Friday, October 30, 2009

No More Shots

In the last 6 months I have discovered a new phenomena with Lauren. In July we took her for her 4 year old well check. She got the usual vaccinations. About 30 minutes after we got home she appeared rather pale and green. I laid her down and gave her something to eat and after an hour or so she was back to normal.

A month ago I took her with me to get Noble's shots for his 4 month vaccinations. She and I were playing for a long time in the doctors office. She was excited to see Noble get his shots. After he did and as I was putting him in his car seat she walked out of the office and back to the front. I ran out after her as soon as I got Noble in his seat. She was walking funny like a drunk person and running into things. When I caught up to her she was crying a bit and saying she wanted to go home.

I wondered what was wrong with her? Did she suddenly get tired? By the time we got to the car she was as white as a ghost again -- no color to the lips. I had her lay down in the car and eat a pretzel. She perked up quickly and we were on our way. She told me that she didn't like seeing Noble get his shots because it made her "blind."

Yesterday, while I was feeding Noble breakfast we had Sid the Science Kid on the television. It was a show on getting flu shots. They skipped to a segment showing kids getting shots. Suddenly, Lauren started crying and hiding her face and telling me to turn off the show. I did quickly as I remembered her previous reactions.

I kept trying to get her to show me her face. When she finally did it was rather pale. Then her face got that dreaded look. I lunged to her and pulled her face around to be over the tile instead of the carpet and, as I feared, she lost her breakfast.

I got her in the tub and clean both of us up and she felt much better. She told me she didn't want to watch that show anymore. She said "I don't like shots. Shots make me puke." By the end of her bath she was back to her normal giggly bubbly self.

I am going to have to be more careful, I suppose. I am not sure why this fear or fainting at the sight of shots has come on. She has been with me when I have gone to get my blood drawn when I was pregnant.

Has anyone else out there dealt with this? And if so, how do you deal with it when you do actually have to get a shot or see someone get a shot. Right now this seems like a "quirk" to me. But down the road I can see how this could be a rather big hinderance in your life to not be able to get or see someone else get a shot without fainting or becoming sick.

22 comments:

Hazel & Ruby said...

I am a new reader to your blog, though I don't remember how I came across it. Anyways, I have dealt with this problem since I can remember. Any time a needle is stuck in me I either blackout or vomit. I cannot look when my daughter gets shots. I have to really concentrate on my breathing during shots or having blood drawn, which tends to help. I also ask if I can lay down during the shot or blood work which helps the most. I would not describe my problem as a fear of needles, it just seems to be an automatic reaction. Hopefully this is not something your daughter will deal with forever, but if it is I am sure she will find "tricks" that help.

Marcie said...

I am a long time reader, but also have never commented. BTW...You are a wonderful writer. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Anyways....My 7 year old always gets sick and has even fainted after shots. He is not nervous or scared of gettin them but within 3-5 minutes after he passes out and throws up. Within 1/2 hour he is fine and bouncing around. The doctor was in the room once, giving my daughter her shots and just said that son builds it up in his mind and stresses so much over it. He did say he couldn't see once, then threw up. If you figure it out, pass on your wisdom.

Jed and Kaydence said...

Sometimes the shots themselves can make your child sick. Perhaps she is allergic to something in the shots. Read all the ingredients. Preservatives included. It's easy to associate shots with something psychological going on with the child, but it could very well be something physical.

Tiffany said...

Long time lurker, first time comment. I am 30 years old and have had this "vasovagal syndrome" for as long as I can remember. It has been a terrible hindrance for me. I remember very clearly, the first time I fainted. I was in 3rd grade and we were talking about blood. And since that day I have fainted, vomited, had panic attacks countless times. Jr High was awful-required health class. Over the years I have learned my own little tricks to try and calm my brain before a blood draw or shot or even going into a hospital to visit someone. And having children was my biggest fear, but I made it out alive! Twice! I am the extreme I'm sure. Many people get anxiety from this type of thing and deal with it fine. Hopefully, your daughter will be an easy case.
http://heartdisease.about.com/lw/Health-Medicine/Childrens-Health/Vasovagal-Syndrome-Vasovagal-Syndrome-in-Kids.htm

Kelly said...

