When I was 8 I got a severe infection and almost died. Spent 3 weeks in the hospital. Three weeks of boredom in between being prodded with needles. The boredom led to fear and worry and my biggest memory of that time is the fear of needles that came from focusing on those needle prods.
When Rach was in the hospital at that same age she had free access to tv, movies, video games. Her memories of that time are much less traumatic. She spent her time playing games with her daddy or I and watching lots and lots of movies. For Rach it made such an impression that each year she gives out of the little she earns from babysitting.
We also have many friends with kids with severe health issues (from brain injury to spinabifida to leukemia to all sorts of other cancers and tumors) who spend tons of time in the hospital. Having free acccess to tv and video games has made things easier because there is plenty to entertain and distract them. It makes it easier on parents so they can focus on what actually needs done and on the children because with the distractions they are less prone to fear and worry that come with the boredom.
This week Desert Bus is doing their yearly fund drive for Child’s Play. It is awesome geekiness– full of famous and semi-famous people from around the geek community. It is our yearly tradition to watch as a family. Very fun and wonderful to see the geek community step up to the plate and help children in this way.