For the past ten months, Little Dude has needed to have his blood drawn twice a week in order to monitor his blood counts during treatment. For some kids, this could be traumatic. Little Dude, fortunately, has not had a problem with it and casually offers up his arm to the phlebotomist each time. His only requirement is that she counts to three before sticking the needle in his vein.
Early on, I’d stand next to Little Dude holding his other hand for reassurance and comfort. But now, he says he doesn’t need my support and actually looks bored (or sleepy or both) during this ritual. It wasn’t until Big Dude required some standard blood work that I realized what a pro Little Dude had become with giving up his blood. Just as a comparison, this is what is was like when Big Dude — age 16 — had his blood drawn:
After screaming, “OW!” and making a pained face, Big Dude said he felt dizzy. I thought he was kidding. They took one tiny vial of blood from my 6 foot 7 son and he’s dizzy?! But he was, for real. We had to sit there for ten minutes – TEN! – before he was able to get up. As we walked out, he felt dizzy again so we sat in the waiting room, where I fed him cookies and water. After another FIVE minutes, we walked to the elevator and he said he thought he was going to faint…he crouched down on the floor and I let him squat there for a few more minutes, until he finally thought he had the strength to stand and make it out to the car.
When we got home, I relayed this chain of events to Little Dude who laughed out loud.
“What a wimp! I’m coming with you next time he needs blood taken. Now THAT would be fun to watch,” Little Dude said with a huge smile on his face.
Ah yes, brotherly love…isn’t it a beautiful thing?