Thursday, April 3, 2008

Long Day

Today I had to take Chantel to get blood drawn. It's the first time she's ever had to do this and has been talking about it a lot these last couple of days. She seemed ok with it and what was going to happen. She also knew that her prescriber had prescribed something for her to take today to help with the anxiety. It didn't work, at least not the first time.

I got her up at 7:30 to start getting ready. She was really out of it. She'd been up half the night worrying herself about what was going to happen. Plus she had taken the first of the anti-anxiety pills last night and it knocked her for a loop once she fell asleep. We had to take the bus to the hospital and she kept falling asleep. She was leaning on me and kept pushing me out of the seat. I had to keep holding her hand so she wouldn't fall getting on and off the bus and walking.

When we got to the hospital, they told us we could go up to the second floor and they would be able to do the blood draw there. That way she wouldn't have to walk over to the outpatient center, which is two blocks away. We went up there and the receptionist was really nice and said it wouldn't be very long. I guess they don't think an hour and a half is a long time to wait with a child who is panicky about any type of needle.

When they finally called her name, I had to wake her up and she immediately got panicky. She was shaking and not wanting to go into the room. Once we got her in there she seemed ok. The lady who was going to draw her blood told us that they normally only do lab work for the people who are already admitted to the hospital. I let her know that she needs to tell the front desk that because they were the ones who suggested it. She had another lady come in to help her hold Chantel's arm down 'cause they had been warned that she was extremely nervous. It took them 5 minutes to even figure out if they could find a vein, then they pull out a needle. All hell broke loose then. Chantel started screaming and crying. She wouldn't put her arm back on the pillow. I couldn't even get her to loosen up her arm. She just kept staring at the needle and crying. The nurses were rude and finally told me we had to go. They had too many people upstairs waiting for them. I got Chantel out of the chair and we left.

I told her that we were walking over to the outpatient center. That the bloodwork had to be done today. She kept asking if we could please do it tomorrow. I reminded her that the pills she had been given were only for one day and that putting it off was just going to make her anxiety worse. She kept asking me exactly what it was they were going to do. By the time we got over to the outpatient center she had calmed down.

The receptionist there wasn't surprised when I told her how the nurses had reacted to Chantel's panic over the needle. They said they get those complaints about them all the time. Nice to know after Chantel had a panic attack.

We sat for maybe 10 minutes and they called us in. The lady was really nice to Chantel. Chantel asked her how she was going to poke her. The lady explained that everyone draws blood differently, but her way is to get the needle just under the skin and let the blood do the rest. Chantel was ok with that. She was even ok when she saw the needle. She asked the nurse what kind of needle it was and the nurse told her that it's a needle they use for infants. It's smaller and easier to use on kids. When the nurse was checking for veins, Chantel got a little frustrated when the lady checked her right arm. Chantel told her "That's my writing arm, can't you do it in the other one." The lady was so nice and said "Of course. We'll try that first." She had the needle in Chantel's arm before Chantel even knew what was going on. Once it was in, Chantel wanted to watch the blood fill up the tubes. It took all of 3 minutes for this woman to stick her and draw the blood.

Chantel was so amazed that it didn't take longer. We decided to walk to the transit center from the hospital, 'cause it's not too far from the hospital. The whole way there she kept talking about how all she felt was a scratch and how the blood looked once it was going into the tube. I really wish we would have went to the outpatient center first. We wasted 2 hours at the actual hospital. We didn't get home until 1.

She was so tired from getting all worked up, the medication and the relief from the stress that she fell right asleep. I almost laid down with her. Struggling with her always wears me out. I forget how strong she is when she's in a full blown panic attack. Plus seeing her like that always takes a huge emotional toll on me.

Hopefully she'll remember that it wasn't so bad. 'Cause she has many more blood draws ahead of her because of one of the medications she's on.


Katidids said...

I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, as a mom its so hard to see our chidren go thru things like this. They are no longer toddlers whos bo-boo's we can kiss to make better. I don't know what all is going on but hang in there mom> I don't mean to sound trite but just hold on and lover her thru it. DO ONT be afraid to ask for help for yorself either. Its so hard for parents to deal with these things alone.
Katie email if you ever want to "talk" I think we have been where u are .