Plinth Blog Special Needs Parenting


Having a Child with Down Syndrome, Part CXXIX: Lab Work

Alice has Grave's disease which messes with her thyroid. To check to see if the medication she's taking is working, she needs periodic blood tests. Alice doesn't like blood tests and I had to take her. When she got home from school, I immediately ushered her into my car and headed to the hospital and explained what was going on. Alice said, "I'm afraid of needles." I praised her for using her words and told her that she could tell the nurse that too. I also promised her that if she was brave and did a good job we would go to the comic book store and she could pick out a comic book at the local comic book store, Modern Myths. I don't like food as a reward, so a visit to a comic book store seemed like a good alternative.

We got there and checked in. Alice told the nurse she was afraid of needles and the nurse let her know that she would use the smallest needle that she had. That was nice. I was going to ask her to use a butterfly needle, but she was already on it. Nice. She came back with another nurse to help.


This smile didn't last long. The next 15 minutes were spent talking and trying to calm Alice. They had a hard time finding her vein in the right arm and took several stabs before they gave up and switched. Alice addressed each nurse by name and was very assertive. "Hands off, Jenna!" I don't have any pictures of the during or immediately after. I was too busy being dad. Alice needed kind words and reminders to be brave and hugs at the end.

And here we are. Alice picked out a Disney Princess comic book and we went home much happier than we were before.

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