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Big Guy’s big ouch not so bad after all

Submitted by on Tuesday, 12 August 2008 No Comment

“The only thing we have to fear is the fear of fear itself.

OK, so that’s not exactly the way Franklin Roosevelt put it. But he would have if he’d met Big Guy, who learned a lesson last week about fear feeding on itself.

I’d promised Big Guy he wouldn’t have to go through allergy testing again until the fall, but under the “”three barfs, you’re out”" rule, his bout of birthday sickness earned him an early trip. It was the third time he’d thrown up after eating hamburgers, and since nausea is one possible sign of a food allergy, I wanted to have him checked.

He’d actually looked forward to the trip, figuring the early testing would be worth it if he could go back on his burger binge. Plus, during our last visit, his allergist said he thought he could do scratch testing the next round and skip the blood work.

As a veteran of two rounds of scratch testing, I can tell you it’s no pleasure cruise. The process involves the doctor lightly scratching your skin and then dripping a drop of a suspected allergen on the scratch. When 60 of 65 allergens immediately move from suspect to convicted criminal, as happened in my case, you leave in a world of hurt.

Still, that sounded better to Big Guy than blood tests. A little scratch couldn’t possibly be as bad as that scary needle, he thought.

It became a moot point when the doctor ordered a blood test. He feared a scratch test would be inconclusive and he’d have to do a blood test anyway.

As much as we tried to talk over Big Guy’s head, ears that never seem to hear me say “”pick up your socks”" quickly picked up on the word “”blood.”" Wide-eyed panic gave way to tearful pleas that turned to stiff-legged resistance by the time we got to the lab.

When sweet persuasion and bribes failed, I defaulted to Stern Mom. “”Babes, we have to do this,”" I said, scooping him up and carrying him to the chair. Two phlebotomists rushed in, and I think I saw a crew in flak jackets on standby.

“”No, no, no!!!!!!!!!!!”" he shrieked as the needle approached. I held one arm, a phlebotomist grabbed the other and the third woman got ready to poke. “”NO!”" he wailed as the needle went in.

Then suddenly, dead silence. “”Hey!”" he exclaimed. “”That doesn’t hurt. It kind of tickles!”"

He eyes were riveted as three vials flowed out, and I have to give him props on that one. I’ve never been able to watch my own blood being drawn.

“”See?”" I said, hoping I didn’t sound too smug. “”Being afraid was the worst part, wasn’t it?”"

He nodded happily. “”It tickles.”"

Two days later, a splinter removal showed that he hasn’t completely grasped the lesson. But at least I didn’t need a SWAT team to get it out of his foot.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • Kids Allergy (author) said:

    The semi-annual letdown of allergy testing

    I’m a big