This time we were at an actual blood lab, and, while they took it from the traditional middle of the arm, it was just as much a horror. This all started when his annual pediatrician visit turned up he was on the anemic side with a simple pin prick blood test. So she ordered us to give him a daily vitamin with iron and get a blood test to assess.
My wife made sure I was available since she knew this would be difficult. I decided to tell him we were going for a blood test while we were still in the house. That’s when he started to cry. He didn’t like the little pin prick test and he was already anticipating that. He had no idea what a real blood test entailed. My wife didn’t think it was wise to tell him up front, but what was I to do, surprise him when we got to the lab? That’s like the mafia taking you for a ride. So we comforted him as best we could, and then we even promised him a treat and a trip to the book store where he likes to play in the children’s department.
It was tough. He started screaming, even when they put the rubber strap around his arm. “Ouwee” he cried, “ouwee.” It was hard to find a vein on his little arms. The guy who started decided to call an assistant, a young lady who had drawn from children more often. And then Matthew really let it out when the butterfly needle was jammed in. And then they had to move the tip around to find a better flow. Matthew was positioned in my lap, his arm on the swing arm of the chair, and my arms holding him steady and his other hand from grasping. The blood technicians did the best they could. They were surprised that they had to take five or six (don’t remember the count) vials, and at some oint they decided not to fill them up completely. God, I hope I don’t have to do that for a long time.
Later that evening Matthew was in a better mood and played with his beloved play dough. He decided to make me a pizza, a flattened sheet of yellow clay with red pieces for the tomatoes and white chucks for the mozzarella cheese. I thought this was cute as heck. Here’s my pizza.