Friday, 27 February 2009

Twas a Quiet Night

First off, some of the kids I'm talking about in this post have been previously mentioned by Malcolm, except do not recall what names Malcolm assigned them, so I guess I will make up my own. =D

So today I got to Canuck Place a bit late because of my Chemistry lab at UBC, and as I walked through the door, I just couldn't wait to see who was in the house today. The other volunteer there tonight was Martin, who turned out to be subbing for both Tony and Lindsay. At first I thought Tony was just being a wuss again, but he was actually unable to come because his daughter, FINALLY, voluntarily asked to go to a hockey game with him! How wonderful - that is a valid excuse. Lindsay, who was supposed to sub for Jen, couldn't make it because she is sick. Get well soon!

Kids and siblings in the house that I saw: Robin, Janine, Peter, Kay, Sofee...

Teenagers Robin and Janine, who are siblings a few years apart, soon left after dinner to watch a hockey game (i'm guessing the Canucks?) So I went into the sun room and played some Rockband with Peter, who is their younger brother. I have become quite proficient in playing Medium Guitar for Blitzkrieg Bop, Say it Ain't So, Creep, Learning to Fly...Martin watched for awhile but finally gave into playing a few songs on the guitar.

Then Kay, who was listening to us on rockband kind of fell asleep, so I ran upstairs to get his nurse and he was taken upstairs to get ready for bed. I went upstairs as well, and hung out with Kay a bit longer before bedtime, and I read a few Dr. Seuss books to him - Horton Hears a Who, Mr. Brown can go moo moo, Green Eggs and Ham, ABC something...He really liked the Mr. Brown book when I made all the animal and miscellaneous sounds from it. Then Kay started making funny noises,and I had a funny noise competition with him. It is so wonderful to see him smile.

Then Margaret, one of the nurses, said that Martin and I could leave early tonight since it was pretty quiet around the house. We left at around 8:30, and Martin kindly gave me a ride home.

So yeah! That's what happened tonight. Fun and quite relaxing, to say the least. =)

Sunday, 22 February 2009

steve broke it

it wasn't me. steve did it. i think it was foreshadowed at dinner when steve said: " i have been waiting all day for this..." steve was, of course, making reference to Rockband.

i got in first. Little Normie was back in the house. Normie greets us in classic rocker fashion by sticking out his tongue and raising his right arm. Steve and I taught it to him. After dinner we played a little air hockey but his eyes quickly rested on the X-box. He was heading home soon so we played for about 5 minutes. He is such a happy little boy!

The 'incident' occurred much later.

I wasn't there when it took place but I know that Steve was drumming and Lucas was singing. Before Jackie and I went upstairs the four of us were doing our darnedest to nail Weezer's song 'Say it ain't so'. Jackie and I were on guitar. He strummed and I did the fingers, Lucas sang, and Steve drummed. First we got 25%, than 27%...32%. We hit a magic 49%. Even though Lucas was the singer Steve and I both enjoy singing more so we were all singing at the top of our voices and when the program ended the was all about the high fives. We were yelling and cheering and than we did it again. We did it about 7 or 8 times! Classic boy behaviour.

Jackie wanted to go upstairs. His gum was hurting him. We got upstairs and hung out on the kids floor. One of the doc's was around and he peeked in his mouth. There was not much to be seen. I think he had maybe a little sore on his gum and those really hurt. They sting. This was stinging him and he was getting really frustrated. Jackie kept saying how frustrated he was and all the things he wanted to do to this cut on his gum. He was not happy.
Then it got worse! He had to take meds before bed. He had to have a little snack. He had to have his glucose levels checked and he had to do his insulin shots. A lot to do when you are feeling frustrated about a sore gum and 50% of what you had to do involved passing stuff into your mouth and over the thing that is causing you frustration! We were at an impasse. He had to do these things but was so agitated that he could not wrap his head around getting them done.

His nurse sent us away to problem solve.

It took a while but Jackie came up with a solution: he would take his meds crushed up in chocolate milk and inject with a syrynge PAST his owie gums. When it came time...he bailed.
Back to the drawing board. We talked alot; about his gum, about how frustrated he felt, how good he was at always taking his meds, how the nurses couldn't put him to bed without giving him his meds, how bad it would be for his body if he didn't take them, back to how good he was at taking his own meds. Then he had a light go off: "what about this? If I take my meds can I show you how I do my insulin shots?". Sounded like a good plan to me. Back up to the nurses station and we get the choclate milk, a cup of yogurt, his crushed meds and mix the meds with the yogurt. Big spoonful followed by a chaser of choclate milk. More yogurt/med combo and another chaser. Finally we got it all in and down.

Next on the agenda were his insulin shots. He handled his injections like a pro going over each step telling me what he was doing and how he was being safe. He had 2 injections to do. I could tell he was pretty happy about getting himself through all of this.

So we got Jackie fixed and it was time to go home.

Steve broke the rockband.

Time to go home.