Stephanie:

I have followed your blog for a LONG time now and have yet to post. This particular post spoke to me as I have a younger sister who is 17 and deals with this. From my experience it isn't a "quirk" but an physiological reaction that can't be controlled. My sister has been like this since she was Lauren's age and it has been a definite obstacle in her life. Her's started with shots and the sight of blood but it has expanded to many other things. She still can't put a tampon in and nearly passes out every time she has tried. She explains it's the idea of it that makes her literally pass out. She fainted at the dentist when she recieved a numbing shot, and blacks out or "goes blind" as Lauren says often. We can't talk about shots, doctors or blood without her turning green and having to lay down. I hope Lauren's doesn't get this severe and I really worry about my sister giving birth in the future, and all that intails. My only thought would be to be sympathetic to Lauren, in that I really don't think she can control it at all. IT's just the way her body responds, as strange as it is! :) Your children are beautiful, your words are inspiring. Keep writing! :)

Hazel & Ruby said...

After posting my first comment I was talking to a friend who is a nurse about the topic. She said that there is often adrenaline added to shots and that often times is what people have a hard time handling. In cases such as numbing medicine at the dentist, she said you can ask for the medication that they give heart patients which does not have the adrenaline in it. This might be something to talk to your doctor about the next time your daughter gets any shots.

by: Kim said...

I have dealt with this problem for years. I have to get my blood drawn every 6 months and each time it takes me about 2 weeks to get up the nerve to do it. The thing that helps me is that I have to concentrate on something and never look at the needle or the blood. (Even if it is on TV). I either watch the clock or look at a picture or a poster in the room. I look around and find something that I can count or that will distract me. When I was younger I would pass out. Now if I concentrate on something then it seems to help me get through the queezy and black out part. I even have to do this when I take my kids to get shots.

Good Luck I hope you find some technic that will help her.

shanan said...

Poor little Lauren ...

This is the story of my life :( Me, blood, and shots just don't go well together.

Closing my eyes or not looking at the needle/blood definitely helps. And strangely enough, if I can keep my forehead cold (with a cold cloth - or lying on a cold floor), the queeziness seems to subside quickly.

Lucky for me, it has gotten better with age. But, I've definitely got some good fainting stories to tell!

Lena Baron said...

This is no fun at all! My son has this problem too. Luckily it isn't as extreme as it seems for others. We call it his low pain threshhold because he passes out from pain as well. But the second he sees blood coming from his body he's sick. Shots are the same. The very best thing we've learned is to have him lay as flat as possible. He can't faint that way. Also airflow and a cold rag. It is a very real thing. It's hard for me to understand sometimes. But my husband experienced it as well and has learned to cope throughout the years. Good Luck!!

Amberly said...

stephanie, I'm not sure if you're familiar with energy work, but I think this issue is a generational one for your daughter. it's been passed down and can easily be cleared. if you're interested, I'd be happy to help. more info can be found at www.amberlyrobinson.com good luck to both of you!

James and Sarah Narramore said...

I agree with the other comments that I've read. I also think that maybe she could be associating shots, needles or the doctor with what happened to Camille. It might be making her nervous for what might happen to her. I would just ask her why the shot make her sick why she is so scared of them and go from there.

Karen said...

I agree with James and Sarah, Maybe it only affects her when children have them because it's something to do with Camille and that's why she wasn't bothered when you had them in pregnancy. She might not even realise the connection it may be subconcious. Perhaps a blessing would help. Other than that I'm clueless, sorry.

Anonymous said...

Wow- everyone's comments are good! So many things it could be. But, yes, I do wonder about the Camille connection. Not to be graphic, but did she happen to see Camille after the accident or getting treated by the paramedics? I especially wonder that since of late she has been missing Camille so much. Bless her heart, Stephanie. And bless you. What a wonderful, loving mother you are! I'm sure however you handle it will be the "right" way! P.S. And I agree a blessing can only help :)
-JLynns (I would have signed in but I forgot my password!?)

Lindsay said...

I have dealt with this my entire life - but not as extreme as others have discussed. In my head, I have no issues with having blood drawn or receiving a shot, but once I am in the situation my rational self disappears and my irrational self takes over.

