Monday, January 4, 2010

Silence is deafening.

Every parent tells their kids not to cry. "stop crying, stop your whining, grow up, etc"

Perspective is everything, we don't see what not expresssing emotion in a child actually looks like.

I did today.

There is a saying that the "silence is deafening". A useful saying to describe how the sound of silence can create an avalanche of chatter in everyone's self conscience, the deafening roar of self doubt that comes without the release of sound and word. A weakness of a social organism is that without constant communication or environmental stimulation, we must face the fear of our own inner voices.

Today, Cadence had her A1C testing, Thyroid testing, and Celiac disease testing. These are all done by drawing venous blood from the patient and running a series of tests. Since Cadence was diagnosed, she has a white-coat anxiety. She may not consciously remember her diagnosis but certainly there's part of that experience that must subconsciously stay with her. The phlebotomist wrapped both arms looking for veins while Cadence looked on, sitting on my "wap". With the decision that there was not a good enough vein in her arm, they decided to go into her hand for a vein. With shooken hand she moved the needle through the skin and into the tiny vein, the entire time, Cadence watching silently, me holding her tightly. As she moved the needle back and forth, up and down, round and round looking for the blood, Cadence's eyes never moved from the needle...tears at bay. She shook on my lap and her face turned purple, shaking with incredible power, I could feel the sweat forming on her back against my arm...but she wouldn't break. True courage beheld. The silence of her courage was DEAFENING.

When the phlebotomist decided that it was not going to work and they needed to go back to the arm, Cadence looked at me and said "I don't want another poke", her hair wet on her brow. All I could say is that "I know sweetie, it'll be over soon". The second needle, plunged into her arm...she held fast for a few seconds, shook, turned purple and then lost it. Crying, sobbing, writhing against all while the 2 phlebotomists now hold her arm firmly to draw the vials. Cadence never took her eyes off of the needle, fixated upon the blood coming out.

Once it was finished and i had her settled, she looked at me and said "daddy, I have to use the potty" if she felt guilty for violating the no-cry principle. She sat there, holding my hand, and spoke quietly about the jelly beans she gets for successful potty excursions. Almost like she didn't want to bring up the "poke", escape from the environment and focus on jelly beans. We could all learn how to deal with stress through a toddler.

Parents often wish for silence from their kids....we should all take a moment to determine how loud that silence actually is.