This past week has been a frenzy of doctor visits, hospital hallways, pills and just not feeling well.  I have spent many a day in doctors rooms and hospital hallways with Jessica and many more I am sure to come.

Nine years ago, I was rocking her in my arms hoping that the doctor would come soon as her feed was growing closer and popping my boob out to feed her was not an option. Not that I wouldn’t have done that if I could but Jess needed to be fed via a tube directly into her stomach, so it was a necessity to get home with our sterile equipment, the right formula and feeding kit. One visit we spent 5 hours waiting for the Pediatric surgeon to arrive (he patched mostly abused children back together, he was the best and we were prepared to wait), he needed to replace her tube. Jess was 3 months old, anyone who has had a baby knows 5 hours is an eternity, she was a saint.

At one Jess could be entertained with a few toys and as she was not really mobile it was more about her sitting on my lap or on the floor and playing with her. By that stage her palette had been repaired and she was eating, life was much easier. As the years progressed and hospital rooms and operations multiplied, bags were filled with favorite toys of comfort, books and games. Invariably books would be read, pages colored in and games played before she would go in for her ops. Once she was wheeled out she would want her teddy for comfort and a cuddle from Mom, but while other children would cry incessantly she would silently sit up wide eyed, ask me for something to drink, ask for a story and within half an hour we would be on our way. We were lucky, she was an easy hospital patient. Twenty operations and hundreds of doctor visits, with antibiotics and other meds pumped into her, sometimes via injections, we were experts at packing bags and knowing what would keep her entertained.

Jess is a trooper and even though doctor visits are limited to approximately twice a month now and ear infections down to one or two a year, she is much more aware of what is happening around her. We were lucky that by 18 months we found the most fantastic homeopath, chiropractor and ENT doctor who worked together to contain her infections. However, the doctor room visits are still not visits of the past and we spend many an hour waiting our turn in our numbered system to see the doctor. Toys are no longer required, instead we take our little iPad with and our conversations revolve around which App Game to download to keep us entertained.

I constantly think of how much easier life would have been nine years ago. Imagine, one favorite pacifier and the iPad. Books of choice could be downloaded immediately, games selected and movies on hand. Switching channels on the hospital TV from Government Channel 1, 2 or 3 would have become movies of choice. Jess and I sat in the hospital last week for three hours, we played a variety of different games from “Stack it”, “Snakes and Ladders”, “Noughts and Crosses”, “Angry Birds”, just to name a few. When games became boring, we both read our own books – Jess on her iPod and me on my iPad. It was a revelation, we certainly were never bored between being entertained and chatting about the News I downloaded and watched with her, the games and our books.

Just how much has technology and Apps changed my life?  Immeasurably when I compare the days we spent in hospital hallways in the past to now.

How much have they changed your life?