When you're 5, and possibly have strep throat, you have fear. Not a fear of a painful throat, or high fever, or the fact that you have to miss summer camp. It's the fear of...the SWAB. You only have to get it once, but you'll remember it for a lifetime. Even if your first time was when you were 3. So this was my night last night. (Hence no post!)
I had to convince Jack of the following: A) it's okay to be afraid of the swab, but you still have to be brave, B) Even if you're not brave, you're still getting the swab because it's the only way to tell if you have strep, and C) Even if you're not brave, you're deathly afraid AND you understand that this needs to be done...there is no sense crying about it ALL night because (refer to B) it's still gonna happen. Whether you cry or not. Save your energy for fighting the doctors tomorrow. Boy I hope they have a few strong ones on duty. (It usually takes 4 adults to hold Jack for a finger prick...after which he usually utters, "Boy, that was hardly worth all the fuss eh?" ... as the doctors and nurses scurry off to dress their wounds and check for damaged private parts.)
Last night we had a trial run. I wet one end of a Q-tip and set up my pretend doctor's office.
me: Thank you for coming in today sir. How may I help you?
Jack: I have a sore throat.
me: Can I take a peek?
me: Ohhhhh look at how red your throat is. We'll have to do a swab. Is that okay? You look very brave.
Jack: I am brave! (then whispers) Wait, Mommy, are you really going to stick it way back in my throat?
me: I'll just do a little bit to show you how it tickles.
Jack: (opens up) Ahhhhhh.
me: Wider please.
me: Okay just a little tickle here (I swab the roof of his mouth)
Jack: That's it? That's all they will do?
me: Yep, that's it, you did it!
Jack: But their swabs are sooooo much longer! Ooohhhhhhh! (wringing of hands)
me: That's okay, it will just tickle a little further back.
Jack: Oh that's not too bad then. (he relaxes finally)
Next day. We're at the doctor's office. I'm signing us in while Dennis takes Jack in to sit down. I hear Jack start to cry. "Mommmmeeeeee" over and over as I try to finish up.
me: Honey, what's wrong?
Jack: Mooommmmmmeeeeeee! Mommmmeee!
me: (I pick him up on my lap) It's okay. You just feel yucky?
Jack: (nods) And I'm afraid of the, the, the swaaaab!!!
me: Remember it will only take 2 seconds.
Jack: But that's a veeerrrryyy loooonnnnggg tiiiiiiimmeee. Mommmmeeee!
me: You don't have to be scared. Remember how brave you were last night when we practiced?
Jack: Yeaaaaahhhh, but right now I'm just more scared than brave!
In the end, the nurse got Jack to open up and swabbed him before he even knew what hit him. Whew. It's not enough to just be sick by yourself. But when you have to be sick AND take care of a sick child, well, that's a whole other level of reserves that you have to pull from. Enough from me. I'm beat. My throat stlll hurts and I want to call my Mommy!