Sunday, June 17, 2012

Clowns, Peanuts, and Dragons!

 I'm still settling into my new job. Lately I feel like I've got the meat of "doing nursing" down pat -  I'm well acquainted with the routine - but I'm not terribly interested in the work. I haven't decided which part makes me less interested, but I'm at least glad that I've been able to keep my sense of humor! I find I'm often singing and dancing and making faces - as a nutty one like me would do. Even better is that with these kids, my nuttiness is rather welcome! I don't have to do quite as much censoring because I'm not worried that I'm going to 'amp' them up and cause a meltdown, and I don't have to act as a parent-figure and teach proper social behaviour like I used to. My job is to give meds, change dressings, start tube feeds, make beds, and change diapers - so a little humor here and there is allowed and refreshing! Many of my patients are bed/wheelchair ridden and wouldn't mind a smile or a wise-crack.

Given all of that, I'm thrilled to have met "Doc Willikers,"  the Therapeutic Clown who's employed by the hospital. I think if I wasn't a nurse right now, I'd do what he's doing. He's an actor who makes his "rounds" to visit children - performing small acts of magic, playing the ukulele and cracking jokes. He's well versed in hospital procedures (for example, how to safely enter the room of a child who's under isolation precautions), and his act ranges from very silly to quite gentle and quiet (in the case of visiting a mother with a sleeping baby - me might play a lullaby on his uke). Therapeutic clowing has been around for quite some time and there are programs in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, BC, and Montreal. Most excitedly, there is a degree program available in Israel! Can't you just imagine!!?

I can write an entire blog post about the development of Therapeutic clowning (which I may do, soon), but how about a couple of photos of my recent adventures?

Me and Doc Willikers - he had no idea I was gonna give him a smooch!
...but he may have taken it a little serious - the relationship moved along so fast!
My own "clowning!" I used a paper bag leftover from the Pharmacy delivery - the kids loved my robot impression, and the other nurses thought I was nuts!
My good friend visited me on  the 7th! We went out for delicious tea at the Secret Garden Tea Company...
...and then antiquing on Main street - I found the Mr. Peanut costume!
Mike participated in the Dragon Boat Festival in False Creek with a team from work; "SNC Paddalin!" They weren't close to being the fastest dragon, but they sure had heart!
It was absolutely, horrendously rainy. This was the massive pile of cold, drenched PFD's. Ick!
Ham & Cheeses. Still having fun, even though they were miserably wet! (I think the Fireball & coffee may have helped to warm the spirit!)
Despite the weather, the event was quite spectacular! Hundreds of paddlers, a few dozen boats, and a great view of the city!

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