Friday, March 18, 2011

A Lesson Learned

I am a blood donor.  I don't mind it really.  What's 15 minutes or an hour when it can mean something as important as life to someone else?  A couple of weeks ago I donated platelets.  It's a two hour procedure and besides having the surreal experience of seeing your own blood pumped out of you, course through feet of tubing and then go back into your body, it wasn't bad at all.  I sat on a heated cushion, comfy cozy under a blanket and was able to watch an entire movie start to finish without a single cry of "Mom."  Afterwards, I was told - not suggested - told to eat some snacks!!!

Ahhhhhh bliss.  Throw in a soundtrack of ocean sounds or Tibetan chant and it's close enough to a spa day for me!

I don't mind the needles.  The worst part for me is the Superman strength of the adhesive on the band aid.  Seriously.

Sean is not a needle guy.  I had hopes that he would not inherit my husband's fear of the things but alas, it's coded in his DNA.

He wasn't always afraid.  When we were going through the long diagnostic process, Sean had countless tests.  Once, early on when he was only 6 or 7 years old, he had to have twelve or thirteen vials of blood taken for various reasons.  Rich and I were prepared.  We had all sorts of bribes tucked away in our brains and most likely some in my backpack as well.  It helped that the lab was located within smelling distance of the french fries cooking up at McDonalds conveniently located in Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital.

All that preparation and he didn't need a single thing.  My little man sat there and was mesmerized by the whole process.  Oh, what a moment.

A historical moment for the golden arches in deed... to be used as a celebration instead of a bribe.

Years later for Sean's 6th grade physical it was not quite as easy.  He was going to get shots and he knew it.  The fear mounted over days.  He made it through the finger stick and then completely lost it.

He fought.  He screamed.  Talking was of no use.  The terror in his eyes was too deep.  You want to take the shot for the kid but you can't.  Your mind races and irrational thoughts of keeping him out of school so he doesn't have to go through this moment of pain swirl in your head.

But you know you have to get through it.  You have to dig deep and figure out something.  Figure out the magic word, the magic touch.  You have to perform the miracle.

After two hours the miracle came not from me but from Sean himself.  He said, "I'm going to count to 3 and then I'm going to scream.  You can give me the shot then."

Ok... let's do it.

I hugged him face to face with his arms pinned in my armpits.

He counted to three and then screamed like I'm sure no one had ever heard in the doctor's office before.

And then it was over.  Success.

Do you want to know what he said afterwards????

"Is that all?  That wasn't so bad."

I'm sure I laughed through my exhaustion.

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