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Published January 09, 2012, 11:30 PM

Parenting Perspectives: There’s nothing worse than seeing your child in pain

I was probably a little naïve going into it.
Of course the last one went fine, even though he cried. The gal got it on the first poke, no problems. He got a Muppets sticker.

By: Kerri Kava, INFORUM

I was probably a little naïve going into it.

Of course the last one went fine, even though he cried. The gal got it on the first poke, no problems. He got a Muppets sticker. Well, he got a few actually, but don’t tell anyone. We walked out of there to find the sun shining on our faces and smiles came again, soon after. The tears were quickly forgotten.

This time was much more difficult. Not only had the gal I’d grown to depend on for my son’s blood draws drop the ball, but my son became much more difficult to restrain. We couldn’t hold him down with just one or even two people anymore. No, now it took a whopping four people to restrain and draw blood from his tiny little arm, searching and seeking for his tiny little blood vessel.

This painful process repeats itself every two months in order to check his calcium levels and maintain a level he can live with.

My son, Carter, who has a rare genetic disorder called Williams syndrome (WS), has high probability of getting Hypercalcimia (too much calcium in his blood). For some reason, people with WS absorb calcium at an extremely higher rate than the rest of us. Due to its rarity, it’s under-researched, leaving most of us who want to know, left to wonder and wait.

Left untreated, Hypercalcimia can cause body pains, kidney stones, and it could cause your heart to stop. That being said, we do the one thing we know how to do – sustain it with diet so he doesn’t have to undergo cumbersome Pamidronate infusions. It involves drinking as much water as possible to flush out the calcium and replacing regular milk with a special formula called Calcilo. Taking both of these steps is fine with us, it’s the blood check every two months that’s becoming more strenuous. (Although much less strenuous than the infusions.)

We’ve all been there. Sitting, standing, whatever position you find yourself in while your child is screaming in pain. I can name no other circumstances similar to that emotion. That feeling where your child is hurting and you, their No. 1 advocate, rendered motionless.

I sputtered some words, which I know he didn’t hear over his agonizing cries. I’m almost sure I just say them out loud because I know the staff members want me to say something. So really, I just say it for them because there is no reasoning with a child who is screaming in pain. Especially not mine who has special needs and doesn’t understand reason.

After all of that, Carter’s lab technician couldn’t find the vein. Let’s face it: We’ve been drawing blood from these little arms for all of his four years of life, since he was 5 weeks old. Isn’t it obvious by now? Would placing a stick-on tattoo with an arrow be going too far? I’m starting to think it would be appreciated.

Everyone says different things. Go to the main lab between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., because that is when the most experienced technicians are on duty. So we do. Believe you me, it is much more convenient to wait until Saturday, but we don’t do that in hopes to have a quick and (not as) painful blood draw.

Others suggest we try nitrous. Well, we’ve done that for other things and due to his short gag reflex, he made himself throw up. Still, I think we’re going to try that again, in addition to some cream to numb some of the pain.

I wish we could take away all of the pain. As parents, I’m sure we would all do that in a heartbeat.

Perhaps it’s that very pain we experience, as part of motherhood, that is the pain our mothers wish they could take from us as well.

Kerri Kava is the Newspapers in Education coordinator for The Forum. She can be reached at kkava@forumcomm.com.

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