I hate needles. I’m pretty tough myself, but I hate it when my children have to get “stuck.” Every time they need immunizations, I get a knot in my stomach starting the night before, and I want to just cry along with them in the doctor’s office. I can’t stand seeing my children in pain, even though I know it is best for them, and am so very thankful for the immunizations!
Because Matthew has Down syndrome, he also has to have yearly lab tests. People with Down syndrome have a higher chance of having thyroid dysfunction, leukemia, and other diseases, so he gets his blood taken once a year to make sure he’s healthy. I know he needs the tests, but I still hate the needles! This year, I asked his doctor for some EMLA cream (a topical anesthetic) to see if it would help.
The cream numbs the skin, but is a prescription and must be applied 45-60 minutes ahead of time – so it takes some planning ahead. When the technician first poked Matthew with the needle to draw his blood, he looked and acted like he didn’t feel it at all – didn’t even flinch! But, then she had to “dig” a little bit to find his vein, and he started to cry. It was short-lived, though, and the whole experience was much less traumatic (for both of us!) than I had anticipated. I think the EMLA really helped.
I thought I would share the EMLA idea with you other mommas, but I’m curious about your own experiences. What have you tried to make these experiences better or less painful? Has anything worked for you? What about immunizations? Micah’s 4-year old appointment is coming up (4 shots!!) and I’m already dreading it. Our doctor said the EMLA works well for blood draws, but doesn’t help very much for shots because the pain from the shots is quite a bit deeper.