Fear of Needles: The Bigger the Patient, the Faster They Fall

fearofneedles(This post was sponsored by The Blogger Collective)

Many years ago, I worked as a full-time registered nurse in a primary care teen clinic. We treated all kids who had gone through puberty; up through the time they finished high school. Let’s just say, I learned a lot!

I was one of two nurses who were there daily for eight years, so I felt I got enough experience with teenagers. Because of that I’ve advised my munchkins to skip that pesky adolescence phase because I don’t need to go through it again. And you know it’s all about me!

A vault of medical secrets and stories that would turn your stomach is hidden in my brain. So many that every once in awhile I have to sneak one out, making sure not to mention time, place or any detail that would go against HIPAA rules. This nurse isn’t going to be paying any huge fines or going to jail for a funny story!

While educating and immunizing these teens, I saw many types of phobias:
• The fear of bubbles.
• The fear of white coats.
• The fear of STD’s. (There should have been a lot more of that fear going round as often as I treated for them!)

However, Belonephobia (the fear of needles) was something I dealt with almost every day. Most of these kids had all of their immunizations when they were very young, so they didn’t remember what it felt like to get a shot.

So the first time I would come at them (nicely and gently, mind you), they would TOTALLY FREAK!! Teenagers would be climbing up the furniture or running away from me, screaming and crying. It was quite a site.

The majority of the kids, after getting their first shot of their teen years, would do much better with following shots. But there was a fair percentage, who truly feared needles.

Usually the bigger the patient, the more likely they were to pass out. Yes, pass out cold. If you have ever tried to catch a high school linebacker, you know it is comparable to stopping a sequoia from going down. Ain’t gonna happen!

It didn’t happen once or twice, but I started to notice that there was a pattern. There was nothing I could say to calm those football players down or alleviate their fear, so I just sat their tight ends in a chair by the wall and prayed they tackled the wall.

One day when a 6’4” young man, came in to get his tetanus booster I tried to talk him down from his anxiety.

“How can you play football, get tackled and beat up all over the field, and you are still afraid of a little needle?” I asked.

“I HAVE PADS ON!” he cried.

“I’ll wait for you to get your helmet and pads, if you think that will help,” I joked.

Two minutes later … I had an Offensive Lineman down in Room 4. Don’t worry, just step over him. He’s fine.

Back in the day, I wish I could have created a shirt to give as a prize if they would remain upright.

The “I survived my fear of needles tee shirt!”

A sticker and a lollipop weren’t going to cut it with these boys.

Hopefully, as these kids got older, their fear of being stuck with something sharp, would lessen. I’d hate for them to crash at the side of their pregnant wife getting an IV or her epidural. But I’ve heard stories about that too.

Things could be worse for them though. They could be afflicted with Zemmiphobia – the fear of the great mole rat. Now THAT phobia would be a pain in the butt!

Why tho thkared of me?

Why are you tho thkared of me?

If you enjoyed this, please join me on Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook. I promise not to talk about Great Mole Rats there!

Posted in Behavioral Issues, Laughing Nurse Story | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Need a Relaxing Stay-cation? Send Kids to Camp!

(This post is sponsored by The Bloggers Collective)

traditional soup cooking on fire in tourism pot
You are a couple weeks into summer with all your kids home 24/7, so you naturally start to contemplate going crazy as a good alternative, just so you can have a room to yourself at the psych hospital. Can you relate?!

The skilled parent (of whom I can only name on one hand) will have planned activities for every week, so that there aren’t constant whines of, “I’m bored!”

Come on! What would summer be without the soul wrenching cries of boredom?!

Yes, you could create a colorful and pinteresting board to proudly hang in your kitchen, to represent each child and their diverse educational yet entertaining summer activities.

Or you could send them to camp.

C-A-M-P. You heard me. Ship ‘em off to camp.

Ah…I can feel the muscles in my neck start to relax as I’m typing this.

What are the pros and cons of sending your children away for a week at camp? Don’t think I don’t got ‘em!

Pros of Camp:
1) You are sending your children away for a week at camp!!
2) It’s the perfect place for them to socialize with peers.
3) Supervised physical activity all the live long day.
4) Plus, it will give Mom and Dad a “stay-cation” for re-grouping – so that you can enjoy the remainder of the summer together as family unit. (aka no one will kill each other)

Cons of Camp:
1) You won’t have as much noise in your home.
2) Your home will remain clean while they are away.
3) No one will leave all the lights on, the door to the outside open or the refrigerator door ajar.
4) Or your kids might get homesick and sing the heart tugging, “I miss my Mama Blues.”

So in order to lessen the trauma for your little lovies, planning ahead for summer camp blues is necessary.

