A is for…Afebrile.

I was braced for a strange and challenging week with my partner out-of-state for a work trip, but then our little babe was hospitalized for an infected (and previously undetected) cyst at her throat, and things really got surreal. Somewhere in the midst of the past five days (only five?!), we started making some fun out of learning all the new vocabulary words. Along the lines of Innosanto Nagara’s lovely book A is for Activist and Yusef Islam (formerly Cat Stevens’)'s beautiful song A is for Allah, I’ve made my own list, with the help of many Facebook Friends. This being National Poetry Month (one of my favorite months of the year) makes this Alphabet Poem even more timely. If you or your kid has ever been hospitalized, feel free to fill in the missing letters–or alternate versions to the ones we have here–in the comment field! And we are wishing our little one and all of you much healing and good health.

A is for Afebrile (no fever).
B is for Bummer: because it just is, when you’re in the hospital.
C is for Cyst. And Clowns! On our last day in the hospital, the clowns came by, complete with a ukelele, and bubbles. That was nice.
D is for Doctor, definitely: there are so many of them, especially in a teaching hospital!
E is for ENT: Ear-Nose-Throat specialists.
F is for Family & Friends: so essential when things are challenging.
G is for Gentle Giraffes, keeping R company and helping her sleep with soothing sounds…
H is for Hospital.
I is for IV, as in Intravenous. Having our baby get 2 IVs put in her…well…the word “iiiiiiiick-scruciating” comes to mind.
J is for jugular which is where you definitely do not want the doctors to put an IV.
K is for Kisses; we ALL need more kisses when we are in the hospital.
L is for love. So much love.
M is for medicine.
N is for NPO. Nil per os — Latin for “nothing by mouth” — no food, and no nursing. Words we (and Robin!) would be happy not to hear any more.
O is for “Oh my goodness. What now?”
P is for Parents (or guardians or loving people). or Patient. Being the patient, being patient…
Q is for questions, so many questions, all around…questions we were asked repeatedly, and questions we asked repeatedly, and questions we were scared to ask, but did anyway, grateful for the doctor’s calm and compassionate responding.
R is for rounds. So important to be ready for the doctors’ rounds, sometime between 6:30 and 8am each morning.
S is for sleep…or sterile…oh, stethoscope! Definitely: stethoscope. Stealth-o-scope.
T is for toys! Robin loved the colorful wooden block toy she picked out from the children’s toy room–where toys could be borrowed and later returned to be cleaned and then put out again, on shelves at the kids’ height.
U is for the umbrella of love covering our family–kindnesses expressed and felt from near and far.
V is for…?
W is for Waiting. So much waiting! And W is for We. We are in this together. We will get through this together.
X is for X-Ray of course!
Y is for…?
Z is for….?

Your turn!


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