Wednesday, January 30, 2013

101 Shots - Helping a Child Face Shots for the First Time - A Mentoring Story

I know what you might be thinking...101 shots???  What does that mean.  In the end, you will see.

I am sharing a true story about something that happened with Savannah this week.  She was faced with the opportunity to help a three year old child who had recently been diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis.  The three year old girl is named Reese, and she is precious.  However, like most other kids with JA, Reese's doctor said she had to start receiving weekly shots for her arthritis in order to keep it from progressing.  But, how does one go about this?...How does one make a young child understand she has to be given shots in order to walk, or write, or just function as an average child?  How does one prepare a young child for this?  Truly, there is no simple answer. Yet, God worked through 10 year old Savannah to help Reese prepare and better understand about her shots and living with Juvenile Arthritis.  Want to know how?!?

Savannah set up a stuffed animal hospital.  You see, Reese came for a "play date" with Savannah where they took turns examining their stuffed animals, looking in their animal's ears with a light, checking their reflexes, using tongue depressors, the works.  Savannah even showed Reese how the stuffed bear got a shot for her pain.  Then, Savannah gave herself a shot to further show it was not such a big deal.  Then, cool band-aids were distributed and even reward stickers! Reese looked at all of us and said very boldly, "I am ready to get my shot!" As Reese said goodbye, she took with her a gift from Savannah...A pink basket filled with the stuffed bear they practiced shots and medical treatment on, cool band-aids, and fairy reward stickers.  The next day, the day Reese was scheduled to receive her first Methotrexate shot,  she received the shot like a champ...well, after her dad gave her bear (the one Savannah gave her) 100 "pretend" shots...Reese's shot was number 101!

So, whether it is shot #1 or shot #101, Reese is still our hero.  She is brave.  She is courageous.  Besides, if Savannah and the bear can do it, so can she!  I am so glad God worked through Savannah to mentor this precious, beautiful girl.

Monday, January 14, 2013

"Playing with my bear...Just giving it an I.V."

I had to laugh to myself when I saw my daughter had said up a infusion station for her new teddy bear. Yes, most kids are playing "house" with their stuffed animals.  Savannah, she is the nurse tending to her bear's I.V. infusion, some band aids, etc.  Notice the "I.V. fluid bag" hanging from the lamp with it's tube/string running to the bears arm.  The bear even sports a medical bracelet.  A glipse into the life of a child with a chronic disease.  Thank goodness, she makes the best of it.  Who knows -Maybe she will be an infusion nurse one day!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Painting - "For Savannah"

A local Montgomery artist painted this picture of Savannah this week.  She is two years old in this picture and walking along a garden's edge in Georgia.  When I see this picture, I see a "care-free, pain-free" arthritis anywhere in her body (though she could have had arthritis then, and we did not know it).  I am very thankful to the artist, Barbara Davis, for painting this beautiful picture of Savannah.  I will always treasure it.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The flu has arrived...but, she still smiles.

The flu has come to visit Savannah in a BIG way!  New Year's Eve, she came down with a mild fever. We took her to the doctor New Year's day (Urgent care, because regular pediatrician was closed New Year's day).  Well, because Savannah's fever started out mild...around 99 degrees the first twelve hours of onset, the doctor said it could not be the flu.  She tested for strep...negative.  So the doctor chalked it up to it being an upper respiratory infection, prescribed an antibiotic, and sent us on our way.  Well, Savannah's fever shot up to 103 degrees after another twelve hours past.  It stayed between 102-103 degrees the next two days.  So, we visited the regular pediatrician yesterday.  She tested for flu, and (you guessed it) she was positive.  Antibiotics do not help the flu and we were now past the first 48 hour mark for prescribing Tamiflu.

I have a question for other parents who have children with juvenile arthritis and whose children are on medicines that suppress the immune system...

Do you get the flu shot for your child each year?

I have mixed feelings on the flu shot.  In Savannah's case, she has type 2 of the flu, and the shot was for type 1 this, it may not have even helped. Still, God is good, all the time.

Even with the horrible flu, Savannah still smiles.