Today after much thought and talking with a child psychologist and child life specialist we decided to let Kyle visit Benjamin. We worked out a plan with the child psychologist and child life specialist yesterday for Kyle’s visit today.
When Kyle first came with his Grandparents, we had lunch altogether in the cafeteria. We also celebrated Devon’s birthday with some cupcakes. Devon didn’t like getting his hands all dirty in the cupcakes:) It was quite funny. So I wiped his hands and ate his cupcake. Once we were all done I asked Kyle if he’d like to read a book. And he said “yes”. So Gary & I went with Kyle to the ICU private waiting room while Grandma H & Grandma & Grandpa K went for a walk with Devon. We sat down in the room with the book that the child life specialist had given us to read with Kyle. It was a book telling the story of another family who brought their young children to see their brother in the ICU. This was our way to gauge whether Kyle would be fine with visiting Benjamin in the ICU. I read the book to him and he kept asking questions about all the machinery and then wanted to read it again. He read it to me the second time and told me that the girl was going to visit her brother. She had to phone in and ask if she could come in. Then she had to wash her hands. Then she walked down the hallway where she saw the doctor and nurses. Kyle kept pointing to pictures and saying that the picture was of Benjamin. And then he proceeded to tell us about the breathing machine, IV machine & monitor. So we figured he was ready to be asked if he wanted to color a picture for Benjamin. We phoned in to the ICU and were allowed in. We then washed our hands in the big sink. Then we went to a little playroom that they have and colored a picture for Benjamin. I checked to see if Benjamin’s nurse, Todd, was back from his break and he was so we asked Kyle if he’d like to see Benjamin. At which point he bluntly said “no”. While I had gone to check if the nurse was back from break, Gary had given Kyle a book out of the cupboard and he was looking at it. So once he said “no” we just let him keep reading the book and asked him again in a bit. At which point he got very excited and said “yes”!! We went back to wash all the felt off his hands and wash our hands again. Then we walked the long way around to Benjamin’s room to see if Kyle would be scared of all the machinery. But he wasn’t at all. He kept saying “I go find Benjamin. There’s Benjamin.” But I had to tell him that we weren’t there yet. Once we got to the room, Benjamin’s nurse, Todd, was all ready for us. Since Benjamin is back on isolation, we all had to wear a gown. Todd was already in his gown and wearing his mask & gloves. So he showed Kyle his gown & I helped Kyle put it on. Then we both put on our gowns and went up to Benjamin’s window. Kyle kept telling us that “Benjamin in the room”. So we opened the door and went in. I held him up so he could see Benjamin and he got very excited. I then stood him on a stool right by the bed and started patting Benjamin’s head. Kyle followed my lead and started patting his head as well. I asked Kyle if he’d like to give Benjamin a kiss, and he did. He then climbed onto the bed and wanted to sit right by Benjamin. So we took his shoes off and let him. He then lifted up Benjamin’s thin blanket to see Benjamin’s legs. Todd had to take Benjamin’s resting splints off so he started doing that. He explained to Kyle that he had to take Benjamin’s boots off. He took one boot off and Kyle told him “take other boot off?” So he took the other boot off. Kyle then held Benjamin’s hand for a bit and then told us about all the machinery. He knew all the names: breathing machine, monitor & IV. He then said that the breathing machine was noisy. Which it is since it’s an oscillating ventilator. Todd had to get rid of some water in the tubing and Kyle thought that was funny and asked Todd to do it again. Then he kissed Benjamin some more and asked to go back to Devon. So we got a picture of all of us and put Kyle’s shoes on and left the room to go back to Devon and the rest of the crew. We stopped to talk to a doctor on the way out and Kyle showed her his bear that he had gotten from Benjamin. Then we went out of the ICU.
I’m very glad that Kyle had the opportunity to visit Benjamin. He was much more open after visiting Benjamin and asked us questions all the way down the hallway to the rest of the crew. It’s great to see him open up now. And he did great! He wasn’t scared of any of the machinery at all. I’m so happy that we did this. Kyle hadn’t seen Benjamin in one whole month and it was great for him to be able to see Benjamin again.