Saturday, February 19, 2011

Can Will Come Out and Play?

We are hanging out in the Progressive Care Unit, awaiting Will's ability to tolerate his bp meds and food and maintain his stability without the lifeline being attached. It's a slow process.

Last time we were here (last month), Robin, a child life specialist, came in and played with Will for an hour. Then she sent a volunteer to play Mancala. Watching them play, it hit me that Will doesn't often have the opportunity to play with someone other than me, and what really struck me was that he is really isolated. While he is a typical 14 year old in many ways, he is anything but normal in that he can't play sports, and if we plan to do something fun, it frequently gets canceled or postponed because he doesn't feel well. He has been in the hospital at least five days every month but one since October.

I really don't know how to fix this isolation or know how to try to plug him into something that gives him friendship/contact with his friends, but he needs that as much as I do. He's a social kid. He is also burned out on cards, is tired of losing at bananagrams, and is getting weary of mancala. So now what cool game do I find that will get him thinking in a fun way but is smaller than a bread box and will fit in his backpack with everything else?

So, Robin, our favorite child life specialist, is gonna be back to play with Will in a little while. And I am so grateful that she is here. They have a mutual admiration club and she comes up with cool, creative games to play. More importantly, she gets him out of his little, "I am really tired of being here and wanna go home" funk. That is currently the best part of all.

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