Today was my first day out on the floor by myself. No more shadowing, I’m a well trained volunteer. I had the pleasure of bringing a boy to the playroom and spent the whole time with him.
I walked into the room and introduced myself to the boy. He was watching TV. I asked him if he wanted to go to the playroom and there was some hesitation before he averted his eyes towards me and nodded. I told him I was going to go ask his nurse now to see if it’s okay to take him. I proceeded to go call the nurse (which I was supposed to do first by the way). She said okay as long as he was done eating. I returned to the room and told him that his nurse agreed as long as he was done eating. He said something along the lines of I tried to eat more but I’m full, I think. He had to put on a gown before he headed to the playroom, which I retrieved from the storage room. This whole process took a while and I thought it would be difficult to have quality play time with him since he eyes were so glued to the TV screen. He even asked to bring his iPad with him and I allowed it since he seemed to really want it.
We got to the playroom and he chose to sit at the arts and crafts table and started using his iPad. It took a bit of convincing but I got him to draw some pictures of the alien/frog thing on the game he was playing. I started to make an alien replica of the same character and he got really into it and started making it adding in eyes, socks, and even teeth onto the little green cotton ball. It turned out wonderfully adorable and cute. It’s too bad I didn’t get a picture, but he did with his iPad. He even made a bed and a friend for the character. He named the alien “Nomnom”. The few hours I spent with him felt like minutes and filled with creativity and fun.
We got back to the room and now his focus was on the little cotton ball characters we made. I asked if he had fun and he said yes he had a lot of fun. He was going to stay up and wait for his mom, who was going to come later in the night, and show her what he made. I then had to leave and before I left, he asked if it was possible if me or another volunteer was able to stay him with.
Even though he had an iPad, TV, and an abundance of toys that the hospital provides for him and his parents give him, this little boy still wanted the company of a real person, even for a bit of time. It just goes to show that nothing can beat the real company of a person and people still get lonely, especially little kids. I’m happy I was able to provide him with some social interaction and companionship for the few hours I was with him, but am sorry that who he needs and wants most, his mom, can’t be there as much as she would like for him because she needs to work in order for them both to live and survive.
This makes me feel for all those patients in the hospital and all over the world, trapped and alone. Just because it seems that people are fine and on the surface when they spend their times on their gadgets, you never know who is feeling lonely and is longing for some company. I hope I can reach out more to people. I don’t know why the social norm is like this, but people don’t usually talk to others but instead retreat in themselves and their cellphones. If the social norm wasn’t like this and if I can talk to people without feeling like a creeper, then the number of lonely people in this world would be reduced, even by a bit.