Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blood tests and inoculations are stressful

Yo! Mick Here. Red's dog-brother.

Mum had to do things she'd rather avoid this past week. Red needed first to have some blood work to ensure his meds were not causing problems internally then a few days later Red had to have his inoculations updated. Shots! Yowie!

Because Red would just stress for days, hours or however long, Mum didn't tell Red about the blood work or the shots. She wouldn't let him eat breakfast the morning of the blood work and instead promissed him a trip to Jack-in-the-box after the "errand". I got to go with them but had to wait in the car. Still, it was awful. I heard him yelling from the car!

I heard the story later. Mum went in with Red protesting that he wasn't going (hey he's no dummy. He recognized the building as being some type of doctor's office) but as usual she ignored his protests and he followed. He does that. He'll be yelling no! no! no! and doing whatever "it" is anyway. Teachers and others are picking up on this and just ignore his protests.

Well, he was sitting all folded up in a chair saying things like, "this sucks!" and "I'm not going", while Mum was calmly telling the lady behind the counter, "I'm sorry. My son has Autism, he's not medicated today yet because he's fasting for the test and he needs blood work". She then apologized to the man just ahead of Red.

The staff was excellent. They needed to call regarding a question for one of the tests but otherwise got Red right on back to the room where they draw the blood.

Red had tried to "escape" twice before they brought him back though. He'd charge the door yelling, "You can't make me! I'm leaving!" His hand never let go of the door and Mum never said a word to him until he was back in his seat. She patted his hand and told him, "I know you're upset. I'm sorry for that".

Wow. When Red saw the room back there he was really paniced and yelling and crying. Mum had to use a stern voice to get his attention but she asked if he wanted to sit in her lap when they drew the blood. He did.

The nurse was excellent. She introduced herself and her assistant (yes, it took 2 - one to get the needle into him and the other to hold his arm steady so that he didn't hurt himself). Red sat on Mum's lap he placed his arms on top of hers and she held the hand not being used for the shot in a loving hold.

Red was still worked up and yelling until Mum sorta shook him once and reminded him he was 15 and told him to act his age. He pulled it together and the whole thing was over that quick from there.

He ran out of there and right to the car so I could hug him and lick his face. It took 2 orders of french toast sticks from Jack-in-the-Box to appease Red. He was starving.

After he'd scarfed up one. He and Mum talked. She asked him, "How bad was it really"?

"It was horrible! I'm never doing that again!"

"Was it worse than a cat scratch?


"Does it still hurt?"


"Is it starting to feel a little better?"


"Do you remember when you got stung by a bee and how it kept hurting and feeling worse?"


"Which is worse, a bee sting or the blood test?"

"bee stings."

"Cat scratches can hurt for a long time too right?"


Then Mum talked to Red about going to the dentist and how that can be sort of like the blood work or getting shots at the doctor. It only hurts for a little bit and then feels better.

Well a few days later I figured out why she was having that conversation. I got to go to the doctor's office with Red again. I also had to wait in the car - again - which made me nervous after the last time.

Red was in there for quite awhile getting a complete physical. He also got 3 shots! 3 of them! But this time he didn't scream or anything. Mum said she was so proud of him! I am too. He came out and told me all about it and showed me his 2 bandages.

I know it must be hard on mum to have to let people hurt Red with needles like that but she explains that it's to keep him healthy.

I told Red that they must work because I get shots and I stay healthy. Mum said that there is some risks for shots. She also explained that there are many people that claim their kids got autism when they got their shots. Red's doctor apparently doesn't believe that. Still it must have been real hard on Mum. I gave her a slurp on her hand to make her feel better.

*** Mum, Irene here. Please note! I am not advocating for or against inoculations. These are highly personal decisions that should be made by parents with their family doctors. I am merely sharing what I have done and do regarding shots.

I ALWAYS ensure that the shots or inoculations are thimeromsal free. Even as the medical rofession claims that it was never the cause of or triggered autism, they removed it from the inoculations. But do be aware! One of the remaining shots that may contain thimeromsal is the flu shot. There are some batches being made with it and some without so always check with your doctor if there is ANY CONCERNS. As Red is not in a high risk category for the flu, I don't think I will have him get the flu shot this year either.

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