Monday, July 23, 2012

Joyful Hearts After Tears

A nervous little Hani got into the van this morning to depart for the hospital. This perceptive little girl has put 2 and 2 together. Getting into the van means we are probably going to the hospital. Going to the hospital is scary. Therefore, the van is to be avoided at all costs. But she still remained calm throughout the whole ride and even had a smile on her face when we entered the play room at the hospital. Toys are always exciting and we had a fun time climbing in and out of the little playhouse while we waited her turn. Mohammed on the other hand could not be pleased today. He does not like car seats. Or hospitals. Or echoes. Or doctors. We did everything possible to get him to smile. This was achieved frequently, but only for brief periods. Once he again realized the horrible situation he was in, the wails of protest resumed.

Both children's worst fears were confirmed when the doctors called them in and placed themon the echo table. Their protests could be heard echoing down the hallway, despite the closed door. For Hani, her mother and Shevet staff member, Ruth, were at her side to calm and sooth her through the echo. Thankfully it did not last too long and the result is excellent news! The doctors announced Hani has "trace" amounts of fluid around her heart which they consider to be "trivial"! Since she is doing exceptionally well they are reducing her medication significantly and plan on taking her off it all together in three days. They expect that next week will be her final echo and she will be able to return home! Mohammed was also accompanied by his mother and Shevet staff member, Kristina. They were able to console him after the echo. He also did well, but we learned we would have to take him downstairs for some blood work. Na xhosh bo Mohammed. Not good for Mohammed. Little guy doesn't like giving up his blood to the evil needles.

However, we had some time to kill so we took a little jaunt to the sea!  One again cries emerged from little Hani, but this time they were cries of joy. Her laughter and enthusiasm were contagious as we all got soaked by the splashing waves. It took our best efforts to keep her from jumping into the water and swimming away forever. This child has an enthusiasm for water that cannot be matched. Mohammed on the other hand was terrified of the water. The poor little guy probably thought the sea was going to come up and swallow him whole. We tried to put his feet in the water, but he strongly opposed, so that ended quickly. Maybe when he gets a little older he'll be able to appreciate the sea.

We headed back to the hospital so that Mohammed could have his last terrible experience of the day. While he had blood drawn, Hani, her mom, another Shevet volunteer, and I waited in the "Fish Room". This room decorated with drawings of fish, Ariel, and dolphins is where we hang out while we wait. Hani, still joyful, charmed everyone who walked by. She quickly made a new friend in the girl who runs the toys and coloring supplies. Within a minute of introduction they were blowing kisses and waving. She also waved at anyone that walked by and uttered more than one tentative, "Hallo".  

It was a long day, but a ton of fun. It is good to see both of them doing so well. On the drive home, Hani dozed off while Mohammed stayed happy and played games with his mother. Between the fun and sad parts of today, I think they will both sleep well tonight. 

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