I started off with a blanket, but due to a Grandmother who thought "out of sight, out of mind" cold turkey was the best method to break a six year old out of a thumb sucker habit, I had to switch to stuffed animal. (Totally didn't work, Grandma. Old school child psychology FAIL!)
Specifically, my yellow Puffalump bunny who my mom officially dubbed Boo Boo.
Boo Boo with her hospital bracelet
I tried to give her a proper name for when the nurses and doctors asked, but Boo Boo always stuck.
This noble, stuffed bunny was dragged everywhere I went - sleepovers, doctor appointments and surgeries being her most needed moments of comfort. I never went a single night of my childhood without her either closely hugged to my chest or as a makeshift pillow under my head, her ears as a substitute for my long, lost blanket.
She was there with me during cold echocardiograms, annoying EKG's, painful IVs, obnoxious student doctor visits and those frightening moments between being wheeled away from my mother into the operating room and officially under the anesthesia.
When I woke up from every procedure and operation, Boo Boo was right there next to me. I wouldn't know until I was twenty-two that she was never kept in the OR with me (note to parents: Please don't tell your kids. It's easier to believe than it is to know).
Over the years she has needed a few surgeries herself - stitch-ups and patches, and years of love has given her a permanent cannot be washed worn look. Since my last major surgery in 2004, Boo Boo has enjoyed a peaceful retirement, sitting quietly on my pink bedside drawers next to where we sleep at night.
I put on a brave, loud and fairly obnoxious front as a child, but part of the ability to do so was having my bunny clutched tight next to me, providing comfort, love and security.
Did you have a security blanket or stuffed animal/doll as a child?