Today Fin was scheduled to pre-register at the hospital for her tonsillectomy/adenoid removal. Blood work was involved. *dundunDUUUUN*
I had gone back and forth in my mind whether to tell her about the blood work the morning of or immediately before it happened. Ultimately I felt it was better to talk about it with her first and give her an opportunity to ask questions rather than have them spring it on her suddenly. Needle! Blood! TRAUMA!
We arrived at the hospital and went through the registration process. Fin busied herself with learning apps and YouTube on my phone. Then we headed back to the lobby to wait our turn to meet with the anesthesia nurse for questions and more paperwork. Fin made a friend in the waiting room to play with; all was well.
When they called her name she was Miss Congenial till about halfway down the hall. That's when her nerves started to get the better of her. The meeting in the nurse's office was filled with Fin interrupting, not listening, touching things she shouldn't. Then began The Asking To Go Home.
By the time we got down to the lab she was ready for us to make a run for it. She started asking questions which got progressively louder.
The first phlebotomist (yes, I said 'first' - that's called foreshadowing) was a young male who may very well be good at his job but had absolutely no idea what to do with a hysterical almost-five year old. I did my best to hold this sweaty, writhing child who was screaming to go home and begging him to stop. I watched him root around in her tiny arm trying to find a vein as her screams became louder and more guttural.
When he was finally done I soothed her as best I could; she was as exhausted as if she'd just had a seizure.
That's when he told me he thought the blood had clotted, would be unusable and we would have to do it again.
And that's when I got pissed.
"Excuse me?! Did I hear you correctly?!"
"Weeell, because she was struggling so much it caused the blood to clot. I could try to spin it to make sure but I'm already pretty sure..."
I asked how long it would take to check, hoping against hope, and he told me about five minutes. I told him as nicely as I could to spin the damn blood. I wasn't about to put my kid through this again if there was even the slightest chance he was wrong.
He left the room and Fin began demanding to know why we weren't leaving. She had yet to stop crying and was desperate to get out of there. When the second nurse came in I had to break it to her: She had to do it again.
Cue previous hysteria and struggling... x1,000. Deafening, throaty screams of "NEVER!! NEEEVERRR!!" in response to my calm voice. Arms clamped to her chest like they were welded there.
I explained over and over that she HAD to hold still so we wouldn't have to do this yet again.
Fin had upset herself to the point of gagging. I asked if they had something for her to throw up in, just in case. The nurse looked at me blankly and said, "...um... hrmm... I'm not sure..."
I could hear gurgling in Fin's throat and I'm not really sure how I kept my cool as well as I did when I snapped, "I suggest you find something NOW."
The nurse brought me a styrofoam coffee cup for my daughter to vomit in. They should consider themselves very lucky it turned out to be unnecessary.
The petite female nurse had brought a bouncer with her. The hulking man attempted to keep Fin's arm steady while I bear-hugged her on my lap.
My poor girl finally screamed in her raw, hoarse voice, "FINE! THEN JUST DO IT IF YOU MUST!!!"
Even though my heart was breaking for my daughter, even though holding her was taking all that I had, I had to laugh. The bodyguard and I looked at each other and cracked up, albeit briefly.
Fin demanded to know if there was a needle in her. The fine needle the female nurse chose to use, saying it was the size used on infants, had been much easier on her and in her hysteria she didn't even realize it was in.
I couldn't stop myself from asking why the hell they hadn't used that type of needle in the first place. I didn't get a response.
The nurse handed the first drawn vial of blood to a still sobbing Fin and tried to explain to her why it wasn't usable, saying, "... so now we won't have to do it again."
Not the time, lady. Not. The. Time.
The only words that penetrated Fin's fog were DO IT AGAIN.
Took me another 10 minutes to explain that we were truly done and could leave. I promised we'd go do something fun and suggested ice cream.
She turned it down.
By the time we got back to town and through her pediatrician appointment she had perked up a bit. I took her to the local nail place and had her toes painted up special, which made her smile.
Tonight in bed we talked and talked about what will happen Friday for her surgery. I pray this is as simple and easy on her as it should be. I pray it has the intended results when all is said and done. I pray for those parents who are/have watched their child go through so, so much worse. Because watching your child in pain? Seeing the fear in their eyes that you can't take away no matter how hard you try? It is a heartache a parent hopes to never endure.
I hope my daughter's dreams are kind to her tonight. I hope I did my job as her momma well enough to ease her little mind.
I wish someone could ease mine.