Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Ross Heart Hospital

Well, after nearly 2 years, we have finally been someplace other than Dodd Hall. I had all good intentions of going to Dodd when the evening started, but somehow, we just never made it.

While in the parking garage, I was unloading Chelsie and this girl pulled up next to me and asked me if I could go see her sister at Ross. I was a little hesitant at first - mainly because I had never been to Ross and was going in there sight unseen with Chelsie, which made me a little nervous. She went on to say she had been asking the nurses about getting a dog to visit, but that one had not been in yet - and they had been there for almost a month. Call me a sucker, but that did it.

So off we go to the Ross - very different. You actually have to buzzed in to see the patients on Ross 4, which immediately made me nervous. But we went right in, and there was a group of nurses sitting right there. I told them who we were and who we were there to see, and they pointed and said go ahead. This girl was thrilled - apparently today was the jackpot, because Chelsie was the third dog that had been in there that day. We never made it to Dodd, obviously, but we visited some more patients on that floor and they loved her. In fact, some nurses on the other end of the unit said they wished they had dogs there all the time!

It turns out the floor I was on was the Open Heart Surgery Recovery floor. In short, that means there were some very sick people on that floor - much sicker than we were used to seeing. Part of the reason I was nervous about going in there sight unseen was because I did not know what the environment was like in there. At Dodd, most of our patients are free from "gear" as I will call it - these people are not, by any stretch of the imagination. There are different smells, sights and sounds, very different from what Chelsie is used to. For example, many of these people have several IV's in both arms - I was a little nervous that one quick turn of the head could hit one of their IV's and jar it, causing the patient pain. Also, many of these people have beeping heart monitors, and on several occasions, she stopped and looked around to see what the noise was.

Overall, it was a very positive experience - just like every other week is. The families we saw were very grateful for the visit. The main difference between Ross and Dodd is that while many of the patients in Dodd I still consider to be "sick", the patients on this floor of the Ross are much more sick (still trying to decide if this is proper grammar). It was very hard for me to see people obviously in very, very bad shape...but Chelsie didn't care, she just went about her business, looking for the next person that would tell her how beautiful she was and how soft her ears were. Please give a prayer of thanks for your health and the health of those around you.

After the hospital, it was off to agility. We are in a new class that focuses on contact obstacles and weave poles - it should be called agility conditioning 101. The weaves are literally a 20 yard dash for the dogs..and we do short sequences designed for speed, so by the end of class, her tongue was hanging out of the side of her mouth. I love it...she is in bed cuddling with the teddy bear. Unfortunately for her, she drank so much water she is going to get one last trip outside so mom does not have to get up in the middle of the night to do so!!!

Hope everyone is having a great week!!


The Monroes said...

You are going to be visiting both Dodd and Ross now... they are both going to want the visits! That is wonderful work.

Becky said...

Oh so sweet -what wonderful work you and Chels are doing! You brightened their day for sure -- and yes, what a reminder for good health!

the youngbergs said...

So glad you could brighten her day! I so admire your commitment to Dodd and now, Ross!