Diminished. That is the word they would use to describe the lung sounds that my son had on his right side....diminished 1It was a difficult week to say the least. My son was diagnosed with a collapsed lung on Memorial day, was admitted to the hospital, and had surgery on Wednesday...Diminished 2It was shocking and scary. My head is still spinning from the events of last week-- I have to say that I have a whole new appreciation for how important environment and design is during stressful times. It is a part of what I do--working with medical offices to make sure their spaces are soothing and peaceful for their clients--and now I know just how instrumental these elements are in helping one feel hopeful and supported.

I am so grateful to have been in an area that has such an exemplary children's hospital that has a true understanding of this and does all it can to make its patients and their families comfortable. A I DuPont Hospital for Children was an AMAZING place, and I will be forever grateful for the wonderful care they gave my son. The thing is, that my husband and I felt cared for too--what a gift. When things were too overwhelming, when you felt you needed a break or just a minute to step away, you could walk down the hall to the Family Resource Center.... Diminished 3In this lovely room with soothing colors and soft twinkling lights you could have a free cup of coffee, take a shower, use the computers, or look through their library, you could take a breath.  It was such a blessing to have a quiet, restful place to go, even for just 10 minutes or so, during such a stress-filled time.

In the regular hallways and rooms of the hospital, there were cheerful colors and whimsical artwork. It made me smile.

On Saturday, my birthday, we were told that my son was able to go home--the best birthday present ever.  My husband and I agreed that ALL hospitals should be filled with color and joy despite the fact that so many sad, painful and scary things can happen there. We didn't feel as diminished as we could have... diminished 4but rather uplifted and hopeful because of the support and consideration we were given as a family, the highly skilled and compassionate medical care that was given to my son, and because of the lovely, serene, lighthearted spaces that surrounded us.