Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Today Henry played bingo. Once a week on the televisions in the hospital, the Child Life team broadcasts a game of hospital bingo. The bingo boards are laminated and include things like masks, IV poles, and urinals as the objects to cover. The highlights of the broadcast are the review of the prizes that the kids can win and the fact that they say the names of the children on TV.

Henry decided that each gift was more attractive than the next until he spotted one of those pull-along Thomas the Tank Engine trains. His eyes lit up and he said, "I want that choo choo crain". Three games are played, each with 8 to 10 winners. Sometime during the first game, a child about Henry's age won and picked that train. Henry was very upset. It took me a while to remind of him of some of the other gifts with the hope that we could pull off a win. There was consolation, the prize cart comes around for all participants after the games are over, so no one really gets left out, but try explaining that to Henry.

The gift he had his eye on now was a toy phone. The way to claim your prize in the game is to call the game host and read off your bingo. Each time, she would say something like 'pass the phone' and Henry thought it was his newly chosen prize being taken again. I had to explain over and over that it wasn't 'his' phone they were talking about.

In the end, we had four out of five in a row, four different ways on that bingo card. There were only two winners left to be awarded. They called 'G - Bottle' and that did it for us. Henry got his phone. He was very proud of his prize and showed all the nurses that came in and promised to call them on it.

In the end I think this was a better gift for him anyhow, as he's really not himself, staying in bed all day. We watched movies the rest of the day. Tonight is our last chemotherapy for this admission. No more daily EKG’s, no more midnight baths. Tomorrow we would rest and recover a bit in preparation for our first stem cell transplant.

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