Climbing Boulders, Tripping on Pebbles

September 11, 2015

This morning Robert had a blood test at Quest Diagnostic.  Nobody was in the waiting room when we arrived.  Robert waited patiently until I registered him.  He bravely stretched his arm and watched attentively as the phlebotomist prepared the syringe and two vials.  The muscles on Robert’s face were tense, and they bulged slightly when the needle pierced his skin. Nothing else. Robert  waited calmly until two vials filled with the  dark red substance. Everything went so well.

I was so proud! It is true that the last two blood drawing went equally smoothly. I remember, however, the times when three people had to keep Robert to prevent  his limbs from kicking, twisting, hitting, and moving in all possible directions so the blood could be drawn or allergy shots could be given.  I knew how scared he was then, years ago.  So I also knew how brave he tried to be this morning. It was an achievement. No doubt about that.

So I was proud.

Until I heard  Robert’s loud protests, “NO, NO! NO!! NO!!!! The event that induced such strong objections was simple. The phlebotomist tried to give Robert two extra Band-Aids, because the one he had already became loose. It was my fault as in the morning I put lotion on Robert’s arm making his  skin was too slippery for the glue to stick to it.  That was a reason the thoughtful phlebotomist offered two extra for later.   Unfortunately,  Robert has very strict rules about NOT taking anything from one place to another. Taking two extra band aids was out of the question.  They were, after all,  the property of the lab and they could leave the lab only as a part of the complete procedure – attached to the pierced vain.

The “No, no, no” was loud, sudden, and thus very scary.  I apologized and explained, but it was clear that Robert’s protests left some aftertaste on everybody in the lab.

It was not the first time that Robert was able to handle the  painful situation with  great maturity and understanding, but fell apart when small things were out-of-place.

A few years ago, while the dentist was fixing his teeth, Robert used the first moment when the drill was out of his mouth to jump out of the dentist chair. We all – dentist, dental assistant, and I -were in shock convinced that Robert would run out of the building in state of great animation.  He, however,  in a fraction of the second,  reached the drawer next to the sink. It was slightly open.  Maybe quarter of inch. Robert closed it and then calmly returned to the dentist chair ready for the next phase of drilling.

 

 

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