's name is on that wall (Wall of Inspiration), and I tell him that we have spent a great deal of time there over the years. I then tell him in a nut shell that we are primarily associated with hearing loss and Dr. Audie Woolley, and before I know it, I'm moving to the edge of my seat and feel like I need my PowerPoint to show this man how wonderful the doctors and nurses are at Children's...but I try to keep composure...I suddenly say, "...and who in their right mind would be thankful for curse words but we are! Because it's something my children OVERHEARD and they are deaf" .... I even described how Gage feels so 'at home' under Dr. Woolley's care that he's been known to burst past the waiting patients straight to the back saying, "Woolley!!" ... I did throw in that although I knew our Doc was out of town now (he ran the NY marathon from what I hear!) he was supposed to return this week to do a procedure on Gage Thursday and any retirement, vacations, a leave of absence, all should be immediately refused because we need him here, in Birmingham! I told this man I've never really met before, that Dr. Woolley is the only reason Gage can hear, speak, rock out to music due to such complicated anatomy. I told him quickly how he researched, he stayed committed, he found a way for my child to hear. The CEO mentioned the Alabama School for the Hearing, how Children's had extended their staff for the school's use (AVTs) through the end of the year and he might not had expected me to jump in so quickly with a "Yes, but they need funding, seriously!" He described the school to the other bloggers and my turn was slowly fading as I watched the clock only three minutes from my "absolutely can't stay any longer, must leave to get the kids from school" time. I had to leave.

But what an opportunity! I was so glad they asked me to come. They were all so nice, and they said we could come back if we thought of something else we really wanted to see. Such a different perspective not pulling a suitcase or kids along with me. It was a good day.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

It was great to meet you - wish we could have talked longer!! And I am NOT adorable. At least I don't feel it (as I heave myself out of this chair and off to bed).

I hope to run into you again soon!