Our brave boy

September 24, 2010 at 10:51 pm (Uncategorized)

We’ve spent a lot of time trying to prepare Andikpeme for his blood test. Our last attempt was not successful so we decided to give him a bit more time to try to prepare himself. By last weekend, he was asking me to please go get his blood taken. Despite our preparations and his optimistic attitude I was not confident he would be able to manage his anxiety in the room so my mom came along to help me with Ekaete. We went to the hospital where they have extra staff available who are used to working with children with significant fears and an awesome jungle room. Andikpeme appeared relatively calm and was able to tell them that he wanted to sit on my lap for the needle…this lasted until they pulled out the little band. I could feel his heart rate rising, his grip tightening, and the panic setting in. It was just a matter of seconds before my poor boy let out his ear-shattering screams. He clung to me and pleaded behind in his closed eyes and tears, “No mommy…don’t….no mommy!!!!” The staff was supposed to be used to this kind of thing, but I saw them exchange surprised looks. The needle was not even out yet. So he screamed and fought us with all of his might, but we eventually got him on that bed, pinned, and stabbed. It was heart-breaking. He was so scared he lost control of his bodily functions. My heart ached for him. I cannot even put into words the terror that he felt. As soon as the needle was in him, it stopped. He looked at the needle, looked back at me, and I was able to reassure him that that was it. He watched them feel the viles and took some deep breaths. It wasn’t the needle, the pain, or the blood. Pure fear. But it was another occasion that we were able to praise him for overcoming a major fear, another really challenging moment that he survived with me by his side holding his face through the pain, and walking away hand-in-hand. We are building a new schema, one in which he has a constant support system, one in which he survives something very difficult and is able to say, “It’s over mom. I did it”.

I would give anything to be able to take that little heart and head of his and take all of the pain away.



  1. Cindy said,

    Oh. So heartbreaking to read. Can’t imagine what it was like being there! Tell A that his friend little changstein (who doesn’t like needles) is really proud of him too!

  2. Liz Burgess said,

    Way to go A! It made me teary reading the post. Good job mom too.

  3. Lisa Poirier said,

    Way to go A (and Mom too)! You must have been so proud to hear him say “I’m ready.” As hard as these things are for our kids – it is hard on us to have too see them struggle. When I brought the boys to the Public Health office for their vaccinations, the hardest part for them was watching the other go through with it. Seeing them mourn for each other and not so much for themselves brought the nurse and me to tears too.
    And I just got caught up on your other news! Congratulations! I think if I were in your shoes I would have exactly the same feelings. Overall though, the kids will grow up blessed with another sibling. Nothing else makes the love of a family grow like the addition of a new member. : ) God has blessed you with children and luckily his blessings come as a package deal: they come with patience and courage and joy.

  4. Sandie said,


    I was teary as you paint just a real and emotional picture of the feelings attached to what most families think as routine. We you your life as a parent has not ever been routine, but you seem to navigate your way through is such a way that I am proud to know you and learn so much from you. Praying that the blood tests are all clear.


  5. Jess said,

    poor little guy… and strong mom to make it through too!

  6. Terri Ann Gaynik said,

    Mary…can you send me your email address? I want to send you an email…not 100% sure of it though…
    Luv T.A.

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