Weird thought that came to me when I left the hospital yesterday afternoon and saw an Amish couple coming in. They were obviously there to see their sick child. Amish people tend to stick out in general, but I don't know why it surprised me to see them at the childrens hospital. Of course Amish kids get sick too and where else would their parents take them?
I was just leaving to pick some clothes up for Sydnerella. Her nurse told me she could have her clothes back yesterday after I had made the 25 minute drive to the hospital with clean undies, tooth brush, face wash (that they later took away), and some new socks. The kids in that unit aren't allowed their own clothes for the first 24 hours. And when they are allowed their own things, they are checked thoroughly. No cell phones, no iPods, no razors, no belts, no hand sanitizer, no mouth wash. I stayed long enough to play some cards - crazy eights with 55 cards made up of two decks, take a walk with her to the cafeteria for some fries, and talk to the psychiatrist that will be dealing with Sydneralla. It was about a three hour round-trip. It's a big city. It was rush hour. And I had to stop for a bite to eat. Alone. I'm waging war against my city and every damn parking company, so parking costs haven't been an issue. Sleeping and eating have been. I am lucky, though, to live at least this close the childrens hospital and not in a small town three hours away, to own a vehicle and afford the gas and all the eating out. And I'm also very lucky that I wasn't leaving the hospital after a final good bye. The childrens hospital is a sad place. Kids from all walks of life. With a million different stories. Some will never go home. I would have never imagined in the last 13 years that I have been a parent, that one day, I'd be checking my child into the psych ward. Or what's printed on the doors in the basement hallway - Mental Health Unit.