Pediatric Tour made hospitalization easier for this brave little patient
My 6 year-old grandson, Tristan, was just recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Even though this was a traumatic experience for the whole family, our own AAMC was a tremendous help.
Two weeks before the symptoms of his diabetes started, we went to the Surgical Services “Bring Your Kids to Work Day.” We took a Pediatric Tour of our Short Stay Unit and Operating room. The staff got the children’s height, weight and vital signs, and gowned them up to go into the OR. They showed them the bag of fluids and the “straw” that would go into their arm. We went into the operating room and saw the bright lights and fancy anesthesia machines. The children placed a mask on the toy bear so he could go to sleep. We had our picture taken and then we came out to the waiting room to make a craft. It was a great experience.
Late one night, about two weeks later, Tristan was having urinary frequency. His mom (my daughter-in-law) took him to an urgent care center where they tested his urine and found sugar. They did a finger stick and it just read high. My daughter-in-law called me and asked if I could go with them immediately to a hospital near them in D.C. We never thought we would be in a hospital so soon.
From the minute we got there, Tristan was at ease with all the procedures. “Yep, they get my height, weight, and I get a gown and get into a stretcher. Now I get the IV so I can drink through a straw in my arm.” Then he asked, “Am I going to get operated on now?”
He did not go into the operating room, but he did stay in the hospital for four days. He learned about finger sticks and getting a shot before he can eat. The staff couldn’t believe how calm he was. We told them how coming to the AAMC Pediatric Tour helped him feel so comfortable. He is back home now and doing his own finger sticks.
Thank you AAMC for helping us through this difficult time. -Kathy Evans, RN