Please don't mention the "H" word

I will admit, it's been very stressful around here. The "H" word is not at the top of anyone of list of favorites these days, especially Riley's. She has been stressed out to no end and I am not sure how to help her.
To be honest, I am not sure if I am helping or making it worse. In case you are wondering, the "H" word is hospital. I am trying to prep her the best I can, not even for surgery, but just the whole trip, and I feel it is all blowing up in my face, and it's killing me.

2 days ago, our friends from our birth to 3 program decided that Riley was in need of a friend. One of our favorite teachers stopped by with a Spinoza bear. They give these bears to children who are/or will be going through a traumatic experience in their life.

Let me back up, if you have never heard of a Spinoza bear, join the club. I had no idea what it was, or what it's function was. This bear is special. It comes with a built in tape player.

"Spinoza and his Woodland Friends™ have a library of nine original cassette tapes. Through fun stories and songs they instill self worth, give positive reinforcement, are motivating, help open communication, can be relaxing and comforting or energizing and invigorating".

Here is a link to the Spinoza bear project. http://www.spinozabear.com/

Yesterday, before Riley went to school, I pulled out her Spinoza bear. I had the introduction tape already inside, (the music on the website) and we sat by the couch and I gave it to her. The music started playing and within less then a half a second, she was in tears! I don't just mean tears, I mean gumdrop size tears. She screamed at me to turn it off, and pushed it away. I couldn't help but instantly start crying with her. I thought she would like it. I thought it would comfort her, but all she see is HOSPITAL!

This trip into surgery is going to SO much different that going in with Carson and Cooper. As soon as the "H" word comes up, and she starts crying, I can't help but to shed a few tears myself - privately. I don't know what to do. I don't believe that being all "hush, hush" about it is going to help either. Am I going about this the wrong way?

Today, I pulled out the bear again, and instant tears came down her face. I pulled her into my bedroom and we started to dress the bear up. I thought maybe if she decorated it the way she wanted to, maybe the bear would become more comforting to her. The bear now has pink bows around it's ears, and is wearing a pink shirt that says, " what happens at Grandmas, Stays at Grandmas." We'll see how this works.
She still won't listen to the music without shedding tears.


Jean said...

How gut-wrenching! I can't imagine what a 5 year old thinks of this whole experience. How scary! I know Usborne has books on "going to the dentist" (because we have one), but I wonder if they cover subjects about hospitals and surgery.
Thinking and praying for you guys!

Scrappy Rose said...

Oh Cindy ... I'm so at a loss of what advice to give. I'm crying with you. Here's one for you - THIS SUCKS MONKEY BUTT!!! I'm so praying for you and Riley ... not only for the surgery, but that this is the only one she has to endure.

Lost A Sock said...

How awful for her. If I were you, I'd scrap the bear if it's serving as a reminder of what's to come. Maybe take her out and buy her a new toy or something that might take her mind off everything. I'm still eight months off, but I can't even think about my impending c-section, and that's cake compared what she's heading for.

Meghan said...

There's nothing worse than having a child in distress and not being able to fix it. Maybe you can find a book online that would help? I agree that it's better to tell her about it than avoid the subject - maybe just keep it in small doses.

Maybe you can find another kid who spent time in the hospital, and have her talk to them? (Or maybe you can talk to the mom!).

Good luck.

Michelle said...

I have to tell you, I had an almost panic attack last night! I was thinking you were leaving today & I hadn't even talked to you since I returned & well ... I was wrong. I forgot you were leaving in Feb. I don't know where my mind is lately!

Anything I can do to help!?? Take you out for a drink??

I wish I knew what to help, you'd think after all my recent hospital time I'd have some advice - but nope! Like you said (in the other post?) each time, it just gets more draining.

Um, is this a comment or a post? I guess I'll stop rambling now. Hope to talk to you soon. You & Riley are in my thoughts! A lot!

Love & Hugs & lots of good stuff (can you tell I still am not getting much sleep? I'm loopy!!)

my4kids said...

That is so gut wrenching. I agree though being hush hush about it probably wouldn't help either. I think the more prepared they are for it the better. Even if they are scared at least they have time to get it in their heads and maybe work it out a little and talking with her about her fears might help as well.
I'll be thinking of all of you though, I promise. We've had surgeries around here with the kids and it is hard even the minor ones.

BoufMom9 said...

OH! I'm so sorry she is having such a time with this. How difficult for a 5 yr old to understand (and how impossibly hard for a mommy...no wonder you are crying)- I'm crying right along with you.
There are lots of people praying for her. have faith and stay strong.