Paige: Singing Away the Hospital Blues

October 27, 2009 at 12:01 am Leave a comment

Paige018 During my treatments, there was a long period of time when I couldn’t get out of bed because of the pressure and pain in my head. Unfortunately, when I was more mobile, my immune system was too weak for me to be with the general public.  I also spent quite a bit of time in isolation when I had the external shunt in order to decrease any chances of infection. 

There were times when I was bored and lonely.  My family tried to keep me from going stir crazy by doing jig-saw puzzles with me or Sudoku and other board games.  I’ve discovered that after a while, watching TV and playing games can get monotonous. 

I actually owe my sanity to the musical therapists and playroom staff.  There were many days when a musical therapist would come in and play the guitar and sing with me in my hospital room. Sometimes she would bring in a cart of musical instruments and she would play them for me and let me try them myself.  I really looked forward to those visits as they always broke up the boredom and helped me to put my problems aside for a while.

One of my favourite memories in hospital was a result of one of my all time lows due to isolation and boredom.  My friend Ginelle was much farther along on the “bored out of her mind” predicament.  Together we tried to ease some of the boredom and help cheer everybody up. 
Paige Singing for Balding Fundraiser

Me singing at the talent show

We decided it would be fun to have a talent show.  We put some ideas together and discussed them with the playroom staff.  We wanted to include all the children, no matter what age and have them share any kind of talent they chose to.

What started with a small idea with two small girls, turned out to be much bigger than we expected.  The talent show later became known as “Children’s Idols.”  Balding for Dollars turned up to help and so did the Red Cross and some hospital staff.  We had sandwiches, cookies, slushies, and the best time ever.

I sometimes wondered if people really had any idea of the lengths that Children’s Hospital and their staff are willing to go through to help a child physically and emotionally.  Not only was every child in oncology included, but so were their siblings if they were interested in participating.  Little did we know that some of the “Children’s Idols” would have gone on to perform at Balding for Dollars events the next several years.

Paige on Keyboard

Me playing the keyboard in my hospital room

I owe a great deal of thanks to the playroom staff, music therapists, teachers, volunteers, and a few very creative nurses and staff that made treatments tolerable.  I still go up and visit when I am in for follow treatments.  I am grateful to them all and in my heart I feel the mere words “thank you” just don’t come close to the appreciation I feel.

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