For these kind of stories it’s best to keep things simple and honest, with the most positive spin possible. Pictures of the actual place/thing/people are best, especially if you can get one with your child in it. B loves pictures of herself. I always try to include a few things she especially likes (ie – the elevator, asking someone their name).
We print these out with a few stanzas and at least one picture per page, then slip them into page protectors (this way the story can be switched around – whether it’s an LP day or if her VAD will be de-accessed at the end of the day or not).
As an example, here’s the text for our trips to the oncology clinic:
Today I am going to the clinic. It is a long drive in the red car.
We park underground and take the elevator upstairs.
When I get to the clinic we talk to the lady at the desk and write our name on the board.
When it is my turn one of the nurses comes and gets me. Nurses are nice.
I ask “What’s your name?” The nurse will tell me.
I use my cards to choose what to do next.
- Arm hug.
- Listen with stethoscope.
- Stand on scale.
Sometimes I need my tubes to be put in. I don’t like this part, but my mom always holds my hands and when it’s done I can play on my iPad.
The nurse cleans my chest and it tickles. The nurse puts my tube in and it pokes. The tape goes over top to keep it safe. When it’s done I pull my shirt down and feel much better.
My tubes make it much easier. The nurses can get a little blood to look at without poking my arm and it doesn’t hurt at all.
Sometimes my tubes are hooked up to an IV, I like to call mine “Fred.” We tape a face onto him. That’s so silly.
The doctor comes and talks to me, to see if I’m healthy. I tell the doctor if I have any owies. I use my cards to choose which things the doctor should do first.
- Listen with stethoscope.
- Tummy Rub.
- Look in my mouth.
I have to wait in the clinic. Somedays I play in the playroom with lots of toys. Somedays I stay in my room and Mom brings books and toys in my blue backpack. Most of all, I like to watch shows while I am waiting.
While I’m at the clinic I get medicine in my tubes. Some medicine makes my tummy feel better. Some medicine makes me stronger. Some strong medicine to help chase the unhealthy cancer cells out of my body.
On LP days I can’t have food or drink in my belly. I have to wait. I go to the fish room. The doctor puts sleepy milk into my tube and I fall asleep really fast.
When I wake up, I’m back in my room and mom has a popsicle for me. I love popsicles. I eat the lunch in my lunchbox now. It tastes so good.
When it is time to leave the clinic the nurse will give my tubes a drink and then tape them up. I don’t touch my tubes, just pull my shirt over top.
When it is time to leave the clinic the nurse will take the tape off and pull it out, while Mom holds my hands. It is over quickly and I can pull my shirt down. Then I feel better.
I wave goodbye to everyone as we leave.