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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Should I create a "pain allowance"?

Since October, Peter has taken allergy shots every week.  Poor kid is allergic to pollen, dust, grass, dogs, cats, cockroaches.  Basically if you can be allergic to it, he is.

He takes Zyrtec in the morning, Singular in the evening and Advair twice a day to control his asthma.  That's a lot for an 8 year-old which is the main reason we decided to do the allergy shots.  The hope is that after a couple of years, they will have worked their magic and he won't have any  more allergy symptoms and can stop taking all of the other medication.

However, he has to take three shots each time we go.  THREE!

That's a lot of shots.  And he is a pretty thin kid, scrawny might even be a better word to describe him, so it's not like there's a lot of meat for the needle to go into.  So I bribe him with Dunkin' Donuts every Wednesday and things have been o.k.  He has never really given me a hard time.

Until recently.  A couple of weeks ago they went up another level on his dosage...after one set of vials is completed they move on the the next which I believe is a higher dosage.  Anyway, once they moved up to the red vials he started giving me a hard time about going.  (He didn't seem to have a problem the other times we moved up.)

And yesterday, I practically had to drag him from the car.  And once he got into the lobby I had to practically drag him into the waiting room.  And once they called his name to go back into the booth for the shot, I had to give him my mean momma face to get him to go back.  Had there not been 30 other people in the waiting room, one of which is a boy he knows from church, he probably wouldn't have gone without creating a scene.

And then when the nurse was giving him his shots, he started crying.  Not just one or two tears but lots of tears.  He has shed a couple of tears once or twice before but  never very many and they only lasted a second.  But these tears seemed different.  I could tell there was real pain associated with these shots and I am assuming it is because of the higher dosage (maybe they are having to inject more and its taking longer/hurting more)?

So today I have been toying with the idea of paying him every time he gets his shots.

Would that be sending the wrong message?  I've never done anything like this before so I'm not sure if  being compensated for his pain would make him a little more willing to go (perhaps even look forward to going) or would I just be creating a kid who expects to be paid every time he has to deal with something hard/complicated/painful in life?

Input, suggestions, thoughts are appreciated.


Mari said...

Poor Peter! That's a lot to deal with, for both of you.
I don't know what to say though. I can see both sides of this. Could you do something other than money - like take him somewhere fun afterwards? I'll be interested to hear what he says.

Mari said...

Aaah - I meant, I'll be interested to hear what you decide!

Grandma T said...

Maybe if you stopped the shots for a while to see if he can do without them. Give him a break for a month and see what happens. Always, pray for healing.

Kimberly said...

Hmmm...that's a toughie. I can totally see both sides of the coin. You don't want him to depend on a tangible something when things get tough, but a Momma hates to see their kids in pain. Maybe ask him what makes this different than in the past, especially if he's noticed the change in color of vials means a different dosage. "I've noticed the red shots upset you..." and see what he says. Then take it from there. Seems like you could do something because this isn't something he is choosing to's for his health. If you can get flavored medicine to disguise the medicine taste, surely you can do something special to ease his (and your) pain. Let us know what you decide to do! Praying for you both.

A. Nonny Mouse said...

I have a couple of thoughts.

First, you might mention to the nurse/doctor/someone that he is starting to struggle with the shots. I remember when I was getting allergy shots my arms would hurt after the shots happened. Could the same thing be happening here? Could a pre-allergy-shot dose of ibuprofen help reduce the pain associated with the shots?

And then as Kimberly said, talk to him. See what he says. Ask him what he thinks, especially with an explanation of why the shots are happening and how the future benefit might look, assuming all goes as planned. Maybe the two of you can come up with a viable reward for successful shot deployment.

Good luck! Getting your kids to willingly take a shot is no easy task. Poor buddy.

Shannon said...

I just happened upon your blog from tip junkie (checking out your Halloween pizzas from a few years back!) and I happened to read this post. I used to get allergy shots. I was a bit older. About 12 when I started. They do hurt sometimes. Especially when the dosage is higher. But you kind of get used to it. That said, bribe or don't bribe. Whatever works. But do keep having him get the shots. It has changed my life! I used to walk around holding a box of tissues (not so cool in 8th grade!) because I had to blow every couple of minutes! Now I hardly ever have allergy issues. (I stopped getting shots earlier than I should have, so it could be better, but it is nowhere near what it used to be!) So stick to being "mean mommy" and eventually your son will thank you! Happy bribing! :)

Anonymous said...

I had 16 teeth pulled (over a few years) as a kid when my baby teeth wouldn't fall out, and my parents paid me $10 per tooth so I would show up at the dentist without making a scene. (This was back in the 80s, when $10 bought more ;) )

I used the money to buy a new bike. In retrospect, my parents would have gotten me one for Christmas otherwise, so they probably broke even.

If it makes you feel better, you might also be teaching him that some money is hard-earned and it should be spent wisely.

jennwa said...

I have been thinking about this, knowing Peter like I do, I would pay him. If it makes him feel better and deal with the situation better, I would do it.