N is getting to the age where he is understanding a lot more of his surroundings, and consequently he’s now recognizing the EKG and Echo rooms. This is starting to create a negative clinic association for him, and I’m afraid it’ll end up like lab draws, where he cries at the sight of an alcohol wipe.
He’s not quite to the age where Super N can teach him what’s going on, but he still understands that something he doesn’t like is about to happen. So I started trying to figure out how to show him what’s going on. I don’t know if we’re quite ready for our home version of clinic, so I decided to make N a Clinic Buddy as a kind of intermediate step!
CB is a teddy bear I sewed from the How Joyful Teddy Bear pattern, but he has a little something extra. I modified the pattern to include a zipper in his chest that opens up to a pouch.
My mom got N a Build a Bear Monkey for Easter, and I asked her to get an extra beating heart. I put that heart into CB’s chest pocket, and viola! CB came to life!
I appliqued a heart onto CB’s chest to help N find CB’s heart (N knows to point to his chest when we ask him where his heart is, but this will teach him where others’ hearts are). When you press the appliqued heart, it activates the Build a Bear heart, and the heart beats in CB’s chest.
We are going to show N how we listen to CB’s heart, show him how to find CB’s heart in his chest, and show him that CB has a zipper scar just like he does. If N sees that CB is just like him, and we practice clinic routines on CB, hopefully N won’t be so afraid of the labs and routines at clinic! I’ll let you all know how it goes!
If you want to make a Clinic Bear for your little transplant warrior, just let me know! The tutorial for the pattern I picked is woefully inadequate (no offense, How Joyful). It does say that it’s not for beginners, but I’ve never sewn a stuffed animal before and I figured it out basically on my own. If there is enough interest for this pattern, I can write my own version of the tutorial that includes the zipper and the heart pouch. (Or, if you have another pattern you like better, just let me know and I’ll try to help you work my pouch modification into your pattern of choice!)
I also think it’s entirely possible to modify the zipper’s placement to accommodate other transplant types. Lungs could stay in the same spot, but I’m sure you could create spots for livers, kidneys, or even multiple organs! And if you don’t want the full-blown zipper and pouch, you can always make the bear as advertised and add just the applique. It’s all up to you!
The great thing about this pattern is that the bear ends up being quite large, so it nicely accommodates the zipper and pouch without it deforming the overall shape and design of the bear.
Let me know what you all think!