Sunday, February 2, 2014

Discussion Time: Handling difficult doctor visits

Discussion Topic: Tips for coping with difficult doctor visits.

Top Recommendations: Elma Cream, finding the motivator, social stories

Clare wrote: Hi, can anyone help - the last few visits to doctors, dentists etc have proved very difficult with my daughter. She needed to have her booster jab yesterday but no amount of bribery could persuade her. She's 15 now so holding her is now no longer an option. Any ideas?

Continue reading to see the full list of ideas.

Amy suggested: The key is finding the one thing that would motivate her, and that's such an individual thing -- plus as you've discovered, it changes over time. With our son (now 11yo), he needs a sense of control over the situation. So we let him tell us exactly where to cut his hair, for example (top, front, sides). For a blood draw, he gets to play the part of the patient, while he/she plays the part of the nurse -- because he loves being onstage. You know your daughter so well -- maybe you can think of how to work in one of her favorite things -- not afterwards but during.

Diane said: You may have to talk to your family doctor and they can prescribe a mild sedative. It should relax her enough so they can give her shots, etc...

Hanna commented : My daughter has an immense phobia with needles. She passes out, vomits and shakes violently. I now take my daughter to a dentist that offers sedation dentistry - I was very tentative at first, however there are multiple forms of sedation and we found one that makes us all comfortable and able to have any dental procedures. We also have found a dentist who doesn't scoff and mock her for her fear. We also have had to pursue a mild sedative for any bloodwork - my daughter has been much more prepared to go when needed.

Debbie asked: Have you tried emla gel? It's great

Amy agreed: EMLA works very well!

Brenda suggested: Emla's a cream you put on the injection site and it numbs it. My son has a baclofen pump implanted into his stomach. (This is for his tight muscles from cerebral palsy). He gets his pump refilled every 3-4 months and we use the Emla cream every time. No tears and no worried for either of us anymore. I put it on an hour and a half before the refill. I also am generous with the amount. I put the cteam on, then a Ziploc bag fit under a extra large bandaid. The bandaid holds it in place.

Colleen thought: Maybe social stories about how the dentist and doctor are there to help her. If she understands what to expect it may be better. Shots are not fun or easy for any kid. Good luck.

We are still in the stage where it is possible to hold the kids down for vaccinations and blood tests, and thankfully we haven't had to go through this too many times.  However, I can see this being a problem when Chatterbox gets bigger.

Around a year ago, we had to have a whole raft of blood tests done for Chatterbox.  We found it helpful to go to the pathologist first with the referral and talked to them about Chatterbox and her needs.  They were able to suggest a time when we could bring her in that was normally quiet and when two staff members would be available.  They were also able to have everything ready so there was less waiting when we turned up.  They were very good with Chatterbox when she came, explaining to her that it had to be done, and it would hurt but that she couldn't move -- she could cry, but she couldn't move.  They gave her as much control over the experience as possible, mainly over where she wanted to be for the test.  After the blood test, she was given a bravery certificate and a teddy bear.  Sometimes talking to the doctor, dentist, etc before an appointment can make a big difference, while sometimes nothing you do or say takes away that fear of needles.


Odd Socks Mummy was thinking that Giggles would settle straight into big school -- having two time outs on the first day is making her have a serious rethink.  Hopefully this week is better!

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