Wednesday, May 25, 2011


 A post by LeMira

Today my son reminded me of something.  He's afraid of pain.  He has a very high tolerance for pain because of his elongated stay in the NICU as a baby, but he's also very afraid of it.  Telling him to "be brave" or "buckle up" makes him run for cover.  When he is in pain, he gets irrational.  Mainly because he's afraid of what the remedy might be.

Almost every kid I meet has a love for band-aids.  Bandages provide a much-needed placebo affect for their "owies," and they tend to disappear quickly with little ones because of that.  I remember one of the first times that I asked my son if he wanted a band-aid (hoping it would calm him down).  He was okay with it until I had to pull it off.  It was then that I realized his hypersensitivity to touch. Yes, I'd noticed it before, but it was then that it really hit me.  Ever since that time, he dreads the band-aid.  When he falls and cries, yes, it hurts, but he usually calms quickly when I tell him that he doesn't need a band-aid.  If the opposite is true, he screams.

Today's hurtful moment was not bloody, thank goodness.  I had just gotten the shampoo lathered into my hair when I heard him crying and wailing.  He came in, pointed to his eye and told me that it was hurting.  This is where the language barrier came in.  I tried to get him to tell me if he'd scratched it, poked it, fallen down, or what.  When I finally was able to get out of the shower, put on a robe, and sit and look at it, it was apparent that he had some eyelashes turned in and scratching his eye.  Yeah, that hurts!

The problem came when I told him I wanted to help him.  He would look at me and ask, "Is it going to hurt?"  It took a lot of cajoling to let him know that if he'd let me take care of it, then it wouldn't hurt anymore.  I'm happy to say that I didn't lose my temper like I've done so much in the past.  It's so hard to stay in control when your child is out of control and not listening.  The louder he gets, the louder I get.

I finally asked, "Would you rather let it hurt or let Mommy take care of it?"  I still had to get him to clasp his hands so he wouldn't push mine away (a defensive reaction), and I had to hold his head so he wouldn't jerk away.  It took a good five minutes for this process.  In the meantime, I'm wiping dripping shampoo off my face so it doesn't sting my eyes!

When I was done, the pain was gone for him, and the eyelashes released.  Thank heavens I didn't have to use the words "doctor," "medicine," or "band-aid."  Who knows what would have happened then?

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