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Development: Pain & Confusion

On Feb. 19th, I volunteered at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital and I saw some progress with the video games I donated for the patients. When I walked into the playroom, the Child Life Assistant was happy to tell me the PlayStation 3 was hooked up already and they were in the process of getting the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One hooked up, hopefully by next week.

Since I donated the video games, mainly tailored toward the teenagers. The Child Life Assistant got the idea of having a teen section for the video games and movies. She said it would make it easier for the teens to pick what they want because everything in this section will be just for them.

When one of the patients wanted to play video games, the Child Life Assistant said that we have some new video games and the patient chose to play Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus. The patient said he never heard of it, but when he started playing the game he recognized the characters and said he played one of the many Ratchet and Clank games at his friends’ house.

A parent came into to the playroom looking for her daughter, and I told her that she went to school. The parent didn’t know the hospital had school for the patients. She wanted to see where her child was and where the school was at, so I escorted her downstairs.

While walking to the classroom, the parent said her daughter got a 3.5 GPA in high school while going through this difficult period in her life. She expressed that she was so proud of her, and she said children who are forced to deal with situations like this have a certain drive to push themselves.

I told her that I used to be a cancer patient during my teen years, and she couldn’t believe it. She asked what kind of cancer I had, how long I been cancer free and how old was I now. She proceeded to say “God is Good,” and said that it was good that I was giving back.

There was one particular patient that affected me by the way he was acting. When I first met this pre-teen patient, he was newly diagnosed and had a head full of hair and seemed to be in good spirits. Things unfortunately have changed now.

When he came into the playroom, I noticed all of his hair had fallen out. When he sat down at the table, he started crying because he was in a lot of pain. He had his head down, and his mother and the Child Life Assistant were asking him what he would like to do to keep his mind off of the pain he was feeling.

When he lifted his head from the table, I looked into his eyes and I saw pain and confusion like “why is this happening to me.” I knew exactly how he was feeling because when I first started my chemotherapy treatment regimen, it seemed like things changed overnight.

For instance, my hair began to fall out, my body was aching all over, I felt fatigued all the time and the pain was so bad that it hurt to walk just a few feet. With time, I know the patient will eventually get used to the pain, and learn how to deal with it because it seems like it’s always there.

When the patient left the playroom, I told him that I hope he feels better soon.

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