The American Psychological Association (Wallin & Palomares, 2012) reports, “About 90 percent of young people spending time away from home reported some sad feelings; 20 percent experienced moderate-to-severe homesickness; about 7 percent experienced debilitating levels of homesickness.”

That’s a heck of a lot sad letters heading home; and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be getting those tear-stained, guilt postcards in the mail. Even though this is absolutely normal behavior, it can be alleviated with a little preparation before they get on the big school bus heading down that dusty road.

Plan Ahead
Usually, younger kids who have never gone to camp are going to have the roughest time, but the majority of them will adjust quite well within two days. Therefore, a backup plan is in order:

• Even though it may be tempting, don’t solve your child’s problems. Assist them to figure out what will work for them. If it’s their idea, they will have better results. “If (blank) happens, then what will make you feel better?” Then wait for them to come up with a resolution.

• If your babes are missing home and weepy, help them preplan with something concrete so they can get through the difficult time. Developmentally they aren’t mature enough to figure out how to problem solve, especially when they are fragile or having feelings of insecurity.

• Sleepovers scheduled ahead of camp departure time can be quite helpful. Especially if your kid has only spent the night at home or Grandmas. Set this up with the other parents so at first you could call your child. Texting could also work. Then work up to no contact at another sleepover, so they know what it will feel like at camp.

If you aren’t a planner and your child fits in just great in new situations, you are lucky and won’t have to do anything but help pack their bag and show them to the bus door. However, this is rare. Revel in your child’s self-confidence and pray it continues into the hormonal teenage years.

And then just enjoy your time to yourself. That week will FLY by!!

If you need more help, here is a parents sleep away camp resource.

If you enjoyed this, please find me at Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. Love meeting new friends!

Posted in laughing nurse story, Summer | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

KC Live Mommy Panel Dishing on Pool Etiquette

Woman hand with cocktail glass near swimming pool

One of my favorite parts of the month is being able to join two of the funniest ladies in Kansas City on KSHB-TV’s KC Live! morning television show.

Usually, our lovely interviewer Michelle Davidson leads the way; but rumor was she either had some gig traveling with Cirque du Soleil or was headlining at the Branson Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede riding ostriches.

I think she deserved a day off because of her being fabulous and all; so the cutie patootie, Crystal – “just Crystal” – took over the reigns to discuss what us moms thought of pool etiquette.

We really could have talked about this topic for about 20 minutes more because Sherry Keuhl of Snarky in the Suburbs, Paige Kellerman of There’s More Where That Came From and I were on a roll.

I’ll let you check it out…

So I hope you and your loved ones have a safe summer and don’t forget to reapply that sunscreen!!


For more up-to-date chatting, please join me on Twitter and Facebook. Pinterest.

Posted in Kansas City LIVE, safety, Summer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

That Summer in NYC With No Air Conditioning

This post was sponsored by The Bloggers Collective

Chillin’ with My Boys in NYC

Do you remember that insane time I lived in New York City on the Upper West Side? You don’t? That’s too bad because I hoped maybe you could help me with some of the foggy details of my intoxicating year of job searches, auditions for Broadway shows, cabaret acts in smoky bars and the last few nights when I was kicked out of my apartment and forced to live in a crack hotel.

Hmm. I guess I do remember a bit more than I had thought.

Apparently, I didn’t push that nightmare far enough into the recesses of my brain.

Before the night someone was murdered outside my window at the crack house, I lived in a five-bedroom apartment off of 98th and Broadway. I haven’t been back there since, so I’m not sure if it’s as lovely as it was in the mid-nineties. But I sure hope that lifesaving bagel store on the corner remains in tact.

Each morning I would wake up on my way to look for some disappointing job in the musical theater world or head to a deadbeat temporary agency gig. Since the money wasn’t pouring in from my talent, I was luckily able to answer phones like a champ for some of the bigger fancier companies in the world.

Mr. Gates, I’m sorry we never met; but I’m regretful to inform you, just last month I switched over to your major competitor and I’m totally blown away by new fruity computer!!

So back to my favorite part of NYC, Lenny’s bagel shop. Oy! It was a schmear of ecstasy! Each morning, the regulars which consisted of ten older Jewish men and this little ole blonde, Kansas girl would converse in line about our bagels, the weather and where they would be vacationing for the summer.

I knew that many New Yorkers retired in Florida, in fancy places such as West Palm Beach, Jupiter Yacht Club and Boca Raton. But I had only been to Disney World once so I only imagined their homes by comparison to the infamous Jerry Seinfeld’s parent’s retirement community, Del Boca Vista.

