I have the privilege of caring for kids that are recovering from surgery. Every child recovers a bit differently. However, what I know to be true is my patients all have something to teach me about life. Three important life lessons I have learned from them are resilience, strength and bravery.
When I receive a patient in the recovery room their parents are usually not there yet with them. They are often scared and unsettled. Some may have IV’s attached to them, a new incision or a tube. I am the first face they see and look to for help and relief. I have a split second to make a connection and to gain their trust. After that relationship has been established and the patient calms their ability to withstand their difficult situation and spring back always inspires me.
Many of the kids I care for have serious health issues and experience ongoing pain and adversities. Some have surgery weekly, others need surgery often and then there are kids that are a one time fix. It is their courage, ability to keep going and their inquisitiveness that sticks with me.
Children who are hospitalized endure a lot. The procedures and test they need are cumbersome. Their routine is thrown off, yet most are able to maintain their spunk and remain fearless. It is incredible to see many of them after recovering from surgery doing laps around the hospital hallways with their IV poles in hand, with a grin on their face that they are getting better. They are the true heroes!
Thank you to all the kid patients! You have taught me so much!
And – as always, if you know someone who is having surgery or is looking for resources to prepare for medical encounters, please send them our way.