Today was Noah’s monthly trip to the hospital for his blood work. Because the medication he’s on for his localized scleroderma is powerful and has the potential for side effects, his blood has to be monitored. The hope when we began a year and a half ago was that there would be enough margin of safety in the results that he could eventually dial back the frequency to every few months, but unfortunately his results have been consistently borderline (on the safe side of the line, thankfully) that we’ve had to keep the frequency high.
Anyway, we’ve got it down to a routine. This keeps it predictable for him and gives him an air of control, and even somewhat special (he’s the only one of our kids allowed to play with my phone, and only when at the hospital; he gets a milkshake, stickers, etc., and his brothers are jealous – little things that are a big deal for a six year old). So today we walk in to the needle room and an older teen was on one of the couches getting prepped to have blood work done. He saw Noah and said something to the effect, ‘oh man, that little guy is going to be crying.’
Three of the four nurses immediately responded with comments like, ‘Him? No way, he’s the best at this.’ ‘Noah’s a tough guy, he never cries.’ ‘He always does better than everyone.’ I’m not sure, but I thought I saw Noah get a bit of a swagger on his way to his couch.
I was grateful for how they all pumped Noah up.
I was also sad that he’s there so often that in a hospital that treats people from the world over, and in the blood work lab where there is always a massive line of people and I can’t fathom how many they see in just one day, that most of the nurses know him and remember him.