Thursday, January 15, 2009


We took Reuben for his yearly check-up today. Our new doctor was great! Reuben was very comfortable, and was his normal self. At the end of the check-up it was determined that we had to do some blood work, standard stuff, nothing strange. And, I mentioned that he didn't have a flu shot yet. Little did I know that you don't have to get a shot... she suggested Reub get the flumist. We went in with the nurse, and she prepped Reuben. "I'm going to spray this up your nose, and it won't hurt." I tried to get the word "hurt" out of his mind, by telling him it will tickle. He didn't like it very much, but there were no tears, and no complaining. He sniffed, and made a great face that made the nurse laugh, and in true Reuben style he stared blankly because he didn't know what was so funny, after all she told him to sniff.

We then went to the lab to draw the blood. The nurse told me to hold his legs, and arms so "he won't fight the shot." So I did, and I tryed to get Reuben to look at me and talk, but he was too interested in the blue stretchy thing being tied around his arm.
"What's that?"
"Something to make this easier." I said.
"What's that?"
"He's cleaning your arm, so there aren't any germs." I said.
"What's that?"
"He's poking you so he can test your blood." I said.
"Its just a little poke, right?" I said.
"A lot of pain?" Asks the nurse.
"A big poke, or a little poke?" I said.
"A little poke. Where is my blood going?"
By this time I needed to not be thinking about the three full viles, and one more to go.
"Only some of it is going into the tubes so they can make sure you are healthy." I said.
"Oh, okay."
The needle came out, the gauze and pressure went on, and Reuben just wanted to see his blood, so I let him look at the hole before we put the bandaid on, there wasn't any blood, he was just a little sad about that.
The nurse gave him TWO stickers. He carried those things through the snow to the bus, holding on to them for the whole trip home. Showing them to the other bus riders. He came home, and asked for a peice of paper to put them on.

I've been thinking about it all day. How he wasn't phased by the blood. How he just needed to know what was going on, and he was fine. I was thinking about how I can't do that. I was thinking about how it made my feet go numb, and my head start to spin, and how thinking about it all day has just put those heeby jeeby feelings on repeat all day.

I asked Reuben how his day was, and what he did. (I do this every night to encourage conversation). He told me "We went to the doctor, and they sprayed my nose, it was a big tickle, yuck." Isn't it funny that the thing that was a replacement for a more tramatic thing, ended up being the tramatic thing for the day.


Tammy Lorna said...

What a brave boy :)

Some kids are like that I think - they just need to know what's going on. When my little brother had his brain cancer surgery (years ago now), he was 5, and with him, mum and dad realized that the best approach was just to tell him what was going on. They explained all about going to sleep and the doctors cutting into his head and getting out the bad cells. They told him that if he lived, then he might be paralyized (and explained that), and that mum and dad would help him with everything and it would be okay. And if he died, then he'd go to heaven and he would be with other family there, and he would be okay here too. And Michael was absolutely fine with everything. He liked understanding how things worked, and mum and dad had seen too many other terrified kids in the cancer ward who were scared because no one would explain things to them. Reading your blog I thought about how hard those conversations must have been for mum and dad!

I love what a great mum you are too :)

xo Tammy

PS. The right approach with a child like me, just by the way, would NOT have been to mention the whole brain cut open possible death thing....

Mindy said...

Out of his little arm?! That's crazy. Whenever they have taken blood from my kids it's always a finger poke and that's dramatic enough. Hazel kicks, screams, and cries loudly. Henry has the same reaction as Reuben--just watches the whole process while mommy gets lightheaded just thinking about it.

Bret said...

I passed out reading about the needles and blood...