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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