Tag Archives: child life

dinosaurs bring hope & God smiles.

i have been in washington for 2 months. i have finished week 7 of my internship. and completed 272 of 600 hours. i have been been with families through numerous pokes, tests and procedures, deaths, ah-ha moments, new diagnoses, and too many success stories to count. the kids and families i have spent time with have left a lasting impact on me. i will forever carry their faces and those tough conversations, in my heart. while trying situations and circumstances are ongoing, i found that i have to focus on supporting the child and family in the present, here and now moments. if i think about the long-term, the future, the prognosis of each child– i will not survive in this field. i have learned to take each day as it comes. because let me tell you, each day brings something new. prognoses take turns for the better, patients are discharged early, and kids that have been lying in bed for days or weeks are smiling, playing, and walking. holding on to hope is key.

the kids truly give me hope. i love that the hospital setting can’t stop them from being kids. on friday, i had a 6-year-old kiddo who attempted to use “the force” to bring his mom’s purse closer to him. i had to try so hard not to pee my pants in laughter and was immediately reminded of this great commercial:

this past week i switched to the outpatient clinics (hematology/oncology, endocrine, GI, neurology, & orthopedic) which is a completely different environment than the hospital. for the most part, the kiddos are feeling better. they come in for a period of time and then get to go home. one of my favorite parts about outpatient is watching the kids interact with each other. they play together- just like “normal” kids do. i have had the honor and pleasure playing with some of them- dinosaurs that fight lions, cities and mountains built from legos, holding baby dolls, magnadoodle drawings, and creating an immaculate road for Hot Wheels. i was lucky enough to meet a stuffed animal bunny named Snow White and was able to do a lab draw on the bunny. in turn, Snow White’s human counterpart felt much more comfortable for her own lab draw after seeing how well the bunny coped.

these are the moments that give me hope. and i am so blessed. each day, i’m reminded that i am exactly where God wants me to be. i sometimes wonder what my experience would have been like at the program i was also accepted at in SoCal. and then i am reminded about the opportunities i’ve had, the people i’ve met, and the perfectly laid out path that God has lead me on over the past 6 years…

decorative windows at the outpatient clinics.

“Behold the One who is beholding you, and smiling.” -Anthony De Mello

i can just imagine God listening to my questions and my doubts, and He is smiling. He has never let me down. He so clearly has a plan for my life. but as I begin to think about the next step in life, i wonder what a real job in the field looks like for me. my humanity forces me to ask questions that sometimes lead to doubt. will i even find a job? will it be here, in Washington? or at home, in California? will i have to wait months before i find one? or will i be lucky enough to find one right away? i don’t have answers to these questions. at least not right now. but God sure does. and i know He is grinning, from ear-to-ear, at the plans that He’s got in store. He smiles as He knows how my tender, worrisome heart gets caught up in planning details, attempting to grasp control of the future. and oh, how He loves us- despite all the questions, doubt, and disbelief.

so today, i choose to rest in His peace and His plan, with His warm smile shining down on me. and i pray the same for you.
amen.


you’re breaking your ground.

okay, please play this song while reading. i’m obsessed with Bon Iver and love listening to this song while driving.

i have been in WA for 3 weeks now and while it’s been an adjustment on many levels, i must confess, i really like it here. the weather can be gloomy and dark, but it has truly made me appreciate the sunshine. and this place is absolutely stunning when the sun shines. the days are slowly getting longer and instead of pure darkness while driving to work in the morning, i drive with the sun rise. and the shades of yellow, lavender, and pink in the sky make my heart flutter. i’m serious.

clear skies & sunrise

there’s a church just down the street from the hospital that the parking garage faces. instagram followers have seen this steeple in many photos, as there are days that i simply can’t get enough of what i see. gosh, itsn’t it gorgeous?!

while at work, i stare out of patient windows and admire the sunshine. i told a few of my co-workers that i wanted to eat lunch outside because it looked so nice out. they laughed a little and reminded me that it may look nice, but it’s still in the 30’s outside. they get a kick out of this california girl and her immediate draw to the sun. so while i’m stuck inside during the day, i leave the hospital at sunset. a few days ago, i walked outside and smiled from ear-to-ear as i looked up, with squinted eyes, and saw these clouds before me…

God-painted clouds from February 2nd

God is quite the artist! and as i walked towards my car, Mt. Rainer stood boldly and beautifully, covered in snow for the cities to see. i’m working on getting a picture of the mountain, and often think about pulling my car over just about to snap a quick shot. i’m telling you, something about this place has awakened my senses to the incredible beauty that i’m surrounded by.

