bandage

In an effort to rule out food and environmental allergies as possible triggers for Jonah’s seizures, his Doctor ordered allergy testing via blood tests.

Last Monday I took Jonah to a nearby lab to get his blood drawn. The lab techs were very kind and gentle. They tried their hardest to find a vein on Jonah’s arms and hands to draw blood from. After one unsuccessful try his vein rolled. The ladies asked me to bring him back the next day.

On Tuesday, soon after finishing work, I brought Jonah back to the lab and let the ladies try again. This time they searched and searched for a vein, all the while Jonah was helping them by squeezing his fists and poking his arm (the inside bends) with his index fingers extended; mimicking what the lab techs were doing. The ladies were smitten by him and did not want to poke him with the needle unless they were absolutely sure they would be successful. After 20 minutes or so, they apologized profusely and told me they could not find a good enough vein. They suggested I take him over to a sister lab at the Community South hospital where they were equipped with smaller needles, and if necessary a Pediatric nurse could help draw his blood.

Later on that evening I headed over to the hospital lab with Jonah, Elijah, and my mother in tow. We got called back and two older women (their name tags read Beth and Shirley) surrounded Jonah and I, and they started surveying his arms and hands. After finding a slight indication of a vein, they too pricked him with a needle and again his vein moved. DANG!

The lab tech said she did not want to try anymore and told me to come back on Wednesday. After a quick call, the Pediatrics department said they were too busy to help and she was giving up. Though I did not want my baby to have to endure any more of this, I explained to her my insurance coverage dictations, and asked that they try again. Reluctantly Beth left the room and after 5 minutes time she returned with a not so happy Shirley.

Beth held Jonah’s arm and Shirley poked around until she found a semi-suitable vein. With one fell swoop she DID IT, she found the vein and started to draw blood. The relief I felt was quickly squashed when Beth and Shirley start tsking. The blood flow had slowed to a drip and they were making comments quietly to each other that this vial would not be enough. As Shirley removed the needle she directs her comment to me. In a pessimistic inflection she said, “Well, I guess we will submit this and see if this will be enough”. The skepticism in her voice said otherwise.

While I was consoling my sobbing baby, I was taken aback by her tone and disgruntled look on her face. All I could muster was a thank you to the women for trying. Sympathetically Beth replies by saying something like “You’re welcome” and “I hope it will be enough”. Bluntly Shirley replies, “Mom – I am not going to poke him again, you really need to let him have a break”. WOW! I really did not know what to make of her comments. She was NOT treating me with the kindness and understanding normally shown by medical professionals.

My mind was screaming out, “I REALLY do not want my baby to go through this. REALLY! I was shocked, and instead I could not mutter anything in my defense. I just stood up, grabbed my things and ushered my crew out the door.

My mother wouldn’t let it go and immediately started asking me over and over again, “Do you think it will be enough?” Almost in tears, I replied with frustration, “I don’t know”. I was not going to have them try again and would rather scrap having the allergy tests done than make Jonah go through this all over again. As we headed out the door, my mother went back to confirm if they got a successful draw. In a far off voice I hear Beth say in a reassuring tone that they did get enough, not to worry.

As I breathe out I feel relief and I released my hurt caused just moments before from the unkind technician. She may have had a bad day and didn’t realize she was being uncaring. Or she wanted the last draw for the day to be simple, not for an unsuspecting, smiling, 2 year old boy with elusive veins.

I hope these tests do what they are intended for and rule out more things that would and could cause Jonah’s seizures.

On the way home we stopped and picked up four shiny Mylar balloons. (Jonah’s most FAVORITE things.) Balloons and some candy from Grandma returned his smile!

Look I'm Smiling Mom

Look I'm Smiling Mom