These fabulous men introduced me to a whole new culture and humor; and convinced me to try lox, which I will be forever grateful.

One sweltering summer morning, I sprinted to the bagel shop. Usually I am not a sprinter. Or a runner. I’m more of a sitter, but at the time I was young, fit and hotter than a two dollar pistol. (That’s what he said!)

I didn’t want to show up to the temp agency schvitzing, but our air conditioner had gone out in the apartment, and I knew that Lenny’s would cool me off before I walked several blocks to the underground subway.

Later that night, one of my roommates contacted the owner of our apartment – the same ass lovely man who kicked me to the curb the night of the crack hotel debacle – and said we were in need of new air conditioner units.

Our landlord said we could go find a window unit at one of the thrift stores.


I’m supposed to go 10 blocks, pick up an old dilapidated unit, haul it up 3 flights of stairs and install it myself into a window that has real, live people walking underneath it?

That was just asking for a mini-series to be written about us. Now we did consider it for a moment though because we thought if we wrote the script and could hire ourselves to play the lead roles, we could earn a mint!

We begged this parasite of man to be upstanding and provide us with what we needed…human decency and a new air conditioner.

“Don’t you think we would save money on your electricity bill if we had a new, more efficient unit?” we asked over the phone.

“I’m not the one paying the bills! You are. Sounds like your problem,” he threw out in a snippy voice.

Actually, this wasn’t the first time our landlord had manipulated the five roomies. We were living in this rent-controlled apartment, not according to the building owner’s rules. If we bucked anything our “landowner” said, he would have had to get rid of his boarders (us) and we would be on the streets.

Yes, he was a gem, but I was young and stupid and finding a place to live in the city for $350/month was unheard of!! Ignorance is hot, hot, HOT!!!

So I bought a fan. It sucked. Or blew, rather.

But every morning for the remainder of the summer, I would run to my favorite place in the city to hang with my boys, chat over a bagel, dream of vacationing in Florida and just chill!

Have any of you had any wild roommate experiences? Or lived in in NYC in the summer? I would love to hear if you think that anyone in their right mind can survive the city without A/C! :)

Find me on Twitter and Pinterest too.

Posted in Sponsored Posts, Summer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer Myths of Poison Ivy, Mosquito Bites & Sunburns

(first posted on Nurse Mommy Laughs May 2013)

Are YOU as Smart as Your Pediatrician?

Welcome to the game show Are You as Smart as Your Pediatrician?! Today’s contestant is Dr. Bryan Wohlwend from Priority Care Pediatrics. Are you ready to see if you are as smart as this pediatrician by answering these questions regarding summertime? We’ll find out soon if you know your heated facts or are you just caught up in the tall tales of summer. Let’s begin.

True or False:
1) Poison ivy is contagious.

False. The poison ivy plant contains a chemical called urushiol that causes the classic blistering rash. Luckily, the rash doesn’t contain urushiol, so it’s not contagious at all. Clothing can have the urushiol, so you should make sure to wash everything that was worn at the time to prevent a re-exposure. But you can be comfortable knowing that the rash itself is not contagious.

2) You must wait one hour after eating before swimming.

Nope! There is no medical reason to wait. It used to be believed that having food in the stomach would deprive the body of oxygen and cause you to get severe cramps (and thus drown) if you went swimming after eating. This is not true. However, regardless of when your child last ate, close supervision while swimming must be the rule.


3) Scratching a mosquito bite will make it worse.

True. When a mosquito bites you, it injects saliva into your skin. This saliva causes your body to release histamine, which is the chemical that causes the redness and itching sensation. Whenever you scratch the bite, it causes the body to release more histamine and makes the bite even itchier.

4) Putting butter on sunburn will lessen the burn.

False. There is no evidence that putting butter on a sunburn lessens the burn. In fact, it could potentially increase the risk of infection. The best treatment for sunburn is to not get one in the first place! Make sure you are applying (and re-applying) sun block frequently.

5) Swallowing watermelon seeds is not harmful.

While I wouldn’t recommend eating a lot of them, accidentally swallowing a few watermelon seeds is usually not harmful for kids. And it definitely won’t cause watermelon plants to grow in their stomachs!

As always, please contact your medical provider with any questions.

So are you disagreeing with the pediatrician right now? Can’t believe some of these answers? Or are there other family tricks you have used forever that you know work despite what doctors have told you? I’d love to hear what works for you and your family!

If you enjoyed this and please join me on Facebook or Twitter. I love comments and getting to know folks! Indulge me…you can chat me up on FB or here on comments. You will be my favorite!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Posted in KC Parent Magazine, Kids health questions, Nursing tips, safety | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments