TalkTools

Anna had a medical procedure May 5, where she went under anesthesia.  I flashback to the day that she was born and how she had to be whisked away and on the 2nd day of life how she had to undergo a major operation.  She had 3 surgeries and 5 hospitalizations all within the first year of life.   Those days were a blur from lack of sleep.  Since that time, fortunately, she has had simple surgeries and now this procedure, but nothing as major as what she had when she was first born.  Still, each time is always a worrisome time filled with some anxiety and prayers of “no complications please”.  I think that is normal for all parents.  You also, of course, feel sad for your child in preparing for their procedures-further tests or not being able to eat or whatever else they might have to go through prior.  Yet, still, it is so amazing to me- she is such a champ!  I have 3 children, and although she has endured the most, “medically” speaking; she truly was my “easiest” one to “handle” all of these events.  She is actually quite stoic.  If I had one insight as to how she came to be “this way”- besides her naturally, happy, good natured temperament, I have to say that she does much better when there is a “preparation” for her, although, this would apply to all children without a doubt.  What might that look like for Anna?  I would say that communicating about what is going to happen in a matter-of-fact way is probably the best approach.  I remember when Anna had a sleep study- although not painful, all the wiring could be intimidating to children, and so, I shared lots of pictures and told her what she could expect, and this definitely paid off in the end.   It can be a very simple explanation. For example, for tomorrow’s procedure, I basically told her more than once, “we are going to the hospital, nothing will hurt, they will put a mask on your face, like an astronaut, and then, you will fall asleep, and when you wake up- mommy will be there.” o I knew she understood me thankfully though because when grandma asked what will happen at the hospital, she said with a huge smile on her face, “I put mask n, I sleep, I wake up, and see mommy!”   Good enough for me, we will see how she does, but I’m optimistic.  Nowadays, thanks to the children’s hospitals, there are play therapists or child life specialists who also explain things prior to procedures and this is definitely proven to help.

 

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