Two nurses, one laboratory technicians, and one strong father; that’s the team needed to perform a blood test to my son. Every now and then a doctor or specialist prescribes some sort of blood test; an activity that could be a difficult task with any typical child, and my son isn’t the exception. What I have to do is the following: I seat him on my lap, hold one of his arms with one of mine, hold his chest and head against me with my other arm, and hold his legs using mine. In the interim, the lab technician and one nurse help me holding his legs while holding his other arm steady, and then the other nurse pricks it with the needle. This is hard for me, physically for obvious reasons, and psychologically because he doesn’t stop complaining during the procedure. As fathers we don’t want our children to suffer but I know I have to do this for his own good, so I sort of block my “protective-father-mode” and focus on what has to be done. I remember one time when we went both (me and my wife) inside the laboratory room, and she was so protective and giving a lot of instructions to the nurses on how not to hurt him, that they said to her: “mom, we can handle this with just the father, why don’t you wait outside please”; funny right? So from that moment on, for better or for worst, every visit to the lab is on me.
But all that drama is the end part of the experience; first I have to make him enter the laboratory room. Sometimes he doesn’t want to get out of the car (he already know the place and for what we are going there), sometime he does but doesn’t want to get inside the place. The last time he enter just to the waiting area, but it was kind of difficult to get him inside the lab room, were the actual procedure takes place. It’s amazing how he can become so heavy and so stuck with the furniture when he doesn’t want to be picked up. This time he jammed his legs with a couple of chairs that were in the waiting room, which then jammed them self’s with another chair, so I was hopelessly trying to lift him along with three chairs. They looked at the situation and seemed to be deciding if they should help or stay back and wait. After a while I was able to pick him up and get him inside the laboratory room, and you already know what happened. I was glad that the waiting area was empty. Not for embarrassment of any kind, but for the potential of hitting another one during my struggle with the chairs.
All the activities surrounding simple blood tests are always stressful and exhausting, and I think about it more than twice every time a doctor gives us a lab order. After going through it, what reliefs me is that at the end he just forgets the incident, and go on as if nothing has ever happened.