Wednesday, April 4, 2012

RAOK #35 - Please shut up. I have a kidney stone.

I don't have one right now!  (And I am not normally fond of the words "shut up").  But in my lifetime, I've had several.  I've also gone through labor to bear children and I can't decide which pain is worse - at least when you go through labor you get something at the end of it!  It's sort of ironic that the pain of bearing an 8 lb child is about the same pain as pushing a stone smaller than a BB through your renal system. 

I digress.

One of the things about having a kidney stone is that there is no relief from the pain except for those amazing drugs they drip through the IV when you finally get attended to at the ER.  It doesn't matter how you sit, stand, or lie down, the pain is ever present. This can make you physically sick but it definitely makes you EDGY.  Any noise is like a clanging cymbal, and light bears into the back of your eyes right through your brain to create a spectacular headache to go along with your generally miserable disposition.  Of course, since kidney stones are not life-threatening and car accidents or profuse bleeding are, you oftentimes find yourself waiting for hours at the ER while they take the cases that are more urgent. 

Point being, you are sitting in the ER and it seems that inevitably there is some poor soul who is also there but they had to bring their kids along with them.  Or perhaps the kid is the one who is ill.  Either way, as you sit there in excruciating pain with a horrible headache and trying not to vomit, the kids are screaming, fussing and generally creating all kinds of havoc because they are bored. 

On any regular day, I have an AMAZING tolerance for noise with my four kids and all their friends.  Sometimes there will be other adults over and they will comment "Doesn't all this noise drive you crazy?"  Nope.  I have a finely-tuned and much developed skill set for totally ignoring it.  I honestly have had 20+ teenagers here at one time and I wasn't one bit fazed or frazzled.  Cool, huh?

However, the one exception is this kidney stone ER visit thing.  When I am feeling that bad, I can't stand the noise. 

So RAOK #35 was borne out of the memory of the desperation of those times!  It was designed to provide relief for both the ER patients in the waiting room as well as the parent who is sick or desperately trying to entertain their little ones.  I created several "activity boxes" with a variety of fun and safe items (that I mostly picked up for way cheap at Party City and the Dollar Store).
Cars, crayons, activity books, little puzzles, Rubik's cubes, and some fun toy animals

I bought some cheap plastic shoe boxes and created a label for the boxes, then assembled and delivered them to my local ER:

Cute girls at the ER admissions desk!
They seemed excited to have them but the only bummer of the day is when they told me that they would not be comfortable "re-using" the boxes because of the spread of germs and no one to sanitize the items.  So instead of having boxes that can be enjoyed over and over, I provided them with five boxes that will just be given to a child in need, which is still a good thing.

In retrospect, I might just make some of these boxes and store them somewhere here at home to grab on my way to my next ER visit.  That way I can give it directly to the little noisy buggers myself!  (Just kidding... kind of).

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