okay, enough about the weather. oh wait, one more thing- it’s supposed to be sunny all weekend! which means i can actually be outside during the day and soak up those rays!! :) okay, now i’m done. so, my internship! there really wasn’t much to say last time i posted. but now that i’ve finished two, solid, 40+ hour weeks, i have a little more to write about. well, for starters- i LOVE it. being at the hospital, working with patients and families- my internship has confirmed, 100%, that this is what i’m supposed to be doing with my life. i’ve heard from so many people, “gosh, that must be so hard”, or “i just don’t think i can work with sick kids”, or “kids shouldn’t have to be in the hospital, it’s so sad”- yes. i validate those things. some of the kids i work with are incredibly sick. some get better quickly, some slowly, and some just won’t get better at all. but something that i’m learning and recognizing is that the environment of the hospital does not stop a kid from being a kid. the patients still want to play, still laugh and smile, and still hold on to hope that they will get better.

emergency entrance on my walk to and from the parking garage

one of the units at the hospital is shared with an adult neuro unit, the door to that unit was open one day and i saw an elderly lady lying on her bed with her husband next to her. i got choked up as i glanced at what could have been a final moment together. this was probably not the case- but the feeling of the pediatric unit versus the adult unit is so different. don’t get me wrong, there have been moments in the past two weeks that i wanted to break down in tears for things that some of these patients and parents are going through. but on a day to day basis, i remain humbled, honored, and thankful to be a small part of their hospital experience. the beauty and joy of my job is to make the hospital a kid-friendly environment. while there are many components to what i do, on a very basic level, part of my job is to bring comfort and smiles. thank you Lord, for bringing me to this place, this career. may i use it to honor You daily…

now, i wish there was a smoother way to transition, but i’m stumped (and too tired to think). so here goes the next thing:

my daily life here pretty much consists of working and working some more. i’m up before 6am and don’t get home till after 5pm. so i’m pretty tuckered out and ready for bed around 8pm ;) Kelsey has invited me out with some friends a few weeknights, but unfortunately- i’m pretty boring after those long days! but i have found some time to explore. Kelsey and i went to a delicious coffee shop in Tacoma. sadly i’ve only been once. not quite living up to my coffee-shop junkie reputation. but give me a little more time. i’ll get there!

delicious mocha from Metronome Coffee

we went to Seattle last weekend, walked around University Village in the rain and then hung out at a great brewery with our friends Chelsea and Bino. today we went to Seattle to see Oklahoma! and it was phenomenal. did i mention we had front row seats?! i’m so spoiled!! it was truly a perfect day.

me & Kels with Curly at the 5th Ave Theater

gosh, i think that’s about it for updates. i’m continually in awe of God’s creation, absolutely loving my internship, and beyond blessed to be on this adventure! Psalm 9:1-2.


movin’ on up! literally.

apparently i’m on a blog-once-a-month schedule… life is nuts.

a lot has happened in this past month! i mentioned in my last post that i was applying to internship programs for the final portion of my Master’s degree. and after a grueling process of too many interviews and loads of anticipation- i have accepted an internship in Tacoma, Washington!

my internship begins in January. which means i’m moving in less than two months! i can’t believe it’s all real. i applied to this program in Washington with the chance of getting an offer and transferring my life to another state for a few months. one regret from college was that i never studied abroad or did anything that took me out of my immediate community and comfort zone. i thought this to be the perfect opportunity to move somewhere for a few months, experience life outside of California, and push myself to try something new.

well, as i check the weather there almost daily- i’m definitely pushing myself to something different! for example here is the current match-up:

my dad says it’s just as cold in Washington as it is in the Bay Area. which is true. but the last few years, i’ve been freezing cold at home! i mean, we’re talking a 20-30 degree temperature difference! yikes!! okay, okay. i’m not going to complain about the weather. there’s a solution: get a jacket. i’m going to be just fine. the truth is, i’m getting exactly what i asked for. i took this chance and it’s real. i have no idea what to expect, but i’m going to move to Washington. and this is truly the opportunity of a lifetime.

internship location aside, i couldn’t be more excited for this dream career to start becoming more of a reality. i feel like i’ve been so out of the loop with child life. taking the summer off, being out of the hospital for over a year, and currently only taking one class (that doesn’t really discuss child life)- sometimes i have to stop and remind myself of what it is that i’ll be doing someday. and honestly, i can’t wait to do child life 5 days a week. i’m SO lucky!

as the details of all this unfolds and the mental processing continues, i’ll write more. but for today, i need to get some work done on this thesis that has seen more procrastination that it deserves. so i leave with this thought that brings such hope in times of uncertainty…

via pinterest