Sit Still and Deal With It
Tonight will mark exactly one week that I have been giving Cameron antibiotics through his PICC line for his Lyme Meningitis. Once I made it through the first night, I was much better.
My more self-assured attitude comes because of a few friends. Some of them assured me that I could do it, that I would have no problems. What reassured me most, however, was the input of my friend(s) in the healthcare field. Practical advice and the knowledge that I was doing things right, that I would not accidently kill my child, helped me to stay centered and just breathe.
Things were difficult for Cameron in the beginning as well. He had a hard time sitting still. He was scared that it would hurt. He didn’t want to leave his playtime. He just wanted to do what he wanted to do.
I have found that when I tell him to pay attention to what I am saying, and that it is very important, he will stop and listen to the best of his ability. Those are the key words: “Pay attention; this is very important.”
I simply explained to him that the thing in his arm is what he gets his medicine through. If he doesn’t get his medicine through that line, he must go back to the hospital and be put on the regular IV with the pole that he hated so much when he was there. We would then have to stay for a couple of weeks.
When I explain it in terms of what he wants and what he does not want, he calms down and does what I want. Simply telling him that everything is okay, or that he must do something does nothing to calm him. He needs for me to explain why it must be done and what the consequences will be if he does not do his part.
I believe that is the logical part of his brain kicking in. That part of him tends to override the emotional part.
In this situation, we are on equal terms. Neither one of us wants to do this, but neither one of us wants to be in the hospital either. When something must be done, regardless of our fears, we simply do it.
Sometimes he still gives me a problem about leaving his playtime and coming in for a 30 minute treatment. At those times, I might say something like, “Look, we have to do this, or you will end up back at the hospital.” When he says that he doesn’t want to go there, I might say something like, “Then sit still and deal with it. When that little black thing in the tube gets down to the bottom, we’ll be done.”
Having something to watch helps him to stay focused. It gives him hope that the 30 minutes will not last forever. He then has a visual aid.
On the first day of his home treatment, I had to tell myself similar things. “It has to be done, so I’ll just get down to it.” I started off counting the days ’til he was done with his treatments, but thanks to my friends, I’m no longer counting. I am more sure of myself. We will get through this.
I am including a picture of him in his hospital bed. As you will see, it was taken before his hair cut, so he has a mass of curls. We got his hair cut after he came home.