Cutest Blog on the Block

Monday, March 22, 2010

How to prepare...

Today Zach overheard me telling my mom on the phone that we had to go to the hospital on April 6th. His little brow wrinkled up with worry and he said, "We goin' to da hopital? Who gonna lay down?" (I think he was asking who was going to get poked and prodded?) He was obviously starting to get anxious about it and he put both his hands over his eyes. I reassured him that Mommy and Daddy were going to be right there with him and that it would be a lot like when he goes to see Dr. Raunikar (our cardiologist). I told him that they would check his oxygen and blood pressure and weight and listen to his heart. I promised that we would get to see some old friends --- Dr. Bradley (maybe) and Dr. Bandisode. I told him that we would meet some new friends, as well. I told him that maybe we would get to meet the same people that had taken care of Derrick and Zeb and Anna Grace, our local heart zipper friends.

My heart breaks to think about what he will have to go through in just a couple of weeks. I get nervous as I think about talking about the procedure more with him as the time draws nearer. At the Palmetto Hearts conference that we attended in February (which was wonderful!), the Child Life specialist from MUSC spoke about this very topic. I was surprised to learn that it is best to begin preparing your preschool child only about 2-3 days prior to the procedure/surgery. Because preschoolers have no concept of time --- Zach's famous for asking, "Am I gonna take a nap tomorrow or later?" --- talking about surgery that is weeks away will only cause them anxiety. Makes sense. On the other hand, she told us that it is not a good idea to spring it on them, either. She knew of one family that told their child that they were going to McD's but took him to the hospital instead. Not a good idea.

I did show Zach this picture from after his Glenn at MUSC.

Of course I have other pictures that I wouldn't dare show him for fear of scaring him.

For those of you with older children, how have you prepared them for procedures/surgery? What worked and what didn't with your child? I love that we can learn from one another!


  1. Hey girl...I will be praying for Zach and you guys. A good idea might be for you to call MUSC and speak with Morgan Ford the Child Life Specialist, she had some good ideas for us. It was still very hard and I will tell you this that Zeb didn't ask any questions until they came to get him from us in the room and he said "What that Dr gonna do Mommy?" I literally lost it. We had tried for 2 days to explain but to a 3 yr old how is that possible? Dr. Bandisode did both of Zeb's Aortic Valvularplasty when he was little. Also we saw her when he went in for pre-op. We will be praying. Will they keep Zach overnight? Let me know if you need anything at all! Thanks for all the prayers for Zeb. He is doing well!
    Much Love,

  2. already put that in there about the child life specialist...seriously..Haha.I don't drink..I was distracted by children..


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