Jump to content
ACN Latitudes Forums

Help with blood draw anxiety attacks


Recommended Posts

Dd has an appointment for a blood draw coming up soon. As many times as she's done this, it's still horrific every time, She goes into fight or flight mode, panics, has odd behaviors, kicks, scratches, and it takes the better part of a day to get her there, and get her to a point where she'll finally wear down and let them do it. :( I will have to take a whole day off from work to go which i cant afford. dh is useless when it comes to this kind of thing because her can't handle it.

 

It's just terrible. I can't be angry with her, she's a little girl who's terrified of having a needle jabbed in her and having blood drawn, it's not fair.

 

I've asked for a sedative to give her this time I hope it works. Anyone have any helpful suggestions? What do you do to make it easier?

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have used Emla cream (local anethestic that needs to be put on the site 30 min in advance) and Klonopin, both with good success. The drama related to blood draws is greatly reduced now to where we just use the klonopin because she has realized it is just not THAT painful, it is just scary.

 

We also offer an uncommon treat after the appt.

Edited by mayzoo
Link to post
Share on other sites

We use the cream too, but like you said it's not so much the actual pain as it is the IDEA of it :( is Klonopin a sedative? I'm not even sure yet which sedative her doctor prescribed- I just know she needs something to get her through! Too bad I couldn't give her a shot and a beer :) usually works for me! ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

klonopin is an anti-anxielitic. It is similar to valium, but not quite the same in that valium is also a muscle relaxer as well as for anxiety.

 

Yeah, a shot and a beer may be out of the question at 9, but who am I to say ;) . I know when it took five of us to hold kiddo down, I really needed a shot and beer and a ton of ibuprofen myself. I finally told her doc, either her or I needed something for anxiety related to blood draws. He prescribed it for her :D.

Edited by mayzoo
Link to post
Share on other sites

beerae22 -- trust me - I am with you - I know the traumas of blood draws and many other things. I also know the power of the mind.

 

we have not done a blood draw in a long time and we will likely have one coming up in jan - so I may be eating my words soon.

our last blood draw, again - maybe 2-3 years ago -- cost me quite a nice nerf gun. but. . . it was worth it. and I don't at all consider myself a bribing parent.

 

about 2 weeks ago, we had to do a throat swab, that again, we had not done in a few years. we made a deal of however many seconds it took to do the swab, if he remained cooperative, he would get a sticker on his challenge chart for each second. the nurse thought it would take her 2. she was right. so - he earned 2 stickers on the challenge chart. he was cooperative, it was over quick and he was thrilled that he earned 2 easy stickers. he was focused on the stickers, not the swab. I think that's the key -- what can you get her to focus on instead of the blood draw. who is their right mind could do it if they focused on the blood draw?

 

the challenge chart is a modified potty chart that they(both 10 and 12 years old) earn for doing things they consider a challenge. it still amazing me they will do things -- like ask an attendant at a baseball game if they can sit in the expensive section at an empty game that they never would do otherwise (and he let us after the 4th inning) our psych suggested it that they need extra motivation to do something -- I used to not like this as bribery -- but it's more of an immediate payoff for them that they can't otherwise see. and no - he couldn't see sitting in the good seats as the immediate payoff even though he really, really wanted it. (a good friend of mine's mother once told her when she was complaining that he kids didn't cooperate, 'you wouldn't work either if they didn't pay you.'.) so then, those experiences build on each other... 'remember the time you asked if we could sit in those seats. . ."

 

so -- a blood draw is more troublesome and longer. but, I am planning on doing something similar. I think the key is his buy-in. sometimes, want he wants is easy and reasonable; sometimes, it's ridiculous. then, we negotiate, and we can usually arrive at something that works -- unless he's in extreme exacerbation. he's 10. I don't know how old your dd is.

 

I'd say, start with just some simple exploratory questions about how she feels and thinks about blood draws. what might make it worth her while if she ever had to do it again? then what may make it reasonable for you if you were asking her to do it.

