Friday, April 12, 2013

Blood Draw

No parent welcomes the idea of surgery for their child whether the child has had ten surgeries or whether this is their first.  I think there are many reasons that surgery is a fearful thing.


First, no parent wants their child to experience pain and anxiety.  The one thing that scares Mighty Z the most is any kind of blood work like labs, IVs, and the queen of them all (for Mighty Z), blood gases. Mighty Z becomes unreasonable, frantic, and gains the strength of Hulk Hogan, all in the course of seconds.  I have yet to figure out to how to help her deal with this level of fear and anxiety.


Typically, this is how we roll when we have to have blood work done. On the way to the lab or if we are in the hospital, I try to get Mighty Z to drink a lot of water since it makes her really hydrated and helps her to bleed faster so we can get this over with as soon as possible.  Next comes the super fun part of telling her she is about to get poked.  I have tried several different ways to deliver the infamous news. I have tried telling her days before so she can process this.  Bad idea! She spends the next days stressing about the blood work. I have tried talking about how my job is to take good care of her and that it is also the job of doctors… but once I mention getting blood drawn she cannot focus on any other information. I have also tried to tell her in the car on the way, which is equally a bad idea because then she becomes Hulk Hogan and I cannot get her out of the car. (Plus if you saw a mother pulling on a child’s leg from outside a car in the parking lot that would raise some unwanted attention). So here comes my big idea: let the lab tell her! (I know it is the coward’s way out). That is usually met with a huge scene of Mighty Z accusing the hospital or lab of trying to murder her.  It’s so dramatic!


This is typically followed by me dragging her to the blood work table, threatening her the whole time.  Can you imagine the stares I get? Once I get her in the seat, then comes the fun part of trying to wrench her arm away from her body. Usually the nurses come to my aid and help me get Mighty Z’s arm away from her body and straight on the table.  Again I am threatening her, bribing her, and begging her to stop. It typically takes two nurses and me to get this accomplished while Mighty Z is threatening us and once again accusing all of us of trying to kill her.


Once we get the needle in and then when we are done (and a bit crazy), the nurses try to offer Mighty Z a pencil or a sticker. This is met with a very unfavorable response… way less than favorable actually.


Obviously I have no idea how to handle this situation.


Here is a picture of Mighty Z after having blood drawn. FYI, in this picture Mighty Z has accused the nurses of breaking both her arms.  You should see the other children waiting for their turn to get blood drawn-- the fear of also having their arms broken is very evident on their faces.

edited by Emily Joy Minich
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  1. Hi Mighty Z,
    I am super Jim's Mom and you and he are on the same team. He hates draws more than gloves and he despises gloves. He had a blood clot recently that required him to give blood every other day for 3 weeks then once a week for 6 months. For a guy that hates pokes that was really pushing his normally cheerful and humor solves anything disposition. You both have a long long history of folks coming at you with needles, not once thinking "Is this really necessary?". "Can I do it with just one clean easy in, easy out poke?" Instead they jab, prod, swivel, go in and out and then fail to then say they will try the other arm. You 2 darlings unfortunately have veins that know all too well they hate being poked too. They tend to have the CCHS ANS vein talent of run and hide as far away from the attackers as possible. All adding to way too many pokes from people that think they are the "best" stick in the house. Notice they all say they are the best stick.
    Jim calls them all horseflies, charming huh. Not delicate little mosquitos that can come in get a draw and be gone before you know it but horseflies coming in biting hard and trying to bite again because they are greedy. He knows there isn't any use fighting and if he relaxes it makes it better but he doesn't like it. So he takes the offensive and doesn't fail to let them know he will be in control. Control is part of his battle plan, pick the arm, tell them he will watch and don't try to persuade him it won't hurt or be fast, he just let's them know to do it right and no chit chat. He makes a personal bet with me how many pokes it will take and will it be a bring in the A team day after numerous fails. He wins or is even close, I buy. What ever treat his heart desires, we go get it. I-Hop, a big burger or even a movie those kinds of rewards that let us know we can handle this and I will always be there for him. We've been playing this game longer than he can remember. Makes it all tolerable in a way. Something we at least can smile about when it is done. With me he always wins because he, like you, is amazing. He, even in these "medical" necessary times, can add humor, grace and strength. I can only wish I had that poise. You are right, it is the pits but you my dear are one remarkable young lady.

  2. What a mighty brave young lady that Mighty Z is!!! I remember that fear so well as I suffered convulsions as a child and had to have frequent blood draws- keeping y'all in my prayers and for a swift post surgery recovery.