Considering the amount of time we spend at the hospital or doctors with Ethan for appointments etc Ethan has never got over his anxiety about being there. We have had very traumatic A&E experiences because of tonsillitis and his MMR booster and blood test appointments are something I would rather not experience again anytime soon.
I truly believe that being non-verbal and Ethan’s lack of understanding doesn’t help us at all. He also has an amazing memory which doesn’t help if he has had a bad experience with something the first time round.
As you can imagine with Little E’s arrival and the possibility of me being in hospital for a few days I was anxious how Ethan would handle the situation. We didn’t know the best way to handle the situation and even talked about keeping Ethan away from the hospital. Fate took the decision out of our hands in the end when I was diagnosed with obstetric cholestasis, it meant we were visiting the hospital every other day and Ethan was by my side for most, if not all, of the appointments.
Thankfully we had been sent a copy of Monkey Wellbeing – Monkey Has An Operation to review.
Monkey Wellbeing books have been created to prepare children for hospital visits, which can include hearing tests and injections to name just a few of the topics covered. There is even a book for starting school.
They of course sparked my interest because they are very visual, the perfect aid for our little boy. So in the week running up to Little E’s arrival we started to read about Monkey having his operation in the hope it would get Ethan used to what was going to happen in the coming weeks.
The book is very bright with lots of clear photos of what will happen before, during and after an operation.
It’s also quite a short story so it held Ethan’s attention, and the fact that he has a word for Monkey was also a bonus.
The photos used are very clear and show rooms and medical equipment that could be used during your stay in hospital. There is also a glossary of terms, Monkey’s Glossary, and a Don’t Forget checklist at the back of the book.
I have no idea if Ethan was able to put two and two together with what was going on at the time of Little E’s arrival but he did see me at the hospital twice. Once before my c-section and once after. Before my c-section he actually rubbed my leg as if to say everything was going to be OK.
He also did amazingly well at my appointments before, even when one lasted for a couple of hours whilst I made my way round to lots of different departments. My mum was kept on her toes though as she kept him entertained as best she could, but there were no meltdowns.
I think the Monkey Wellbeing series is a fantastic idea, I just wish I had known about these when even had to go for his injection!