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My First Real Day/My Cape

Disclaimer: This blog entry contains exaggerations spawned from forgetfulness and the desire to spice this up a bit. None of the falsehoods are realistic and can be easily spotted. This blog also contains excessive amounts of cheese. To somewhat twist a Simpsons joke for my own pleasure, I haven’t seen this much cheese since Billy Joel released his last album.

I didn’t know what to do my first day without training. I got to the hospital on time... but after arriving things kind of went south. Neither Molly nor Elizabeth were there and my much-needed ID was MIA. Molly had promised to have it waiting for me, but that didn’t happen and the last sighting of Molly and Elizabeth involved them leaving with two fishing poles>>> not promising. The hospital has a strict policy on wearing IDs while in the patient areas, if you don’t have a volunteer/staff ID you need to take a temporary picture ID at the security desk., so I figured going without would involve me getting a slap on the hand. To make things better, I forgot my real ID, so I couldn’t even go to the security desk and get a temp.
I waited until fifteen past my shift. I wasn’t really sure what to do. My training was for the weekend and they told me that it is very different for those in during the week. I was supposed to receive additional training from a Childlife staff person. By the time it hit fifteen past however, I decided to make a decision... which is a decision I don’t like and rarely make. I decided to frell the rules and go to my floor anyway.

I wasn’t sure what to do once I reached my floor, but I did know that part of my duties involved stopping by the front desk on ground floor and getting any deliveries for the patients. I had my red vest and my ID holder so those items along with “balls? inspired me to actually walk past nearly 12 million security officers with big guns. At the end of the walkway, I saw the front desk. Sure enough, behind it was a ridiculously large teddy bear. Similar to kilt-wielding, Australian Bond in ¬Her Majesty’s Secret Service, my moves were awesome, my relationships, minimum and my existence, quickly forgotten. I was in and out, with the teddy in tow.

Soon I was on my floor, the fourth. I delivered my package to an adorable little boy, named “Benny.? I asked his mother if she wanted to take a break, but she shot me down (nicely). It wasn’t going to be that easy.

If all the time in a hospital over the course of my life has taught me anything it is that when in doubt, harass the nurses… I asked the nurses if they knew of anyone for me to “hang with.? For the most part they were at a loss, until one suggested I paid a visit to “Brenda.? I had heard about the wonderful “Brenda? before. I heard she cheated at cards and was the fastest Little Tikes Car player this side of the Mississippi. What I wasn’t told was that her adorable face and cute personality would make me want to let her get away with it.

Before I could visit her room, she paid me a visit. Dashing around the corner, with her friendly nurse following, she was a four foot vision in pink princess pajamas. Her nurse was clearly having fun and yet a little tired from chasing the modern-day nymph. She was carrying “Brenda’s? toy lamb and a huge smile on her face. The nurse that suggested “Brenda? pointed me out to her nurse. The nurse personally consented, but gave the majority of the decision to “Brenda.? “Brenda’s? laughing eyes suddenly turned serious. She sized me up with a weathered expression on her face; clearly she had had quite a few volunteers in her lifetime. After a while, she agreed, but she still seemed uneasy with me. She sent her pet lamb back to its room (I don’t think she trusted me to hold it for her) with instructions to her nurse to put it in bed.

We walked for a while then ventured into the playroom. She liked playing at a very fast pace, a pace I can only keep up with within reason. She tested me with every ounce of her might. She would force me to run faster if I acted tired or dawdle in places where I seemed bored. Her grand finale was acting hurt when she wasn’t. We were playing cars and she yelped out of no where. At first, it scared the crap out of me. There was this little girl barely bigger and resembling a doll connected to a bunch of cords and thingy-ma-bobbers. She said “Ow? and my heart face-planted in my liver. But I didn’t panic. Instead, I quickly scanned her with my eyes and said, “What’d you hurt?? Maybe it was just the bitter, angry tone that has permanently taken over my once kind voice, but she couldn’t make eye contact. “My knee…? She hurt her knee because she was trying to make me trip. It was at that point that she wasn’t “sick? in my mind anymore. She was a little girl who was trying to get attention. “What did you do that for, Silly?? That is all she got from me and apparently it passed, because she giggled. After that we were able to play like two little friends (only one was aware of the time and certain hospital rules).

Like the 60s political movement and Garfunkel after Simon, all good things come to an end. Likewise, did my mirage of “Brenda’s? infallible health melt away with the icecaps. When I walked with her back to her room, we began to tell the nurse of her talent playing “basketball? with “Benny? in the playroom. Her nurse just smiled and said, “That’s awesome, you’ll have to try and join the basketball team when you finish your treatment and can go back to school.? As if by some mighty act of cosmic grandeur, similar to the “Big Bang,? she melted in my eyes. All afternoon, I had played with “Brenda? the NBA star, “Brenda? the fairy and “Brenda? the unbreakable with never-ending energy, but there standing before me was “Brenda? a sick, lonely, six year-old little girl who really just needed a friend.

As if someone hit me in the face with reality, I was suddenly in the hospital surrounded by sick children. “Brenda? had to go get her chemo, and all I could do was go back to the playroom and wait for the Childlife rep to free up some time to finish training. I guess at that point I had already learned the main thing the hospital could teach me. Through all the mortality, illness and gloom of the contrastingly-colored hospital, my job as a volunteer is to do exactly what I did for “Brenda? and create a world where we can have fun and not focus on the pain of reality for a little bit. That is why I wear the red vest I wear. It is like my cape.

Just to let you know, because this blog is late I can say this, when I went back to the hospital the next week, Brenda wasn’t on the volunteer board anymore, because she was no longer there. Hopefully, I’ll never see her again. (also, I’m afraid she’s out there somewhere, training to be the youngest NBA star. This scares me because without practice she was able to beat me in b-ball, and I never let her win.)

Comments

hahaha.. you rebel you!! Well, I guess you didn't get jumped by security and thrown into jail for not wearing your ID!!!!

Cathe you should seriously write for the onion!!!! this was brilliantly entertaining!