In the days before Peter took the job that brought us to Georgia, we drove north to check out the hospital. We couldn’t even consider moving until we felt safe in our choice that SHOULD we need a hospital for treatment again, Peyton would have the best options available.
We got a grand tour of the hospital and the oncology clinic and we left feeling confident and happy with our available choices. In our time here, I’ve been thrilled with the doctors and hospital.
So, when I got the email on behalf of the Aflac Cancer Center at Children’s Hospital of Atlanta asking if I’d like to become a dedicated blogger for the hospital, I jumped on it. YES! I want to do this…I was feeling very disconnected from all our many “causes” we’d left behind in Fl…the charities, the cancer family interaction, the hospital. We were very involved in the community and it was as if we’d stopped cold turkey.
I didn’t quite know what to do with myself.
September was hard for me, as Childhood Cancer awareness month, and I didn’t have MY regular list of charities and events to be a part of anymore. I struggled to blog about it and to find new ways to raise the profile on pediatric cancers.
Then this opportunity came to get behind a cause I can rally around…our hospital…our new safe place here in ATL.
Tuesday I went up to the hospital to tour the facility.
Let me just say there’s a big difference in the tour you get as a potential incoming parent with a diagnosed child and the one you get when you come in as Aflac’s guest.
Listening to the explanations and information about the hospital that’s given to those who haven’t been neck-deep in the cancer world was an eye-opener. How you can talk about it, discuss it, know all the facts and never truly crack deep into what the hospital does for people.
I suppose that’s where people like me come in. I’m willing to throw it all out there, bleed my emotions all over the keyboard so people will possibly understand a teeny iota deeper.
Because, until you’ve lived your life behind the doors of the hospital, you don’t know. The nurses don’t know. The doctors don’t know. The board of directors sure as heck don’t know.
And I hope they never do.
Friday I went back to the hospital, not as a blogger, but as a parent…taking Peyton in to get her head CT.
I did something I haven’t done in a long time.
I got frustrated and angry and cried because they were hurting my baby girl. Failed attempts to get an IV started left Peyton a sobbing mess and me not far behind her.
In front of Rachael.
Watching their failure to get the IV going while Peyton fought and screamed took me back to all the years of holding her down for whatever procedure needed to be done…the years of whispering into her sweaty hair that I was sorry and that it would be done soon…having to be a part of causing my child pain.
I wanted to grab my kids and RUN, not walk, out of there.
But at the end of the day, when the tests were done and we were walking out of the hospital…Peyton with a new stuffed elephant, a balloon and a big smile on her face, I realized that at no point in the day did I doubt their ability to get the job done.
And to me, there is nothing more important than that.
The nicest decor, the prettiest hospital, the most exciting big name technology cannot ever compete with building the TRUST it takes to hand your child to a stranger and know that they’re going to give their best.
THAT is why we picked CHOA as our hospital…because there is no “pretty good” when your child’s life is on the line….there is only the “very best you can provide”.
Nothing else will do.
**No answers on the CT results yet, but since the doctors haven’t called yet, I assume that means nothing popped out as obviously wrong**