That’s right! Patrick go to go swimming for the first time last week! Brian’s company had it’s summer party at Cherry Hill waterpark.
This is a super big deal! You must understand that we were told that Patrick couldn’t even have a bath in a bathtub as long as he had a central line. But – after experience with baths and trading ideas with other parents, we decided that we could probably pull this off.
So – I packed an enormous duffel bag full of emergency medical supplies, just in case his central line dressing got wet.
We waited till his 1 hour TPN break so he wouldn’t have need his backpack. We dressed him in his brand new swimming suit.. and then we got started on the waterproofing. First, came an aquaguard, a waterproof piece of plastic with adhesive that you can cover the central line with. We tucked the ends of his line up inside of that. Then, we wrapped his torso in Glad Press n’ Seal wrap to catch any gaps in the aquaguard from him moving around. Then we put his little swim shirt on and headed down to the water.
When we sat down in the kiddie pool, he was pretty uncertain.. Daddy splashed water on his head and I thought that for sure he was going to decide he was done. Then we decided that since it was a wading pool, maybe a walk would help. Brian took one hand and I took the other and away we went. This was the clincher. He was fine being in the water once he realized how much extra balance it gave him.
Once he was comfortable in the water, he was brave enough for other games. He sat in our laps and kicked to splash. He went with dad down the water slide. His favorite, though, was for Brian to take him by his hands and swing him way high in the air, and then splash him down in the water. So long as he didn’t get too wet above the waist, he was happy. (We can’t complain too much about that. It helped protect his line.)
After about half an hour, we had to go back to get his TPN reconnected. But he was pretty tired and done by that point. We dried him off. (Our waterproofing worked and his dressing had stayed dry.) And got him dressed and he had a great time making friends at the barbecue that came with the rest of the party.