Reflecting on the Little Lies Along the Way that causes Fear Amongst Children. Now, before I move on, I want to say that I have MAD respect for nurses, nurses aides, child life people, and all the other “worker bees” in the hospital.
These are awesome and under-appreciated people.
With that being said, I have learned a lot of things over the last 10 mths of Hunter’s illness. There is definitely heart behind these statements. I know the ease these sweet nurses are trying to give to these kids…but with my kid…you aren’t helping much.
Things We Heard
- Let’s give your arm a hug (preparing to take bp)
- Let’s clean off your germies (preparing for an IV)
- It isn’t going to hurt, we are just going to put a straw in your hand/arm (placing the IV)
- We are going to go downstairs and they are going to give you special medicine to help you take a nap (placing under for sedation)
- Let’s tickle your armpit (taking temperature)
- Is there a bunny rabbit in your ear (checking ear)
- Let’s see if you really have a heart (checking heartbeat)
- This is gonna squeeze your arm just a little bit (tourniquet for IV)
- This is gonna sound like a rocket ship (the numbing thing that scares the crap out of me)
- Let’s give your arm a drink (flushing the IV)
- Let’s take some happy juice (something to calm them before sedation)
- We are going to go downstairs and you can take a nap while we take pictures in a big donut (MRI)
In the beginning….these statements, I got.
I understood, accepted, and I even played along until I began to see small changes in him and extreme fear. He was resisting “hugs”, afraid of loud noises (rocketship), would spit his water out when he drank from a straw, and when we came to the hospital he would FREAK out.
I know I come across as this hardass mom who using too technical of terms with my 4 yr old but this is his life. This is his new normal. Hospitals. In and out of hospitals and doctors offices. The past few doctors and hospital visits, I have changed my tune. For instance, this morning, Hunter had to have an MRI done and a spinal tap.
Child life came upstairs to talk with him and play with him until he was sedated and going back for his procedure. They brought this awesome doll, with a hospital gown and some markers to draw on his face and pretend medical equipment so he could play with it.
They began using those terms and I kindly told them that I use real terminology with him. I discussed with them his irritational fears over things and because of my lack of knowledge and the previous nurses trying to put him at ease, with what I’m assuming they have learned, that we have changed how we deal with things. I also explained that he likes to be called Kid.
So, we got out the doll and I taught the Child Life people and the nurses how we do things. We first drew a face, hair, glasses, freckles, a belly button, and some chest/back hair LOL on his doll. Then, I drew some veins on his hand. I showed him his veins and my veins. I talked to him about the IV going in and what it does. Funny thing is he knew what most of the stuff did because we have talked about this so much.
We took a wipe and cleaned the area, we counted to 5 and then “inserted” the IV…we even used the same tape they used on him. We flushed out Bob’s IV when Hunter got his IV flushed..we even put the sterilizing cap on the end. I covered everything I could think of.
The ladies were in awe of how Hunter responded, how much he knew, and how I chose to handle things with him (I totally understand other parents using the above terminology). I explained to them that he has a life-altering condition and this is now a part of his life. I wanted to take the fear out of the unknown and normalize his condition for him. In order to take the fear away, I want him to be a student (even at this age) of what is going on in his body and by doing that….it gives him some control.
This has been a scream-free hospital stay. He has been compliant, polite, and confident. I’m so incredibly proud of him. I cannot even describe how much this baby inspires me to continue to run the race, looking forward.
^^Photo compliments of Megan Miles^^