Personal information obtained on therapy visits is confidential. When applicable the name/location/sex/condition of persons visited may be changed to protect privacy. However, the interactions, conversations are true and did occur as written.
Gopher, Squirrel, Chad, and Carla are all volunteers. They do not officially represent any institution that may be mentioned.
On a string of recent visits Gopher and Squirrel each had the opportunity to visit with a young girl. At an age where traditionally she would be preparing for a Cotillion given her creole history she was instead laying in a hospital bed. She was able to experience a number of firsts which we discussed, the first time seeing snow, the first time experiencing the cold in the way we have cold in Minnesota, the first time spending a holiday hundreds of miles from home.
Some of these firsts you may be thinking don't sound too grand, however as she described each one she would remove any hint of negativity and focus on the first as if it was an adventure awaiting her discovery.
Our first visit we would find her on a main floor, having traveled in the hopes of finding the right physician to aid her with her particular malady. Surrounded by her family, immediate and extended they cooed over Gopher and were amazed by his behavior. The room as is typical had been quiet when we arrived, but was now bustling with stories of dogs they have owned and their silly antics. Times past when all were feeling better. Gopher all the time on the bed with a blanket under him to protect the bed stretched out and enjoying all of the hands scratching him, his read gently resting on the abdomen of his patient. Their excitement over our visit prompted me to ask Carla and Squirrel if they could visit prior to leaving the floor. We left her with a Cuddle Cap provided by our readers and supporters, and she put it on her head and beamed with pride.
On our next visit Carla and Squirrel would find her room first. She had enjoyed her visit and when she found me on another part of the floor ushered me over as our little Belle has asked for us. She was noticeable weaker, but her conversations were just as animated and excited about some of the new things she had seen since our last visit. She sat up and before I could get the blanket to protect the bed she had invited him up on the bed, he laid down and resumed his position of last time, gently laying on his side, head resting gently on her and his brown eyes looking at her. We visited for a while and then as she seemed to be finished with our visit she thanked us as we left and asked us to make sure to tell Squirrel thank you as well.
Our third visit Carla and Squirrel would once again come to her room first and invite us over as requested. We found he quite a bit weaker and she spoke softly, but the light remained in her eyes and it danced as I put Gopher in a chair near her bed so she could reach him. Our visit was more subdued than the first two. She spent most of the time gently stroking Gopher's chest and whispering to him. After a bit she said she wasn't feeling well and wanted her dad, we called to the family who had been huddled in the back of the room and he came over. Once he sat down we went to leave. She sat up for a moment, "Gopher, I still have your hat you gave me." she smiled and laid back down. Her grandmother walked me out and asked me when we would be back, I told her that we would be there on Thanksgiving Day. She smiled and said "Good, the whole family will be here and I know they want to meet Gopher and Squirrel. Please make sure you come by and see us."
When we arrived on Thanksgiving we had to do our rounds a bit differently. Some of the floors we visit were also going to be visited by a special group of people who make and serve a home cooked meal for the families and patients unable to make it home. We made our rounds and on each floor we kept a watch out for our Southern Belle. She was nowhere to be found. Carla and I returned to each of the nursing stations to inquire about the patient and her family who had asked about a visit. She was unable to be located on any of the floors we visit, there is however one floor that we are unable to visit and not knowing her malady could have placed her on that floor on that day.
When we returned we made a point of keeping on the lookout to for her and her family, but once again came up short. There are several possibilities besides the one you may fear the most. Her time needed at the hospital may have come to an end, or very possibly she could have returned to extended family housing nearby as she no longer needed 24 hour care. No matter what we may never see her again, but know how much we were able to help bring a smile even if for a short time.
Our stock is getting very low!!
Last year The Brothers Rodents started asking for chemo caps and scarves to give out to the kids we visit. The response was overwhelming and we cannot thank all of you enough. Now almost a year later we have handed out almost every single piece and expect to run out when we visit on Christmas Eve. So once again we have to ask for your help! Thanks to you we have been able to give out over 150 pieces to the kids and we want to keep going. For more info on this project please go to Calling all Knitters and Crocheters.
Not crafty and want to help? We have been able to make six kits for those who have wanted to help, but did not have the means. Each kit includes 2 skeins of yarn, one purple, one green, two way postage and a special thank you from the Brothers Rodent and costs just under $10. Brothers Rodents Cuddle Caps