How to “Ease the Ouch”

For this post we referenced the January 2012 Parents magazine and an article on page 22 called “Ease the Ouch”.  Since my youngest was due for his check-up and vaccinations we decided to try out a couple of the suggestions given by Stefan Freidrichsdorf, M.D. of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

We ventured into our trusty Pediatric Associates building to see our N.P. (Nurse Practitioner) who I have to admit is the BEST pediatrician we have EVER had!  Out of all the ped’s I’ve had for my oldest (now 12) in Seattle, Chicago and Boulder there is something different, something very special about having your child seen by a nurse rather than a doctor.  In my opinion they just have more personality, more compassion and relate on a human level much more than a person trained in triage and reactionary medicine.  WE LOVE our NP, and always take her realistic advice to heart even with this Parent’s magazine article.

Anyways… I asked her nurse who does the measuring and preliminary write-up about the first question from the article… something I’ve never done with either boy, to use a “numbing cream” prior to injection which Dr. Friedrichsdorf recommended asking the office about.  “I don’t know… I’ve never had anybody ask for such a product” our nurse answered.  So we needed to ask our NP’s advice on this one.

While we waited my little one decided to move the doctor’s chair around the room…

Then he decided to move the foot stool around…

Then of course the lights needed to be tested…

Ah… the toddler years are precious in expanding knowledge, that is for sure!

So what was our NP’s reaction to our “numbing cream” question?  “We don’t usually recommend those type of products” she said.  Her resolution was a more natural and realistic one… “I would just try numbing the spot with a bit of ice prior to the shot” so she brought in an ice pack for us.

I decided to use another trick mentioned in the article, to “speak calmly” before and during the shot.  Between trying to keep the ice pack on his leg, keep his hands clear of the shot and talking about all the fun we were going to have, mommy’s hands were plenty full!

The next thing you know… VOILA!  The shot was over and done and we ended with only one little whimper out of my youngest.  I praised him afterward commenting on what a brave boy he was!  He checked out his Bugs Bunny bandage and I kept up the praising talk to distract from any residual pains.

There you go, one suggestion in the Parents article didn’t work for us (the numbing cream) but we did end up walking out of the office with just one little whimper, a bandage and a couple of new (realistic) tricks for easing the ouch, ice and using calm, positive language.


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