A Mom's Point of View On The Importance of Brave Gowns & The Difference They Make
Even with Brave Gowns being sponsored by the CTIP Team (see image below), over the past four years, we've come across hospital staff that are overly protective of the children and sometimes unaware that Brave Gowns are made of the exact same material of current standard issue hospital gowns, but it's woven differently for the softer feel. And even though our gowns have replaced old gowns in over 25 hospitals and used in over 380 hospitals, since most go home with children, we still have a lot of awareness to raise. Thankfully, there is usually a manager on the floor that is aware that Brave Gowns are approved for use within the entire Children's Hospital Network. It is rare that I hear a story like this, so I wanted to share it and tell @strongasamother.blog just how grateful I am that she took the time to write it.
"Hi Summer! You shared my post but I really had so much more to say about how important your gowns are, but I couldn’t fit it all on Instagram. My original post is on Facebook and I tagged you, but here it is. I just want other parents and hospital staff to know how much of a difference it makes to have a gown that’s a comfort and not a trigger for these kids.
Nash just went back for his scans. He still has a low-grade fever but they were still able to go ahead with the MRI, so that was good. And...until we had a little situation and momma had to go all 🦍 mode on a poor nurse (who was really just the messenger), Nash was actually behaving SURPRISINGLY well for his appointment thus far, considering he couldn’t eat/drink and we waited 45 minutes in the waiting room because the check in desk forgot to call back and let them know we’d checked in. 🙄 Nevertheless, things were still go surprisingly smooth with our hangry little boy UNTIL...they insisted he change into a HOSPITAL gown.
You see, to Nash, it’s not just a hospital gown. It’s a rigid, itchy, oversized blue TRIGGER‼️ that requires to get naked (a.k.a. Vulnerable and feel out of control and scared) to put on said trigger. But this momma came prepared with a Brave Gown super hero cotton gown that he feels comfortable in and has worn here before. But the nurse (again, just the messenger so I’m not blaming her at all) made us aware of this “new policy” where everyone HAS to wear a hospital gown, (there have been times where he could just remove his shirt and wear pants as long as they were metal free) which I totally understand why that’s a policy because they were finding hidden metal in some kids’ clothing, so again, I get it...
But, we brought a legitimate HOSPITAL gown that is specifically made for kids, particularly pediatric oncology patients that spend years in gowns and can develop complex PTSD just from the sight of certain things from their treatment. For Nash, it’s removing his clothes, being touched, the BO cuff and the dreaded gown.
I kept trying to explain to the nurse that we had a gown with us that will keep him calm but she still insisted, so we proceeded to change him into the blue gown with hopes he’d continue his surprisingly chill mood this morning. NOPE. As soon as he saw it he FREAKED. OUT. Screaming. Tears pouring. Hysterically crying.
He fought us changing him with all his might as the nurse watched us try to console him. And she continued to ask us pre-op questions that either of us could barely hear over his screaming. He wasn’t just upset. I could see it in his eyes that he was being traumatized all over again. It was heartbreaking. Not only that, but this is not a one and done. He has to return to the hospital tomorrow, and next week, and 2 weeks after that and so on...and, in 6 months we’ll be right back here for more scans just like this. So I NEED him to be ok with this process. I need him to not fear the hospital or doctors because they are going to be a regular part of his basic care for the rest of his life.
So finally, after MINUTES (which felt like forever) of him hysterically screaming, I started to hit 🦍 mode, which I tend to do from time to time when my mommy protection instinct is activated when I feel Nash isn’t “being heard”. I understand rules and policies but this is WHY Brave Gowns were created, and for kids with sensory issues and communication barriers, I feel that reasonable exceptions should be made to preserve and protect the long term emotional health of the patient as long as the physical health isn’t compromised.
I just can’t sit there and be silent while I can see he’s suffering (with potential long-term consequences) when I have a reasonable, sensible solution.
FINALLY, after he AND I were visibly growing more upset (Sorry, not sorry), she agreed to go ask someone if our gown can be approved. AND IT WAS! 🙌🏼🙌🏼 We immediately changed him and he INSTANTLY calmed down after putting in his “Super Nash” gown. He stopped crying and started playing. We still had about 30 minutes of waiting after this point and when the nurse returned a few minutes later, she was pleased to see the gown change had calmed him down. The anesthesia process, holding him down while being surrounded by strange adults and having a mask pressed over your face while he fights with his entire body is traumatic enough for our little guy and every kid going through this. Which gown they wear shouldn’t have to be. He was violently hysterical and having a severe screaming meltdown. The Brave gown calmed him instantly, the staff say the difference and I’m a Brave Gown believer!"