I began rounding on A-ward a couple of weeks ago. A-ward is where all the kiddos sleep in the hospital. I will admit that in the beginning it was NOT my favorite ward. Every patient screamed if I even glanced in his or her direction (let alone tried to listen to heart or lungs). One of the nursing students followed along behind me during rounds trying to make the kids smile or laugh or at least stop crying. He was quite good at it, too. And sometimes A-ward is not exactly intellectually stimulating. (Although it is the intellectually stimulating ones who are a bit scary.) Most of the patients have either diarrhea or pneumonia or both. Right now it seems to be pneumonia season, and we have so overflowed that we have an entire 3rd row now sleeping on the floor.
I am enjoying A-ward a bit more these days. Let me tell you about some of my favorite kiddos...
Seth has moved around the room a bit but has finally settled in bed A-26. His mother died soon after birth of some unknown illness and he was adopted by another family. Seth was five months old when Carolyn, his adopting mom, brought him into the hospital . He was very sick with a type of malnutrition we docs call "marasmus." He weighed only 5 pounds at admission, but should have been closer to 9 or 10 pounds.. During the first weeks of his stay we fed him formula through a tube that goes through his nose and down into his stomach. Little bit by little bit he began to grow. Today he weighs more than 8 pounds and is close to going home. He has been special from the beginning... after a long line of screaming patients, Seth always manages a smile for me!
Cathy sleeps a few beds down in A-21. She drove me crazy at first, 'cause she was one of those dozen screaming patients. I suppose you can't really blame her. She is 4 years old and was admitted a couple of weeks ago with an infection in her right leg. The abscess had been drained in the ER, required daily dressing changes until it healed. The infection in her right leg was obvious, but she continued to have severe pain in her left leg. She screamed (of course) every time I even looked at that leg. Finally a follow up x-ray revealed the diagnosis: she has osteomyelitis, or an infection of the bone, in the femur of her left leg. With weeks of antibiotics, the pain is starting to improve a bit. I have been bound and determined to make Cathy laugh and have even been successful on occasion. The other day I found her drawing on her leg, so today I brought her a crayon and paper. This time she couldn't help but smile.
But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
~ Luke 18:16