Medical visits have never been easy for my son. In fact, they remain extremely difficult. Nate absolutely hates going to the doctor. Since I can remember, every visit has been a struggle; one where I would leave the appointment crying, wondering when things would get better, also praying for grace to get through them all.
From the moment we would walk into the doctor’s office or hospital, it was as if Nate would transform into another person. He would become angry, as he grabbed my arms and hands to leave. I would sit him down and reassure him that things would be fine, however I was uncertain if that would be the case.
Once the nurse called us to the pre-assessment room, I would take a deep breath and hope that this visit would be better than the last. However, it would not, as Nate would start his normal routine of being uncooperative. He refused to allow the nurse to place the thermometer in his mouth. He wouldn’t stand on the scale and he would scoot down on the floor, not standing against the wall to have his height recorded. When it was time for a blood pressure reading, he would move, not allowing the nurse to place the cuff on his arm.
Nate’s behavior was the same with the doctor’s examination. He would move the stethoscope from touching his chest and back. When the doctor attempted to use tools to check his ears and eyes, he would push them away. When she tried to touch his body, he moved around, making it difficult to look at him.
Receiving immunizations and vaccinations were just as difficult. Nate needed to be restrained. When he was younger and smaller, it was easier to hold him down. I would sit him on my lap and hug him as the nurse would place each needle in his arm or leg. Afterward, he would whimper and cry, and I would coddle him, as I whispered that things would get better. Yet, they did not.
Instead, the older Nate became the more difficult it was to administer necessary vaccinations and immunizations. The nurses and I would have to restrain him. One person would hold Nate’s arms, torso, and legs, as he wailed and tried to remove himself from our hold. Then the nurse would quickly place each needle in his arm or leg, as Nate cried in agony. When it was all over, Nate would sit in the chair breathing heavily, while I cried, as I used alcohol wipes to clean the bloody scratches I received from my son.
The struggle to get through medical appointments went on for a long time. I tried everything to help my son to have calm doctor visits. I wrote a letter to the hospital asking for Nate to be sedated for each appointment, but my request was denied for safety concerns. I also asked his psychiatrist for medicine to relax him prior to each appointment, however it did not help.
Over the years, I have continued to seek help and be an advocate for Nate. I have also prayed for God’s grace to get through these difficult times and He has definitely answered my prayers. I have seen calmness in myself, especially when Nate was hospitalized after orthopedic surgery. I have also seen God’s grace it in a recent cardiology visit, where Nate’s examination went smoothly. Also, during a dentist appointment that didn’t go too well with Nate’s behavior, I trusted in God to get my son through that exam.
In a few weeks, there are two medical appointments for Nate. In the past I would be nervous, anxious, and fearful of what was going to happen. Yet, I refuse to allow those emotions to take over me anymore. Instead, I’m going to rely on the grace of God to get us through those medical visits.
We will get through!