we took chaeli to Sick Children's hospital (http://www.sickkids.ca) for an allergy test.
knock on wood, i've never had the need to go to Sick Kid's but if i did, it is THE best place to go when pertaining to children in need of medical attention.
i've always heard how amazing the place is – the atmosphere is cheery and decorated in a way as to make the children feel that they are not in a hospital so much. each waiting room was filled with developmental toys and video games, not to mention books and a tv with the channel on Disney's Playhouse. they have a daycare for those that require some childcare for siblings while they tend their child that's a patient there. there is even a reading room which looks like a fantastic children's library. the children have access to craft, art and computers.
it was definitely a sight to see when i walked into the several stories atrium. but what really impressed me were the people. from the doctors to the nurses to even those at the admittance desk… everyone of them made chaeli feel comfortable and safe. everyone of them took the time to introduce themselves to chaeli and have a small chat with her so that she can feel a sense of trust and security.
i've lived in this city growing up with this hospital. but now that i am a parent, i realize how important it is to have such a place just for children.
the test itself – chaeli was tested for allergic reactions to penicillin since she developped what looked like a skin rash after taking penicillin when she was about 13 months old.
she was a good candidate for taking the test orally, which saved her from the very painful procedure of enduring a few shots into her arm. i believe that's why my doctor referred us to Sick Kid's rather then just any lab or clinic.
because it was taken orally, the process took almost three hours long. they gave her just a quarter of the dose first, asked us to wait in the waiting room and observe for any reactions. once she passed that portion, they gave her the rest and we were instructed to wait around for ten minutes in case of any severe reactions. after that, we were free to walk around the hospital so long as we were back in an hour. while the entire process was long, time passed by quickly. it was the best 'waiting period' i've ever had to endure in regards to medical tests. chaeli had so much fun she didn't want to leave.
thankfully, chaeli had no signs of any allergic reaction. the doctor wrapped it up with a follow-up consultation, gave chaeli a bunch of stickers and a pair of sunglasses and thanked her for being so cooperative. all the other doctors and nurses in the area said good-bye to her as well.
i was so thankful – in a world where we live in today, where people are rude to each other on the streets, where customer service has never been so horrendous, where people just don't seem to care, i all of the sudden was given a glimpse of hope while in Sick Kid's.
after chaeli's appointment at sick kid's, we had lunch in the hospital cafeteria (which had REAL food rather then the usual cafeteria style food), it ended up being rather later then we expected. it didn't make sense for doug to go back across town (we took the subway/bus) so he called in work and mentioned that it was rather late and if he came back to work, there would only be 2 hours left before the end of the day anyway. with his manager's blessing, we was able to get the rest of the day off.
as a spontaneous decision, we decided to take the opportunity in taking chaeli to centre island (http://www.toronto.ca/parks/island/) where we spent the majority of the day on rides in centreville amusement park (http://www.centreisland.ca/). afterwards, we walked to the pier on the other side of the island and then walked along the sandy beach before grabbing some dinner and heading home.
while on the pier, i sat on a bench and leaned back to face the sky. the day was a beautifully sunny day with a gentle breeze and a very blue sky. the smell in the air smelled like summer by the lake. all i could think of was how i use to do this more often… how i use to just impulsively take a day off just to come down to the lake and take in summer by doing very little at all, other then just walk around and finding various places to cop a squat.
both doug and chaeli had so much fun – it was just a perfect day.
summer goes by so fast and letting it go without a few impromptu days such as our day on centre island is such a waste.
it was an exceptional day to be together as a family. i'll remember it always…