Needles are over thank goodness

Beth had her last cervical cancer vaccine on Thursday. Well that was fun! Poor kid was petrified. I had been to the doctors on the Monday and gotten the cream that numbs. I had considered not doing this as Beth is 13 now but realistically she is much younger mentally and I was so glad that we had it in the end. Not that it helped beforehand but as it ended up not hurting I’m hoping that she remembers that.

I had given Beth the day off as she was so anxious. I put the cream on in the morning before we dropped Bill and Bridie off and we got to the doctors nice and early. Everything was fine until the needle came out. Poor love started sweating and had a ‘fight or flight’ response. In other words there was no way that needle was going near her. She kept shouting out phrases such as “it packs a powerful punch” as well as just yelling that it was going to hurt and she didn’t need the needle after all. I tried bribing, soothing, yelling, all to no avail. I even said in desperation “it’ll stop you getting cancer” which technically is sort of true but made we wish I had explained all of that to her before so that she understood what cervical cancer was. Instead it was like I was saying that she’d never get cancer but I was frantic to stop her from getting any worse. Beth was dry retching into a bag by this stage and kept saying she needed to go to the toilet, a tactic she uses often when not wanting to do something. She flailed around, grabbing the needle from the nurse and knocking over whatever she could to get away from us. In the end I had to hold her in a grip turn her head around and hold it against me and shout “quick, do it now!” as the nurse jabbed it in her arm. And then Beth relaxed and conceded that it was in fact not as bad as she thought it would be! She said that she had been so scared and was hot from all the sweating from her fear. That’s why I didn’t want her to be immunised at school, she’d never want to go back and I didn’t want to give her another reason to not want to go to school. In the end I got out of it pretty cheaply, a Total Girl Magazine, a Cinderella dvd and a chunky Kit Kat bar! And she got to have the day off school. As we went to the toilet afterwards she spouted out another classy line (probably from a movie) – “goddamned son of a bitch!”

On a happy note Beth is ok about watching the Big Bang Theory and is actually enjoying it again. She loved it last year until I made the mistake of borrowing series one on dvd. She refused to watch it, on the dvd and from then on on the tely too. The new series started last week and I told her that we were going to watch it. I reminded her how she was scared of Sesame Street for 10 years and now loves watching it. (I know they’re just tv shows but it’s about facing her fears.) Anyway, she wanted me to mute it, she had her fingers in her ears, then it came on with Mrs Wolowitz (her favourite character) being in the first scene and her smile lit up her face. I haven’t suggested watching repeats again yet but slowly, slowly.

That reminds me of the time I decided I’d conquer her fear of going to the movies. I know she’d like it once she got in but getting her in was the issue. The time she finally went in I tricked her and told her that we had to show Bridie where Bill and Dad were sitting, then we could go out and get a donut. I’d worded Paul up and taken the girls to the toilet on purpose. Even just being in the foyer was a problem. She lay on the floor saying we had to leave, she had her fingers in her ears the whole time and kept yelling at me. (A bit like the needle.) Other parents must have thought I was such a bitch, making my poor child go to the movies when she was clearly scared stiff.  I pulled her in to the cinema with me, the movie was just starting so no problems with previews and the fingers came out and the smile lit up her face. I’ve made it a point ever since to go to the movies every holidays at least once because it was so bloody hard to get her there in the first place.







About Sarah

Mother of an autistic child wanting to write about my personal experiences
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