Things that have helped me are eating prior to the experience (but this works for me because I don't vomit in relation to shots/blood draws - I just get very anxious before, and faint after), warning the person that they need to move quickly (the more time the spending "prepping" the more my anxiety level rises (and the really good nurses are really good at this)), laying down during and for a few minutes after the shot/blood draw and remembering to breath normally.

One piece of advice I can give you is to be understanding and supportive of her. My mom has zero such issues, and used to act like I was being rediculous, irrational, etc., which just caused me to feel worse when I couldn't do anything about it. I would try to "keep control" so she wouldn't make me feel bad which just caused my anxiety to rise more.

M said...

Hi Stephanie, I have been lurking on here for quite a while.

I hope you dont mind, but I had awarded you Blog of the Week on my blog. You have inspired me and many others, and I want to share you with my friends.

RhondaLue said...

Poor little thing!

I don't think it's adrenaline or anything IN the shots because she felt that way and got sick even just watching it on tv. Some people just don't do well with that stuff. I used to have no sympathy for them. I'd feel like, "gimme a break, it's quick and not that big of a deal!" but after hearing Lauren's experience I have a new compassion for those feelings and how they truly are PHYSICAL. I'm a lover of medical stuff so all of it is interesting and cool to me...but I will have a new way of looking at it now. So sorry she's got to deal with that. :(

MM said...

Tiffany described it exactly... My 14 year old has this same reaction to anything traumatic.. he cut his thumb on a can.. passed out on my floor. Got a tetanus shot a few months later... close to the same reaction in the doctors office.. as long as he sits down and relaxes.. he's good.

Asked the doc about it.. she said it's common.

KathyL said...

My dad always passed out, I used to pass out, and now my daughter will go faint. We just know our weakness and prepare for it by making sure we are sitting and someone is near by. Sorry your little one is bothered so much.

kerstinl said...

I second Tiffany - sounds like your little girl has vasovagal syndrome! I have had vasovagal syncope since around the 3rd grade. But it has really not been a hindrance to my life, in the scheme of things. I am currently on a beta-blocker to prevent my body from passing out, as I stopped breathing during fainting episodes around my senior year of high school. Generally not a good sign, to stop breathing. I have had to lie down during blood work and shots for years, as well as have a snack after to elevate my blood sugar and blood pressure. Caffine works really well, too. I also cannot think about 'gross' stuff without getting woozy or fainting (I generally have to excuse myself from discussions about the Holocaust).

One thing to take caution about - bright lights, being hot, standing or sitting too long may also cause her to pass out! I have passed out during hair appointments, as well as singing during childhood class concerts. For me, it started out with blood work, then progressed to bright lights...

Good luck!

Janet Nordine, MFT-Intern said...

I wonder if there is a correlation between her seeing / getting shots and any memory of seeing Camille in the hospital with any equipment hooked to her. The shot could remind her of the hospital and the memory of what happened to her baby sister, which may be causing her anxiety, which can cause the symptoms you are describing. It may help her to see a professional for childhood anxiety.

Christine said...

This started with my daughter when she had her shots before kindergarten. She didn't cry, but a few minutes after the shots she turned white and felt nauseated. She laid down for awhile, and then when I was holding her she threw up. She is now 19. She still gets pale and dizzy, clammy and nauseated with medical procedures. It has even grown to include discussing medical procedures or some body functions. High school biology was a trick to get through. I have to be very positive and light and talk her through things. Even though some doctors think they are helping to describe what they are doing (even eye exams), that makes it worse. I would tell her what was going to happen when we were at home, but once at the doctor she was better to talk about other things and focus elsewhere. Laying down for awhile after would help her blood pressure and coloring normalize. It is always handy to have a cool wet rag to put on the back of her neck. We found a female doctor with a very kind voice and understanding manner. My daughter loves her and is confident in her..she wants her to come up to college and take care of her!

rebecca said...

Stephanie - I was diagnosed with visavagal too and have plenty of funny fainting stories. My doctor told me years ago that it was my bodies reaction to something uncomfortable - mostly blood related. I honestly think it's all about the power of your mind. When I am having blood drawn or see blood I try and control the thoughts in my mind. We've had blood gushing accidents and I've delivered 4 children just fine so it's manageable but it is a real thing. Lauren will probably not go into medicine though:)