Look Away

In his short life, Junior has been to the doctor and has been poked and prodded more times than I can count.

His first PKU screening in the hospital took 20 minutes and was so bad I almost demanded the tech stop bending his foot so hard to squeeze out enough blood. But we survived.

In the ER I left the room when he got his IV. I left my husband to take care of him while the nurse found a vein and I’m told he barely made a peep.

At the pediatric urologist, I stood by and tried to comfort him the best I could while a catheter was inserted and X-rays taken of his kidneys. He was so brave, swimming in the too big hospital gown, adorned with pink elephants.

Last Friday I sweated and almost cried as I watched a phlebotomist and a NICU nurse attempt to find a vein to draw enough blood for multiple tests. I sang songs and tried to soothe him while he was pricked not once but three times and in the end there was barely enough blood drawn to run the tests. He cried but recovered faster than me.

Today I left my baby with the doctor while he underwent a procedure to fix his tongue tie. I just couldn’t be in the room while he was hurting. The nurse wrapped him up and the doctor did the procedure while I stood outside the door. He cried for less than 30 seconds. I felt terrible that I couldn’t be there for him.

Next time I vow to be braver but today I had to look away.

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