Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The Badge

If you know Ruby, you know she makes friends everywhere she goes. She walks through Publix, school, the hospital, LIFE, waving to people and saying either "hi" or "bye-bye". She stops at every open door, she tries to meet people's eyes, she smiles with her whole face: she just sucks you in.

Since we've been living part-time (half-time?) at the hospital for the last six months, Ruby has made a lot of friends here: doctors, techs, nurses, security, administration....she doesn't discriminate. But someone sure to always get more than a wave from Ruby is Morris.
When Ruby first started living at CHOA, we would cover as much of the hospital as we could each day...anything to not be stuck in the room if she wasn't hooked up. We would see Morris in the halls here and there and he would always engage Ruby, usually with a duck sound. Hook, line, and sinker. (Ruby is a sucker for realistic animal noises.) That turned into the two of them quacking at each other in the halls or on the Aflac Unit daily, if not more often. This last round, they had the nurses' station laughing out loud at their antics over the weekend, and Ruby started dancing her feet like Morris too.

So to switch gears, Ruby also loves the badges everyone wears. When a nurse or doctor comes in and checks Ruby, she always, ALWAYS, grabs for their badge, phone, and stethoscope (usually in that order). Some of the nurses and I joke that she likes to check every one's credentials before she lets them examine her. And just this week as Ruby and I were making our rounds on the unit (which includes slipping out the back door and utilizing the loooong hallway separating Aflac from the rest of the hospital), Ruby showed me that she knows the badges have power. We approached the door to re-enter Aflac and she moved close to the wall and lifted the front of her shirt towards the scanner. (The door can be automatically opened with a badge; otherwise you have to push it open, which we have to do.)

Back to Morris: one of our favorite nurses mentioned to him that he needed to make Ruby a badge because she checks every one's. Add that little story about her and the door and voila - tonight he presented her with her very own badge.
Oh how I wish I could have videoed the ten minutes after she received it. (Unfortunately Ruby is hooked up to chemo and it is all I can do when we are in the halls to keep pushing the chemo pole at the speed at which she takes the corners...no chance I could hold a camera during that.) This girl was SO excited. She kept looking at it and saying "OO-BEEE" (Ruby). In fact, she stumbled a few times because she was not watching at all where she was going and kept staring at the badge. Then she started running through the halls, yelling to everyone she saw, "OO-BEEE!", as she held out her badge or pointed to it. And when we passed something on the wall that resembled a scanner? You better believe this girl paused and told the scanner "OO-BEEE" as she tried to scan her badge.
Seriously, such a fun night...this girl wore herself out with that badge, up and down the halls. These are the details that make this journey memorable in a good way.

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