The Magic of Art
My daughter received blood transfusions to manage her blood counts during chemotherapy. I remember her last transfusion well. It was in the ER because the oncology clinic is closed on weekends. Children were screaming bloody murder that night! A teenager was in the room next to us, guarded by police officers, because he had been shot with a gun. I can only imagine this kid didn't get pain medication because they needed to interview him. Babies and young children seemed to be screaming in chorus. I took my daughter to the ER several times during treatment, and we had never experienced such an intense night. Some children had burns, as it was the fourth of July, but I didn't know what to think when kids continued to fill the ER all night. Why would toddlers be coming in with burns at 2:00am? My daughter didn't join the screaming choir that night. She was too terrified. I guess she thought the staff was causing the screams. Fortunately, a childlife specialist recognized my daughter's name (we are regulars at the hospital) on the board and visited us with some art projects. My daughter recognized the childlife specialist, and truly liked her, but she didn't talk to her. That was fine. They just did an art project with a one-sided conversation. By the time they started the next project, my daughter was talking and much more relaxed. I did the third project with my daughter while we waited for her blood to arrive. By the time it was ready, my daughter was calm and in control of the situation. The screaming outside our room never ceased; she just had opportunity to focus on something else. My daughter checked and checked her donor blood, making sure the type was correct and issued to her, and then she finished the last part of her project while she received blood. She also napped until the transfusion was finished at 6:00am. The screaming stopped around 5:00am, ugh. I am certain my daughter would have been restrained or sedated if the childlife specialist had not been there with art projects that required her full attention. Scrapbooking/card making is an art that requires concentration, which is very relaxing to a scared patient. Thank you for sharing the magic.