I wrote this more than a year ago, but I feel as strongly about it now as I ever have…
I wasn’t happy about bringing Duncan to Children’s Hospital in Boston Monday and yesterday. I practically lived there as a kid and don’t enjoy the reminders. Instead, I’ve been reminded of the gifts that place gave me.
Duncan needed to have a broken wrist reset and pinned, so in we went. The first thing I noticed is that the main lobby looks nothing like what I remember as a kid. Now there’s a CVS, an Au Bon Pain that serves damn good coffee, and this contraption in which a series of rubber balls travel around a network of pipes and chains, hitting a series of bells and chimes.
Duncan would stand there watching it all day if he could.
Another feature that wasn’t there when I was a kid — this stairway that makes music when you walk up and down it.
These additions make the hospital experience a lot less scary for children. But what I appreciated most was the same thing that got me through all the childhood Crohn’s Disease episodes: The staff.
From beginning to end, the nurses and doctors who treated Duncan were Heaven sent. They told Duncan jokes, comforted him and put him at ease, just like they did for me all those years ago.
Duncan’s visit was for something far more routine. He was essentially in and out. But even short visits can be traumatic for an eight-year-old boy.
This post is to thank them for taking good care of Duncan. As for what they did for me in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I can never thank them enough.
Back then Crohn’s Disease was a rare animal in which little was understood. I lost a lot of blood during those attacks and it’s safe to say that Children’s Hospital saved my life more than once.
That’s what my parents have told me, anyway.
If your kid breaks a bone or catches a nasty bug, don’t panic when the pediatrician sends you to Boston for top-line care.
If you go to Children’s Hospital, everything is going to be just fine.