Fear of Needles
My 10 year old daughter has been diagnosed with Graves disease as of March this year. Since then, she's had to go through many blood tests and naturally, is afraid of the needle. Well, a couple months ago for the latest blood draw, she panicked, wouldn't hold out her arm and the nurses all got frustrated with her. Went to 3 different places before it took her to be the last patient (us waiting 2 hours), 3 nurses plus myself to hold her down while they did the blood draw. It was not a pretty sight. 🙁
Needless to say, she's petrified and is due for another blood draw this week. I've tried everything I can think of to calm her fears, but she's afraid of the nurses and their attitudes. She won't be seeing any of the nurses that she saw the last time because we'll be going to the children's hospital where they're equipped to deal with children.
I've even had her "battle out her fears" by boxing on the Wii with her brother. He's 12 and has been a great support system for her.
Anything else I can do? I've thought of getting some sort of calming tonic from the natural store. Any recommendations?
How terribly distressing for you all.
I went through something similar with my little boy when he was 6, he had to have part of his intestine removed and frequently had to have injections and blood tests. It was awful having to hold him down. I lost count of the times we both wept.
I found the play workers at the hospital very good. They tried to distract him and play with him, which helped slightly. They also had a teddy which he gave injections too. Your daughter will probably be too old for this, but they may have some clever tricks for older children.
EFT is the big thing I wished I discovered earlier. This could be a grown up solution for all of you, and children respond so well. Linda Wood has tapping bears (google this) which may help (again not sure how age appropriate) but she has done a lot of work with children and teenagers, so you may be able to get some advice.
My heart goes out to you.
Good luck, and let us know how you get on.
Actually, my daughter still loves teddy bears! I've heard of EFT, but have been skeptical about such things. At this point, with all the anxiety my daughter has, I'm ready to try just about anything!
Thanks for your response! 🙂
I know exactly what your daughter is going through. Poor little sweet heard. I developed a fear of needles when I was a child as I had to have a number of tests done. I also understand your concern and distress at seeing your daughter lose control and panic. I had the same issue with the nurses getting frustrated, they need to stay extra calm and be very reassuring to someone who is so scared of needles.
Speak to them about it and arrange that they take the process really slowly and talk calmly and reassuringly to her all the way through. Only to take blood when she is absolutely ready, even if it takes an hour at your daughters pace. Maybe your daughter could lie down while they take it, that is how I have blood taken now (the chair still freaks me out). Get her to practice deep slow breathing as concentrating on her breathing will help to calm her down.
I've only managed to face my fear with the help of EFT. Also you could ask the Dr if Valium would interfere with the blood test, if not ask if she could have a little until you get chance to seek someone to do EFT with her. As that has helped me in the past also, doesn't stop the fear factor but did help me not panic so violently (I used to punch and kick to escape).
Try to find out what really scares her about the needles, mine was needing to gain some control back from my mum and the nurses, having a panic attack and losing control was how my brain handled that. They hadn't helped me understand what the tests were for, if I had known maybe I would have been more compliant at the time. Try talking to your daughter about her illness and the reason why the tests are so important.
If you or your daughter need someone to talk to about this, please PM me I'll be happy to help.
My thoughts are with you and your daughter.
Of all the therapies I use with phobias, including fear of needles/injections, I would always use EFT first - it tends to work really, really well for most specific phobias for most people - and children are especially good with it, it tends to work really fast with them.
Tapping bears are a great thing for kids too.
So I would suggest to find a qualified EFT practitioner in your area who has experience of working with children.
At the last blood draw, my daughter told me the next day that on the scale of 1 - 10, the actual pain for her was 2. She seems more bothered about nurses attitudes. Last time she was told....and she repeated this all to me, which I'd forgotten:
"You're wasting my time. I don't have to put up with you."
"It's my lunch hour, and you won't cooperate!"
"If you were MY daughter, I'd spank you!" - I gave that woman a very stern look with that one!
"I'll get the big lady to sit on you!" -and yes, there was a big lady there, but she was too nice to actually do anything and seemed very put off with the other woman.
There were some other horrible things said TO my daughter. Nobody was acting like a grown up. Seriously. I'm still tempted to even report their behaviours & attitudes. Very unprofessional!
The actual prick of the needle, she will sometimes gasp at and she doesn't like the elastic band. They will be using a butterfly needle as in the past. My husband will be bringing her in this time. He's bigger yes, but he's what I've always called "the gentle giant". He never threatens when it comes to health issues...he encourages and builds her up better than I can. Some say he spoils her. Not really. He just gets the job DONE! 🙂
It's good to hear that there are others out there with similar struggles. I had high anxiety with the dentist when I was a kid. Mom said, "for good reason!" he was a meanie, but now I've found a very gentle dentist, considerate and do an excellent job. The environment is soooo much nicer than I ever had as a kid. My anxiety levels have dropped big time when it comes to the dentist. My daughter had high fears of the dentist too, but has finally overcome it (for the most part) this year.
I'll definitely pick up an EFT book soon. I love reflexology as well and should try that on her for now. She may be going in tomorrow for the test. Praying it will all go smoothly!!
Have you heard of emla or amitop cream? It is a topical anaesthetic cream which works in about 20 minutes. If at the childrens hospital I can be 100% sure they will have it therefore if expecting blood tests mention it as soon as you get there and it can be put on in preparation.
I am a big wuss with needles because of difficult veins, despite being a midwife and i even had it when i had recent surgery to get the IV canula in.
I've heard of that and it was used the first time my daughter was suspected of having Graves disease. She'd initially broken both her arms & went to the hospital for that. The doctor there noticed her eyes bulging out (the disease can do that), ordered the numbing cream, then did the blood draw (with hubby's permission, of course). I'd been meaning to buy it, just keep forgetting.
Well, that's all done! Hubby took her in and she'd started doing the I'm scared thing, went to the washroom, then just put on the brakes. She did not want to go into the room. Then hubby said, ok....he swooped her up, sat down in the chair with her real quick, distracted her, another nurse held her arm while the other took the blood. Is was over super quick! 🙂
Told my daughter I'll still get her the numbing cream. She says, "Why? It's just a little pinch!" LOL.... NOW she wants to be a big girl! We go back in early November. Let's see how it'll go.... lol
Oh, and she was rewarded for it. Those rewards help alot!
Well, I'm glad she's feeling better about it now.
I can remember being the same myself when I was 13 and came down with a virus whilst in France. I had so many blood samples taken and they even let student nurses practice on me (missing the veins multiple times) that when I came back to the UK and had to go to my doctor for another test, I screamed the place down (my mum will remember it well!).
Since then I've done EFT, for myself and as a practitioner for other people, so needles are no longer a problem. Yes, they still hurt for a few seconds, but I haven't panicked or found it an issue any more when I've had to have it done.
You would be wise to look into learning EFT for yourself and your kids, as it's really simple to do and the basic techniques can be found for free and it works with all sorts of emotional and physical issues.
All Love and Reiki Hugs
sounds very much like the thing that was upsetting her was the way the nurses were behaving...so glad to hear it went more smothly this time.
You must take the serious step to over the problem that is founded in your 10 year old daughter. I am sure you are too much conscious about the health of the body then you must take the serious step to avoid the problem of your daughter.
I support Masha's advice to use for a child with similar problems - brilliant therapy! Children respond really well - find a practitioner [DLMURL="http://www.aamet.org/search/search-aamet-members-test.html"]here[/DLMURL].
I recommend Rescue Remedy.