Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Blood Draw

Due to the side effects of some of the medications that our kids at work take, a number of the kids have to have regular blood draws to check how the meds are affecting their organs and such (forgive me for the lack of clarity - I'm not a medical doctor). Last week, I heard that the boy who Ross consoled when he didn't get to go to his foster home refused his blood draw, as he was anxious about it. Knowing how well he responds to Ross' presence, I made a plan with the psychiatrist and nurse to bring Ross in today to try the blood draw again. Ross and I waited in the family room, and Ross sat calmly next to me. As soon as the boy came in the room, Ross immediately got up and wrapped himself around the boy, laying next to him. The boy calmly pet Ross to sleep, and Ross began snoring quietly. When the nurse arrived, I tried to make a game plan with the boy: I informed him that I don't like blood draws either (an understatement), and that I find that if I focus on something else it helps me get through it. I asked the boy, "What part of Ross should we focus on? Should we pet his ears?" The boy started to pet Ross' ear while the nurse prepped his arm. He then became fascinated by the fact that his vein was sticking out, and watched in fascination as the nurse inserted the needle. I, on the other hand, immediately shifted my focus back to Ross until the needle was gone! Having Ross present to calm the boy before the procedure clearly did the trick, but I think Ross was there to help ME more than anyone during the blood draw!

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