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There Will Be Blood (Tests)

posted Tuesday August 17th, 2010

They took Sophie’s blood last Friday. It made quite an impression. After a false start with a less-qualified tech (and some screaming), a very kind woman named Alice coaxed Sophie into the chair and before either of us knew it, had the blood flowing.

That’s a gift. So’s the connection this lady made with my little girl.

Two days later, Sophie had a question from back seat. (She’s full of questions these days: during that particular car ride she also wanted to know “how they make” cars, seat belts, paintbrushes and toothbrushes. And she was not at all satisfied with the answer “In a factory.” I had to promise to look it up on youtube. I love that the “make” lightbulb has clearly gone off over her head, but given my own dim bulb status, it’s going to take some effort to explain such things. Thank goodness for my know-it-all husband.)

“Mommy,” Sophie asked, “What’s the name of the person who took my blood?”


“No! What’s the name of the person who took my blood?”



This went on for a few blocks til I finally caught on.

“Um, you mean a phlebotomist?”

“Yes! That’s what I be when I grow up!”

I got a good chuckle out of the misunderstanding, which was good because I wasn’t laughing much over that topic, this past weekend. I’ll spare you the details, but in a nutshell I had a panicked message from the pediatrician’s office Saturday morning, informing me Sophie’s glucose was low and that Sophie must fast and we must report for more tests Monday at 8:30 a.m. The tech (not my beloved Alice) promised to call back with more details. She didn’t.

So by the time I received another message — after the second blood test, informing me that Sophie must seen an endocrinololgist, immediately! — I was completely convinced my kid was diabetic.

Turns out, after several more phone calls (including one in which a pediatrician — not my own — announced cheerfully, “This was sure a comedy of errors!” before bothering to share any news regarding my kid’s health) I learned that Sophie’s thyroid is off, somewhat. She is not diabetic. The thyroid thing is something all parents of kids with DS dread and expect, so while I wasn’t thrilled I was on more stable ground by Monday afternoon, and trust me, that pediatrician will never tell the worried-sick parent of a potentially-sick child that anything is a “comedy of errors” again. 

(The woman actually wept on the phone. And then I had to comfort her. My sister the social worker suggests a different profession for the pediatrician.)

I do feel badly for making someone cry, and worse for worrying myself sick. There’s plenty more to worry about on the horizon, I know that. There will be more blood tests.

For now, Sophie is enthralled, and will submit happily. The other night we played phlebotomist for an hour before I finally had to tell her to stop with the cotton ball and the big rubber band. Some day, she won’t be so thrilled. I hope Alice is around for a long time.

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Tags: Filed under: Down syndrome, Uncategorized by Amysilverman

5 Responses to “There Will Be Blood (Tests)”

  1. I want to know the secret to such a calm and sweet Sophie during blood draw. I mean, BESIDES Alice.

    Ugh to insensitive doctors.

  2. sophie can practice on me! we’ll have fun.

  3. ditto what Maya said — the idea that I could take pictures during a blood draw is unfathomable.

    as for tactless Dr. Weepy. she needed to learn that being flip is not cool. at all. you shouldn’t have had to tell her, but I’m glad you did.

    most importantly, I hope Sophie’s okay. I’m glad it’s not diabetes, but any health thing sucks.

  4. p.s. I forgot to make a “mama grizzly” joke in my comment.

  5. She is so brave! I hate needles, always have- one of those kids that needed ten people to hold me down crazy like. Kayli needs a lot of coaxing to tolerate it but she can manage okay- not with Sophie’s grand aplomb!

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