Monday, January 31, 2011

Blood draws? Piece of cake, at least so far…

So far my son has had 6 blood draws with TEDDY. I now think I must have the easiest TEDDY baby/toddler when it comes to blood draws. At 3 months he just laughed and cooed at me, 6 months through a year he just looked at bubbles or the staff member and smiled, 15 and 18 months he did look at the bubbles more but was also interested in what they were doing with his arm and watched the blood come out.

Now I know this won’t always be the case and at some point he’ll forget how easy it’s been and get scared or maybe he’ll just be having a bad day. Writing this I feel like I’m jinxing the next visit (sorry in advance to my son and co-worker we usually see). Like every mom I hate to see my child in pain or scared. Of course that’s already happened, I can’t prevent pain or fear in his life, but it hasn’t been a problem yet in his TEDDY visits.

I feel that participating in TEDDY will be a great learning experience for him when he’s older both in altruism (doing something for the greater good) and that we all have to do things we may think are unpleasant (like the dentist). Most people aren’t as lucky as me and have their first blood draw experience at the age of 23. I’d take a TEDDY visit any day over the 6 shots at his 12 month Dr visit that was truly horrible! I hope my son will grow to love his TEDDY visits with the wonderful staff, great prizes, fun gifts and our customary after visit outing to the zoo.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Scooping poop, and no it’s not the dog’s

Having been around since the creation of TEDDY I can tell you there were many chuckles about collecting poop once a month for 4 years. How would that happen, would parents do this and the head scratcher, what happens when kids are potty trained? Well having worked out all those problems, including a few unforeseen ones like the many calls from the US postal service: is it really ok to ship this specimen sample? Is it contagious? If I mail this specimen sample will I start the next world-wide pandemic? (well ok, we didn’t get that exact question but I’m sure that did cross at least one postal carrier’s mind). So now things are running pretty smoothly.

Having collected my own child’s poop for over a year now I can say it’s pretty easy. The hardest part being remembering to do it and if I have trouble remembering, and I think about TEDDY almost every day, then I’m sure many families have the same problem. I’ve had to start putting the stool kit on the changing table once I’ve gotten my email reminder for that month’s stool sample. We use cloth diapers so once that poop goes down the toilet we have to wait and collect the next time he goes which, if we’re lucky, is at home not at daycare. Usually parents hope their child saves those diaper presents for the daycare provider instead we’re asking our son to “please get your poopies out before daddy takes you to daycare.” Crazy!

I won’t lie and say this isn’t a gross job. It’s poop, how can it not be at least a little bit disgusting even if it’s my own child? But I think it’s manageable, after all we have a dog and a toddler. I have cleaned up poop 500 times worse than any stool sample I’ve collected for TEDDY. Since we’re planning baby #2 soon the collecting of the poop will have to go to my husband for a few months until I can tolerate a wide variety of smells again. That should be great fun! What will he think of the process? Will the poop roll off the changing table onto the floor when he does it too? Maybe I can get him to write a blog entry when his day in the sun comes.