Thursday, September 18, 2014

Red Band Society

Like many in the chronic illness community, I was interest in the upcoming series and watched in during their 100 hour free web promotion a few weeks ago and I was not impressed. Most of the community is disgusted that the producers would make a show about teenager living in the the hospital. This definitely makes the hospital seem more glamorous as it is. The hospital rooms are gigantic and so modernized. That does not happen in a real hospital. Yes there are exceptions to that statement, however that's just not true. Another note where are the IV poles that follow you around 24.7 connected to your body running into your veins. The one and only medical device is a heart monitor. You never ever get one ounce of freedom in the hospital someone is always following and watching you whether it's your parents, nurse, techs, doctors, and child life. Socialization is kept to a bare minimum in the hospitals due to HIPPA laws but these teenagers are allowed to walk into a patients room and do whatever they want. Why do these kids do drugs, smoke, drink, and other illegal substances knowing they are already sick and they are putting themselves at an even great risk by letting poison run through their body. People already stereotype chronically ill teenagers and now this is making things worse. They look at us like we are drug addicts because well some chronically ill teens on tv was doing it so it much be like that for everyone. How does one get enough energy to go running in the halls when they are very sick? I am pretty sure most children who are inpatient on the pediatric ward including myself feel so sick they can't do anything because their bodies are just so beat up! The one boy who has Cystic Fibrosis a genetic lung/digestive condition is never out of breath lots of energy and no oxygen and where is the picc line or portacath for IVs taken two weeks at a time. I have several friends on the transplant list who need organs now and they are on oxygen 24.7. They are just so sick which is rare that this boy is able to do anything while waiting for new lungs. I highly doubt anyone will ever be willing to change it but it is just weird for those of us in the chronic illness community. There is a WashingtonPost about the show and one statements from it was how we seem to have a theme every year for what types of TV shows we watch and 2014 seems to the be the year of sick and dying teenagers with shows including The Fault in Our Stars, If I Stay, Red Band Society and others. While I can look past some of these flaws in the television series by Fox I can't watch them use inaccuracies that hurt us based on society's predetermined judgement of chronically ill teens.


  1. Thank you for this! My four year old has had two heart surgeries, numerous other surgeries and struggles with respiratory issues. It is not fun or glamourous. Rarely are kids in the hospital full of energy and you're right, when are you EVER not hooked up to IV's and monitors???

  2. I do agree with this to some extent.
    The show doesn't show the physical and emotional struggles, the countless meds, IV poles, incompetent nurses, and it just all out sugar coats it and hides the harsh reality.
    And the fact that the kid with CF is smoking weed is just ridiculous
    BUT - I am glad that this show us here. I am glad that someone wants to give sick kids a story. Regardless of if it was because of everybody's obsession and romanticism of being a teenager with an illness, or just to come up with ways for money. I am glad they made this show.

    I am sick, maybe not to the extent that some others are. But I spend my days in hospitals sometimes and I know for a fact that I have fun and that I am happy. I have friends there. I do fun activities. I have a good life, despite my body's downfalls.
    I think this show is important because it shows others that WE ARE NORMAL. There IS normalcy in our lives. We are not scary to be around. We are not behaved any differently. I sure as hell do not walk around with a cloud of darkness hanging over my head.
    This show shows what it's like to be a normal teenager in an abnormal setting. And I think that's important for others to see.
    We exist. We are not sitting in hospital rooms all day staring at white walls, waiting for death to come and get us. We don't have rain clouds hanging over us 24/7.

    Atleast I sure don't. I don't want to be perceived that way.
    Regardless of how sugar coated this show is, I am thankful the story exists and it's here for others to see.

    And besides, it's only the first episode. Who's to say that there won't be more realism in it later on?

  3. I have CF, GP, and many other illnesses and thought Red Band Society made it look FUN! To be in the hospital. When I was admitted for a CF " tune up" it consisted of having a pic line placed, or port accessed, every 6 hours I'd have PT, and around 4 nebulizer treatments. You had to be in your room, because I or most are on contact precautions, and if you left your room you had to wear a mask. While in the hospital, nurses, docs, techs, specialists were in and out of your room, and when they weren't your were having tests or procedures. I was hooked up to O2 and was exhausted all the time, so when I saw this boy on tv not wearing 02 and running around, I was dumb founded. Apparently he finally got his beeper, which means he was waiting for a transplant. When you're being considered for a transplant, your very very sick. Your lung function is barely there, your either on constant 02 or Bipap, and your bed ridden. The writer of this show messed things up big time, and now we're back to having people speculate how sick we really are. That being in the hospital is like being on vacation and a great way to get out of school, I'm just so tired of being sick now being a "trend"