The Dreaded Annual Blood Work

This week I finally took Jessie to have blood drawn. We do this annually and I think I dread it as much as Jessie. Probably more, because she only gets a little advance warning and I dread it well in advance. I don’t do well with any of my kids being in pain.

It was right before Christmas when we saw her pediatrician and he ordered the bloodwork.  Because of billing issues and which lab the blood would go to (from that office) we didn’t have it done that same day. He put the order in and said we could stop by the Dothan office any time. She cried when we talked about it, anticipating that it would hurt.

It’s almost always hard to get her vein.  They have to wiggle the needle around once its under the skin and it’s painful.   It wasn’t easy this time either, but we had a great nurse that kept her talking about wrestling the whole time.  He said her veins were tough to get to, deep under the skin. In explanation, he said the needle was about all the way in (a pediatric butterfly type) when he got through her vein.

There were no tears on her part which meant tears weren’t required for me either.  I usually cry if she does when she has blood work, because she has a high pain tolerance. If she cries it really hurts.  There were no tears this day.

Jessie and I had gone to lunch with my sister, her Aunt Debbie, right before we went to the lab. I always promise Jessie something to look forward to afterward like going out to eat (her favorite thing to do!) or ice cream, whatever works at the time. Since we just ate lunch I was stumped as to what to bribe inspire her with. Jessie loves having her own money. I told her if she tried to be brave I would give her $5.

In my mind, trying to be brave didn’t mean not crying if it hurt. Trying to be brave meant not crying and making me feel terrible before we got there and while waiting.

I know it hurt, but she was the sweetest bravest thing. So grown up about it all. I couldn’t be more proud of her.

She has always been a good patient. Just like with my other two, I’ve always been able to talk to her and if I told her something would not hurt, she knew she could trust that I was telling the truth. If something was going to hurt a little I would be honest about it. That made her not feel anxious at other appointments that weren’t going to hurt.

It’s just the last couple of years that Jessie has anticipated events like this and worried over them in advance. For that reason I give her a little advance warning, but not too much time to keep thinking about it. I told her toward the end of lunch that we were going to the doctors office next.

Aunt Debbie waited in the lab waiting area while the deed was done. She could hear Jessie and the nurse talking and didn’t hear any crying. I shared with her all what the nurse had told me about the difficulty of getting her vein and just how brave Jessie was.

When we got out to Aunt Debbie’s van, she handed Jessie a ten dollar bill and told her how proud she was of her. Jessie really likes knowing that adults think well of her. She likes knowing Aunt Debbie finds her brave and she really likes money. I told Debbie that Jessie is probably going to request that she go with us to every appointment of this type hoping for another $10!

This year the appointment wasn’t nearly worth the amount of dread I had put into it, thankfully 😊

In next week’s post I will share what tests Jessie has done annually and why.

Till next week friends.

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