At CJ’s physical the other day, the Doctor prescribed the annual lab work which required a blood draw. The last blood draw we had was many years ago and required all my strength to hold him down. I told the doctor about this and he referred us to Child Life at Mary Bridge Children’s. They called me and we created a plan for CJ to make this as easy as possible for him. Today was the day.
We met Julie at the check in desk near CJ’s “boat”. He loves the bronzed rowboat in the lobby. He has taken me on several journeys in it while we’ve waited to see the nutritionist and other clinics. Julie came prepared with a story-chart, examples of the tools the tech would use for the blood draw, and an iPad. I had explained what would happen today several times, and CJ feels so comfortable at Mary Bridge. She sat down with CJ, showed him the story chart about the procedure then let him play with “mock-ups” of the syringe, needle and tubing used in a blood draw. Then he took her iPad and found YouTube and they watched some shows together. They called us back, and with lots of verbal support, some gentle touching (really! Gentle touches!) and very little restraining and one big “HELP” the tech got the blood draw done. It went so well! Afterward, we got the car (Have I mentioned the valet parking? well worth the 3 dollars!!!) and got ice cream!
I’m glad we met Julie and I recommend if you have a child with sensitivities or emotional challenges with lab work, give Child Life a call. You can reach them through Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma.