Dated July 9, 2016. Was this going to be the beginning of a larger storybook? – HH
Flo looked around the hospital room. She looked at the plain walls. She looked at the TV. She looked at the IV tree where a bag hung, dripping liquid through a tube into her arm.
She had cried when the nurse put the needle into her arm. Even Daddy holding her hand did not take away the brief pain of the needle.
She was used to it now. The nurse had patiently explained how the liquid in the bag would help her get better. She was getting used to it, but didn’t mean she liked it!
What was she doing here anyway? Nothing to do. No one to play with. Sometimes she just wanted to explode and pull out the IV from her arm and run from the hospital. But she knew she would not get too far. Last time she tried walking by herself to the bathroom she almost fell. It was good that Mommy was there to help her.
Grrr. Moan. All she could do was sleep or watch the cartoons on TV until she drifted off again.
Grrr. She was tired of being sick. She was tired of being in the hospital. She missed her friends and having her family around. She missed her dog. She missed running around and climbing the jungle gym. She longed to sit on the swing with her older brother pushing her. Once he got her started, when she pumped really hard she could fly up so high she could see the whole neighborhood. Flo felt bored, frustrated and so lonely.
One morning after breakfast, she heard new sound coming from the hallway outside her room. Not just the nurses talking quietly or the big rolling supply shelf passing by. She could hear a jingling kind of noise. What could it be?
Someone stepped into her room pushing a cart with all kind of different stuff. Wow! Musical instruments. She recognized some of them from her kindergarten. The woman had a guitar strapped across her body. This was different.
“Hi Flo, my name is Pamela. I am a music therapist. I am wondering if I might visit with you for a few minutes.” Flo looked at the instruments on the cart.
“Do you see something you’d like to play?” Pamela asked.
Flo’s eyes lingered on a shiny red ball with a stick attached. Red was her favorite color. Pamela passed it to her, giving it a shake along the way. “It’s a maraca. Have you ever played one of these before?”
Flo took it and turned it around in her hands. Then boldly she gave it a shake. “We had something like this in kindergarten. What makes the sound?”
“There are some little pebbles inside. Play it some more.” This time Flo held on tight and shook it harder. It felt good to do that. “What else do you have?” Flo looked over at the cart. This time her eyes landed on a drum with a lollypop design on it. She pointed to it, and Pamela handed her the drum along with a mallet.
“You can use this to play the drum. Give it a try.”
Flo took the mallet and gave the drum a good wallop. The sound echoed loudly around the room. Pamela said, “Go ahead. This is your chance to make some noise.”
She reached around to the other side of the cart and pulled out another drum. As Flo played, Pamela joined in matching her beats. Flo stopped suddenly. Her urge was to hammer the drum so loudly, but she was afraid she’d break it or wake up the whole hospital and upset everyone.
Pamela moved to close the door to the room. “There now. Your playing will not bother anyone. That drum can take lots of hard playing and you really know how to make it talk.”
Flo looked at the music therapist for a moment, and then she gathered all of her might and pounded into the drum. She let it take all of her frustration and anger.
When she had finished, she stopped and smiled. She was tired. But that had felt so good. “What next?”
“Wow!” Pamela said. “You sure needed to release all that. Well done! Hmm. Do you like to sing?”
“Oh, yes.” Said Flo.
“How about ‘She’s be Coming around the Mountain’?”
“Oh yes,” Flo chimed eagerly. She was getting a bit tired but didn’t want the therapist to leave. Together they sang about driving the white horses and silk pajamas and chicken and dumplings. Right through, Flo played on the drum. It was really fun to it to make the sound of the horses’ feet.
As they finished, Pamela could see how tired Flo was. “I think I’d best be on my way. Why don’t we finish with a little good bye song.”
Pamela sang, “Good bye Flo, Good bye Flo. It’s been fun playing with you today and thank you for sharing your feelings.” Flo sang “Good bye, Pamela, Good bye Pamela, I am so glad you came to see me today.”
“Would you like me to come back again?”
“I sure would,” said Flo.
As she watched Pamela leave, Flo smiled. She was tired, really tired, but felt so much better. She turned over onto her side for a nap and slipped into her dreams with her smile still on her face.