There have been a number of children with Pearson Syndrome in hospital lately and following their journeys on Facebook reminded me about the many hours I spent with Aidan by his bedside.
While I don’t envy their parents for the stress, the lack of sleep, lack of privacy and all the other horrible hospital associations, I can’t help but think about all the magical times we had in hospital.
They say there’s always a silver lining and even in the worst of times, I could find it.
Hospital life gave me time to just be with Aidan. No housework, no obligations. When he was well enough, we’d read books over and over again, sing the Wiggles and play music four hours on end or watch endless episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba. My focus could be wholly and solely on him (this did cause problems when we got home but let’s ignore those facts and focus on that silver lining!).
As he got older, we’d turn his hospital room into our own little football field, kicking the ball around, often joined by nurses or Aidan’s beloved Clown Doctors. There were the times in the emergency department where, free of any natural light and going insane from boredom, we’d make up games. Throwing any objects we could find into the laundry basket from various distances and corners of the room provided great entertainment. As did the Starbucks cardboard coffee wraps which could be transformed into anything from a train tunnel to a prince’s crown, or Aidan’s favourite, a footy tee. We could turn sheets into cubbyhouses and make mountains out of pillows. Hospital gloves became chickens and empty syringes became drum sticks. Those were the best times.
Even as I write this I smile at all the crazy things we did, especially Anthony, who would go to extreme lengths to get a smile or a laugh. Like the times (yes there was more than one) when he got his face painted as a tiger or the animal impersonations he would perform. You could often hear our raucous laughter down the hall way.
Those hours in hospital allowed us to be the kind of parents we always wanted to be. Of course, for much of this time we had financial support so we could spend this time with Aidan and I am forever grateful for the opportunity. When you have a ‘healthy’ child, it’s harder to get that time. The pressures of work and keeping a house often get in the way. However, if I learnt anything from being Aidan’s mum it’s that these times, the ones when you have nothing to do but to be with your child, are the most precious and I look forward to spending them with Ollie.