Steve. Rockband. Broke.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

TV and Zoo-reka! Friday Feb 13 2009

Whoa sorry, I did not post last friday...
now that it's so long ago I need to think deeply to recall what happened. Give me a few moments.
So I had a shift with Tony and Kim (Kim was subbing for Jen), and it was pretty cool. After dinner I spent most of my time with Stan on floor 2, where we just sat in his room and watched TV while ridiculing various american commercials and laughed watching the simpsons. One particular news that struck both of us was that a young British boy of 13 became a father with his girlfriend of 15. That was extremely shocking, and they boy looked like he hadn't hit puberty yet and was still a kid himself...I wonder how his family is going to work this out.
So anyways, after some choco milk and more TV, Stan was ready for his shower, and I went upstairs to join Kim and Sarah and Jimmy in a game of Zoo-reka! Jimmy was the best at it - he already got part of his Zoo while us girls still didnt have anything yet. That game was brand new! It was fun learning how to play it, and Sarah was so happy.
At the end of the night, as we boarded the elevator to head downstairs, Sarah told Kim and I, "I had so much fun with you guys today. Thanks!!" It was so sweet of her and it made me realize that there are few people in this world who rejoice in the smallest things that most others miss. Sarah is one of those few, and it reminded me of how our time spent with these kids can mean so much and be so meaningful.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Aldo revisited

Aldo and I were sitting at the computer and I told him I had the blog. He goes "No way!". I then told him that he was in it, and he says "no way". I searched for a Star Wars reference in the blog and was directed to this one: Aldo House. Scroll down a paragraph and I start with the sentence 'Aldo is a favorite of mine'. Couldn't have asked for a better sentence to start with when the kid reading it is 'the Aldo'.
He laughed about his new name.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Friday with Aldo (aka Noodle)

Here I am with Aldo himself. We are up in the school room looking at the blog. Aldo would like to tell you all the story about him crashing in to a truck!
"Well, I was playing tag outside when I was looking back my nurse yelled 'STOP!!', and I wouldn't stop. Before I knew it I crashed into a truck. Luckily it was parked. I almost broke my leg, got a bruise about the size of a ruler, and I cried for about 10 to 15 minutes. My nose got bashed and bled like crazy, filling up my mum's hand in less than a second. The truck was dented by my chair pretty good. From that day forward I have never seen the owner of the truck. He must have felt really bad. I would like to end my story by saying, There is more than meets the the Autobots leader always says.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Bomb It and Sesame Street - Friday Jan 30 2009

I'm sorry this post is coming so late, but I've been so busy with schoolwork all weekend that I haven't had a chance to sit down and take a break until now! (First-year is way intense.)
So anyways, on Friday (Malcolm's anti-shift), other volunteers there were Tony, Mike, and Lindsey! Tony I haven't seen for a whole month because two weeks ago he felt wimpy and called in sick (:P). Mike and Lindsey used to be bi-weekly friday night volunteers, but because they live in Pitt Meadows (so far away!), they are currently on-call volunteers. It was great to see them again!
So we checked in upstairs with the nurses and went downstairs to have a delicious dinner with family, kids, and nurses. I sat beside Kaitlyn, who has this awesome set After dinner, I spent some computer time with 5-year-old Lucas, who is one of the most animated and humorous little boys I have ever met. He wanted to play some shooting game on, but I decided to expand his online game repertoire and introduced him to "Bomb It" on This game involves moving a character using arrow keys in a 2-D area and setting bombs to blow up blocks and other players using another key. At first, Lucas had a bit of trouble coordinating his hands with what he wanted to do, but he got the hang of it very quickly and started to really enjoy it!
Then it was 7pm and his mum wanted him downstairs for a snack before bedtime, so I pried him off the computer and we met his mum in the kitchen. Have you ever tried eating apples with peanut butter? I've never tried it before, but Lucas and mum were gobbling it up and apparently is very delicious. I must try sometime.
Tony took off early because he was dead beat from waking up at 4:00am, and I went to find Mike and little 2.5 year old Matthew in the art room. The little boy has a heart defect and it was important that we kept him unagitated. Regardless, he was very hyper and full of energy, and later in the Snoezelen room he was crawling all over the place. We played a game(very repetitive) where we would cover Matthew with a blanket and exclaim, "Oh my gosh! Where has Matthew gone?" and Matthew would reply excitedly whilst quickly uncovering himself, "He's here!"
Soon enough it was time for Matthew take a bath, and then Mike and I spent some time with Eliza, who was watching "All Dogs go to Heaven." Quite an awesome movie.
After Matthew was clean and in his Canucks PJ's, I sat with him on his bed and we watched Sesame Street. His attention quickly got diverted to an interesting fleece blanket on the bed though, which had clocks and flags printed all over it. He took the blanket and covered me with it, and smacked various printed clocks to make the fleece wrinkle up and said "I broke it!" Then he stretched the fabric back to smoothness and exclaimed "I fixed it!" So so so cute. I loved spending time with him.
Sooo that's it for this week! I believe Malcolm will be posting next week. =)

PS Malcolm - I noticed that you changed the colour scheme of the blog, and it looks awesome! Some words don't show up though, because they're the same colour as the background (such as the description inside the box, underneath "canuck place adventure challenge", as well as other things and headers like the dates, "posted by", or "# comments" that sort of stuff. Maybe change the colour of those words to lighter or darker?

The Blog

My name is Malcolm and I was a volunteer at Canuck Place Children's Hospice in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for nearly seven years. Now I support them by raising money by participating in the Canuck Place Adventure Challenges!

I said hospice. Not really a word that you associate with children but there you go. We will tell you about the house as this blog progresses with the hope that you will learn, and as you learn we hope that you will share. The purpose of the Adventure Challenge is to raise money for AND awareness about Canuck Place.

The name of each kid at the house you read about has been changed.

September 14th and 15th are the dates for the next Adventure Challenges.

You can sponsor me for the race here: Adventure Challenge
Maybe you should do the race?


Just a quick note about the names of the kids in the house that you will read about: they are made up!