Thursday, June 12, 2008

Violin Music

Tonight, we graced the halls of Dodd with our presence. I was supposed to go boating on Tuesday, but the weather was not good, so we did not go - I also ended up subbing for Renae's women's team since boating got cancelled. The plan was to go tonight before my game (I play at OSU on Thursday with Nat) and then go take 2 games for the championship. The rain derailed that - there were some loud cracks of thunder and some bright streaks of lightning all over Cbus tonight. So we went to Dodd, and were able to take our sweet time - and boy, did we. Tonight was a record - 2 hrs.

It was a really neat night at Dodd. We only saw one patient we had seen before - I was disappointed to have to wait until today, because I think Angel went home this morning. But we made lots of new friends tonight, and I think we will be seeing some of them for a few more weeks, at least.

The night started when a lady walked by the main desk and looked at Chelsie - I said, go ahead, pet her, it is what she is here for. Her father was in the day room, with what I assume was her sister, mother and grandson. She asked if we would stop in, so of course we did, and they just loved her. Chelsie was a little distracted by the food on the table, but did great. We sat and visited them for a long time.

So up and down the halls we went, stopped in and saw a few people here and a few people there - she was being really good and super cute. She was concerned about the lightning and thunder, but we were managing. As we finished up one side of the hall and started walking back toward the nurses station, I hear this beautiful music...I can't imagine where such music is coming from in Dodd Hall. We walked back down to the day room, to find the grandson of the first family we visited playing the violin for his grandfather. The kid was probably about 16 years old, and played the violin just beautifully. We did not go back in the room, but when I stopped to listen, Chelsie laid down and listened to the music. You could totally tell it relaxed the grandfather, and it was easy to see how proud of him his mom, aunt and grandparents were. I am sure the people that heard that music felt better.

So back down the hall we go...all the way to the other end. We go in one room and nurse Lisa (one of Chel's many favorites - she knows how to scratch her back end in the right place) asks the patient in the bathroom if he wants to see Chel. He says, Oh yes - so I said we would come back when he was done in the bathroom. I forget this guys name...maybe Mr. Smith - that is what we will call him...he was the nicest man. Had a golden himself, who was coming to visit Sunday, I think his name was Casey. Anyway, I had the nicest conversation with this man...we were probably in there for 40 min. We had nothing else to do tonight, and Chelsie was parked at his feet and he just loved her...was so glad to have a dog around, so I just went with the flow as long as she was behaving. I really enjoyed talking to him. Toward the end of the conversation, his roomie came back in - it was the man whose grandson played the violin. His daughter and her husband brought him back, and they must have been the parents of the musician..I told them how talented their son was and that he played beautiful music. Apparently he had also put on a concert for them in their room. I was glad they were roomies - although the musician's grandfather was not real talkative, I think the two of them will do just fine together in that room.

And lastly, we went into a room one of the nurses had asked us to go into when I got there and never made it. It was our lst room of the night...and another 40 minute visit. We will call him Mr. K (god bless HIPAA). My medical degree tells me he had a stroke - very limited movement on his left arm (but could move his left leg), trach, unable to speak, but could write and move both legs very well. Super sweet guy - the nurse told me he had 2 dogs he missed, and he was so excited when I brought Chelsie in. We had a really nice conversation - he wrote, I talked. He had 2 dogs, Odie and Snoopy. I was so, so proud of Chelsie. Our carriage was definitely turning into a pumpkin at that point, but somehow, she knew Mr. K needed her and she was SO GOOD. She just sat in her chair, shook his hand many times and calmly sat while he would converse with me. She was interested in his trach and sniffed it and gave him many kisses. I am most amazed at how she just sat there, so calm, after almost 2 hrs. I could tell Mr. K was really glad to have here there, and she was being good, so I just went with it. Finally, I decided not to push my luck and left before her good behavior ran out. It was sort of sad to leave him because I think he enjoyed the company...but it was pushing 9PM and I was probably going to get kicked out of there anyway...

I can't rightly put into words the work she did tonight. She always does good work, but tonight, she stepped it up a notch and really made the night of the people we saw better. I know a talk a lot about perspective on my Dodd nights...but each time I go, I leave with a different perspective from when I got there, and each patient impacts me in their own way. I always enjoy visiting, but there was something about tonight that was truly special. I will think about this particular visit for a long while.

We hope this finds everyone well. TGIF and have a great weekend.


Shalyse said...

Chelsie...thanks for commenting! we can be blog friends! :-)

The Monroes said...

I love the sound of a violin, something very soothing about it...of course not if I played it, but a professional that is. You are gaining so much by being at Dodd each week!

The Quisenberrys said...

You both do good work! As a typed the last sentence I misspelled good work and typed god work....either one is appropriate!

Deb Mashock, M.A. said...

I love your description of the violin music and the family and your opportunity to let them know how you appreciated them! What a beautiful picture of music providing a means of connection and compassion in the midst of suffering. Thank you.

Deb Mashock, M.A.
Counselor to Musicians & Bands, Seattle