After graduating from college this May, I am now teaching 3rd-4th grade music, private piano and flute lessons, and coaching volleyball. The directors of the band/choir do as much as they can to get the students out to play/sing for people in the community. So, naturally, I suggested going to Shriners Hospitals for Children! And that's what we did.
It was so good to be back again-- for once, not a patient! During college, I took groups to the Shriners in Greenville, SC. But this time was different. We were at the exact hospital where I had my surgery-- Shriners in Chicago. While running around trying to direct everyone to the right area, get music stands and instruments, etc., I didn't have time to think about anything else. Then we got to the elevator. The nurses were rolling a teenage boy on a hospital bed, either on his way to surgery, or just getting out. He was in a hospital gown with a cast on his leg and cloths over his eyes. I suddenly felt all the memories rush back. Thankfully, I didn't have time to dwell on it, because I probably would've passed out. :)
While the band played and the choir sang, the rest of us met the patients who were there listening, along with their family members. We heard some pretty incredible stories. One boy was in a football accident. They told him he would never walk again. I couldn't see from where I was sitting, but I assumed he was in a wheelchair. Then when we got up to leave, he jumped up from his chair and started walking!
I went to the Gait Lab, where I have annual testing to see any improvements or changes in my flexibility and balance. I was disappointed to find out that one of the workers had moved, but I got to talk with another one who remembered my name. They have been working on my data for years now, and he said it's always nice to see the patient whose name they've been seeing for a long time now.
I was also able to see my favorite nurse! She was there through the whole process-- appointments before surgery, the week of my surgery, and every post-op appointment afterwards. She is an excellent nurse, and I love seeing her every time I come!
And lastly, I got to see one of my nurses from ICU. I don't remember much of her, because I was so heavily medicated. But I do remember that she was crazy and really helped me take my mind off the pain. I asked someone if they knew her, and they said there were so many nurses with her name. But then we said that she was really crazy, and they knew immediately, and went to find her!
It was definitely good to see my friends again-- people who daily give their time to help kids in need like I was. So many emotions. Gratefulness, for what they've done for me, and that I'm no longer there! Sadness, because others are there experiencing physical trials, and because I miss my friends there! And excitement, because I have been given a new future with new passions and perspective. God is so good.
Thanks to the directors/students of Schaumburg Christian School who put in the work and time to spread some Christmas cheer with kids who needed encouragement. Speaking from experience, I know it was a huge encouragement!