Thursday, April 19, 2012

What I learn from 'Alwani's visit to the skin specialist'.

Going to the hospital for any reason or even just going to the doctor for routine vaccinations isn’t fun for a child. Alwani was a happy lassy as we entered the hospital, she was determined to get rid of the big wart on her right thumb. She has complained a few times, saying that the wart made it quite uncomfortable for her to write and to use the colour pencils. 

But her happy facial expression changed dramatically when the MD pressed the wart with liquid nitrogen. A single tears at the beginning, then changed to a stream of uncontrollable cry. 

Alwani's wart after the treatment, before, it was triple the size.
For momsies, this is what I've learned from Alwani's get-rid-of-the-wart experience..

Don't Say "This Won't Hurt" When It Will

It is important for parents to tell the truth in an age-appropriate way without overwhelming your child. If you smile and tell her “This won’t hurt,” and then it does hurt, your child will have evidence that you lied and begin to wonder what else you’re lying about. You will have lost some credibility at a time when you need it the most. What I told her, 
“Alwani sayang, in a few minutes the doctor will press a cotton bud on your wart. On it, the doctor will put some very cold liquid called nitrogen. It will be very cold, and it will sting. I know you don’t want to, but there are no choices about that. But we need to get you well so that your thumb wont hurt when you write.'

Telling the Truth Without Scaring Your Child

Emphatise to your child who is sickly.  Offer her choices  in a loving tone. Here’s an example from our experience:
Ummi:  'Since you are putting a huge effort to be a brave girl, you have five/six other choices though.
  1. You get to tell the doctor when to begin. After saying bismillah and the count of three?
  2. You get to decide if you want to cry or not cry. Either way is fine with me.
  3. You get to decide if you want to squeeze my hand or squeeze the sheet.
  4. You get to decide if you want to keep your eyes open or closed while the doctor does her job.
  5. And you get to decide which flavor of ice cream you want when it’s all over.
  6. Or you might want to think of which book do you want to buy at the book shop. The princess colouring book, maybe?' (This keeps her calm until the doctor is ready to do the procedure.)
Make sure to bring activity & reading books during hospital visits. It takes a while....

Depending on the age of the child, I try to be truthful about the body, the medicine and how it heals, my way (and it might not be the best way scientifically! haha). I told Alwani that pressing the cold nitrogen will kill the root of the wart that is planted in her thumb, just like stomping hard on the roots of Ummi's mini roses (Yusuf just did exactly that a few days back). The doctor need to kill it so that it will dissapear and it will be easier and more comfortable for you to enjoy your colouring activities, insha Allah. Why not let a child use his or her imagination to do the same? After all, no one is better at using his or her imagination than a child.

Telling the truth and giving many choices allows a child to trust you enough to summon up her courage to better deal with the situation. Once courageous, she’s more likely to be empowered enough to do whatever is needed to get well, insha Allah.

Gambar hiasan, tiada kaitan dengan ketuat ataupun hospital, haha..: Alwani's home made birthday cuppies


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