Sunday, July 15, 2007

drawing blood from a 18 month old

is one of the worse parenting experiences i've had so far. malachi and i went to his routine 18 month old dr.'s appointment on friday. my main concern was the cough he has had the last 3 weeks and figuring out what solution the dr. may suggest.

the appointment went great, even as we waited through the use of their new computer system, the dr. coming in... malachi's lungs sounded great so we are going to wait out the cough for awhile before we try allergy meds. so i'm thinking he is a healthy boy, weight and height are good, he eats well, so lets go.

well then the dr. mentions that when he turned 1 he showed slight (like real slight) anemia. so since then he has been taking a multi-vitamin - good. then the dr. says we should check to see if he is still anemic and also look at his iron, and this time they'll need more blood so they can't just do a finger prick. now at this point i should have asked some questions, but it was the end of the appointment, we had been there an hour already. so to anyone who ever has this experience - maybe ask - what makes you think my child is anemic? what are the signs of this? does my child have them?

but i failed to ask so we went down to the lab after our 2 immunizations to get his blood drawn. we sit down and the tech asks me to place him front of me, ok, my stomach is only sticking out 3 feet so this proves to be a bit difficult but i do it. malachi starts whimpering when the tubing is tied on his arm, kids are so smart. i start to think i hope he isn't like me and faints when he gets his blood drawn because i don't know what i would do. then the tech gives him 3 stickers, this must trigger something in his mind because when you get 1 sticker for 2 shots, 3 stickers must mean this is really going to hurt. he starts screaming. as you know malachi is a pretty low key kid so tears streaming down his face and screaming i attempt to hold him as she draws blood - nope won't work - need another person to come and hold his arm. so three adults, one child, and the blood isn't coming out to the tech's liking. so she stops and says we're going to have to do it on the other arm. i think, are you kidding, at this point i start to think i should just get up and leave now, i can't do this again. so we get a little break and malachi through whimpering and tears drinks some capri sun the tech has given as a peace offering. what he doesn't know is that we are going to do it all over again. round two. proceeds much like the first round although this time they get the blood they need. i notice that during this time they are not drawing anyone else's blood, i'm sure they wanted to spare anyone else from seeing a little boy cry his eyes out.

so his blood is drawn - we're done. i feel like i just tortured my son. but he does stop crying by the time we get to the car. only a few times through out the rest of the day did he point to his arm and say ouch.

now i have the tiniest perspective into how hard it would be to have a sick child who needed to do these kinds of tests regularly. my heart to goes out to all those parents and kids.

the next time they want to draw malachi's blood for something i'm asking some questions about the need to do it and if it needs to be done ryan is coming along too.

1 comment:

cristina said...

awww, buddy... he is such a trooper for getting through all that