Saturday, December 11, 2010

Big Brother

On Friday, Caleb met with Ms. Megan, the Child Life Specialist who works with Abby.  Our goals for their session were for Caleb to be introduced to some of the medical equipment Abby has, to get Caleb to open up about his feelings about Abby's trach, and to allow Abby and Caleb to "play" together! 

It was awesome!  Megan is wonderful at allowing Caleb to explore at his own pace.  He naturally wanted to check out all of the toys in the room and pull everything off of the shelves.  Slowly, Megan introduced the idea of playing doctor.  She had a little doll with a trach and a g-tube.  Caleb was allowed to "feed" the doll through the tube just like we would with Abby.  He loved sucking the water up with the syringe!  Megan even pulled out the Kangaroo Bag that we will be going home with, since the way she is being fed now is slightly different than she will be at home. 

Megan also had all of the actual medical supplies we use with Abby:  suction, ambu bag, catheters, gloves, syringes, trachs, etc.  Caleb was allowed to touch and try out everything.  He even "suctioned" the water out of the cup!  (That ended up backfiring on us a bit because he announced later that suctioning Abby was now his job!)


In his three year old way, Caleb lost interest pretty quickly.  He made it clear that he didn't want to talk about the trach or his feelings about it at all, which was pretty telling.  Megan was able to pull things in every now and then though, and I know Caleb absorbed way more than he let on.  I look forward to discovering just how much he actually got out of it over the next few days.

The best part of the session for me was being able to bring Abby out into the playroom!!!  This was the very first time that she has ever been transported anywhere without being on some kind of stretcher or isolette, so it was very exciting.  Matt and I even got to carry her to and from her room!!

It's quite a production taking her anywhere, and it didn't help that she was in the middle of a feed.  If she hadn't been eating, we could have lost the pole.
Caleb had a great time learning how to play with Abby.  I think he realized that he could do a whole lot more than he thought.  He especially enjoyed tickling her toes, pretending to talk with her on the phone, and getting her to grab the beads.
It was wonderful to see the two of them together in a more natural environment.  For once, Abby was at Caleb's level and he could do more than just lean over her crib.


Now that Megan knows Caleb a little better and has identified the touchy subjects, she is going to meet with him several more times throughout our stay so that she can help him become more comfortable with the trach.  I can tell she's going to be wonderful!


ashleigh nicholas said...

Awe how sweet! At least your making progress with Abby and who doesn't love seeing their kids getting along with one another! BIG steps Abby, BIG steps! Good luck Mrs. Leach!

The Craun Family said...

So cute! Abby had some crazy hair going on.