 

the bottom line is. . . wouldn't it be great if our kids were just cooperative and did what they were supposed to? they're not and they don't. their brains are under assault and we have to make up for it. I'm not saying give her the world to do it -- I'm saying try to turn it into a teaching moment for her of a time when she has to do something she doesn't want to(which all of us have to) and how can she work that to her best advantage.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I am definitely open to rewarding/bribing- anything you want to call it ;) and I've tried that in the past, but as soon as she gets wound up, it seems there's no changing it. :( it may be a good idea to discuss it with her, but there never seems to be a good time to do that-- just the mention of bloodwork immediately gets her going. I'm considering giving her the sedative before even telling her about it this time. We've never tried sedatives before, so is is an experiment.

 

Dd has been on abx for almost a year now, so she's had to have blood draws every 3-4 months or so. I haven't figured anything out yet to make it easier,and the last few times I think I just suffered through it and didn't bother attempting any strategies because I feel like nothing has worked.

 

I like your "challenge chart" idea. I always struggle with choosing suitable rewards for those kinds of charts though. But we did make morning routine charts this school year, and my kids both really liked the idea and responded to it (for awhile). This might be a good time to start a new one.... Just in time for the new year too. Maybe I should come up the new chart ASAP, and the blood draw will be an opportunity for her to earn extra "checks" on her chart. This could be helpful (hopefully along with that sedative! ;) )

Link to post
Share on other sites

I also reserve four words that I do not use hardly ever except for these cases. "This is not optional." When I say those four words (which I make sure are very rare) kiddo knows that no amount of fits will change the outcome. She may still fight a blood draw, but when I say those words, I can see her deflate because she knows if I have to hold her down, sit on her, etc.....she WILL lose the battle regardless of what I have to do. It usually reduces the battle some anyway.

 

This got started when she began fighting taking her meds a few years ago with the onset of PANDAS. I literally had to hold her down and pry her mouth open to make her take them. It only took a few times of that before she quit fighting so much, and within a few days, she was back to taking them willingly (begrudgingly, but willingly). Then it morphed into when she had to take a liquid, which I avoid with all my might, because she HATES liquids. She looks at me and says--"that is NOT mine" and if I cannot sneak into something, then I have to pull out those few words. Now it is just for blood draws as far as I can recall.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So, just thought I'd update because I am still reeling (in a good way!) about dd's blood draw today.....

 

Picked her up from school yesterday and she was in a great mood. All night she's happy, and "normal". The whole time I'm thinking to myself "now I have to tell her that she has this appointment tomorrow" and I'm dreading it.....

 

Finally the time comes. It's getting close to bedtime, and I don't want to spring it on her in the morning. Assuring myself that I have the Xanax on the counter to help with the inevitable situation in the morning (and wishing I had a script for myself!) I grit my teeth and I tell her. "We have a doctor's appt in the morning". I pause, and brace myself for being hit or kicked. She asks me simply, "do I have to do bloodwork?" "I'm not sure, I have to call in the morning" I lie... ready for the storm. "I know I'm going to have to have bloodwork" she says, completely calm. I tell her again that I'm not sure, explain that I have this new medicine that can really help her, etc.

 

And omg. ... Not a single comment. Not a "face", or a tear, or ANYTHING. Continues to be happy the rest of the night....

 

And this morning? Same thing. Asks me if she can eat and drink, perfectly happy and calm, no faces, no hitting, scratching or kicking, no anything. Gets dressed on time, willingly and happily gets in the car, walks in, sits down, smiles at the nurse, does the draw, asks for an extra bandaid because they're cool ones, gets up and we leave.

 

UNBELIEVABLE. I can't even explain what a miracle this is. I do not exaggerate when I tell you what a complete nightmare this has been every single time. And she continued to be happy for the rest of the day too! Wow!

 

How do you explain that??? :)

 

(Ps. She seems so incredibly happy for the past 24+ hours, but is continuing her new obsession asking "what if" questions about getting sick, being sick, germs, vomiting, other people vomiting, etc. so ocd still present, and something still brewing/going on, but this today was just amazing!)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...