I think I may have alluded to Anne Marie’s very weird pain threshold. We first started to notice it this summer. Once she got her gallop on and could run the street with her big brother and his friends she would fall down, as most of them would. Our Sac* is not breeding the next Baryshnikov, that much I’m sure of. Anyway, as Anne Marie would hit the deck and invariably take a chunk out of her knee she would pop back up and keep running. The blood running down her leg was apparently only a concern to her parents.
Mrs Frank’s Place is an over-reactor. I can be one as well, but in the Sac I play it cool. You know, retired military and all that. Don’t want to ruin my rep as a efficient killing machine/defender of freedom and what not. In this particular case I think I noticed it before Tracy did. It wasn’t that Anne Marie didn’t cry, it was that she appeared be unaware she had cut herself at all.
Man if Frank had cut his knee like that we’d still be changing his bandage and the neighbors would be tired of looking at his “boo boo” every ten minutes.
I offer this photo as proof of my son’s drama-itis.
This was Frank after surgery to remove a cyst on his right ear lobe. He was two I think.
Don’t get distracted by the look on his face. He’s trippin on the after effects of Versed or silly juice and his fourth banana popsicle. Note the bandage on his left hand. It was to hold the IV in place during surgery. It was supposed to come off when we got home that day. He wore it for a week. His left hand was immobile for some reason. He held it out like a wounded claw – for a week. His hand magically returned to normal when we finally coaxed him into taking the damn thing off.
I know for a fact Anne Marie wouldn’t react like this. I watched the docs and nurses poke, stick, and prod her for months. They took blood a lot. When they did, the dude in the red scrubs would slap a warmer on her foot to get the blood flowing, making it easier to draw. The blood people wore red scrubs, that had to be an on purpose ironic choice. After a while she would get worked up when she felt the warmer on her foot. After a few months she would get worked up when she saw the red scrub guys. But towards the end she didn’t react much when they stuck her.
I didn’t think much of it and I may be remembering it wrong, it was a bit of a blur. But when I watch her close her hand in the accordion door on the hall closet and calmly open the door and run off, it makes me wonder. When she slams her hand in the drawer on the coffee table she doesn’t cry, she looks pissed because she’s stuck.
The speech therapist and OT, and some other mom type experts in the Sac, feel like it’s something she will grow out of. The doc all but confirmed this yesterday when she went for her 18 month check up, 3 months late. Kids have a switch she says, at 6 months they have no fear then a switch flips and everything hurts. That’s true with Frank. He got the flu mist when AM got a needle in the thigh. She didn’t blink, he acted like he’d been hit with a taser. So maybe AM’s switch is a little delayed. OK I can buy that. That’s what the Sac moms said anyway.
It’s possible, the doc says, she did build a tolerance to pain while in the NICU. Sac moms offered this up as well. Maybe I’m paying the wrong people for pediatric care.
I am having a harder time with the pain tolerance theory. I always thought pain tolerance had to be a conscious effort. But what do I know, I’m a soft, middle aged, retiree.
The doc is explaining all this as she readies a pin to stick AM in the finger to get blood. Yeah, not a peep. Not during the stick, not during the squeezing of the finger to get blood to flow, not during the continual wicking type maneuver they use to get blood into the little midget container. I usually am proud during these moments because the place is filled with screams from kids being tortured. But her lack of response to any of it is starting to creep me out.
Of course I say all that but when laid on her back for inspection she freaks out. Needle in the leg, no problem. Nurse lays her down to check stuff out where there is no pain involved at all, not even a cold stethoscope, she acts like she’s being deep fried.
After the nurse laid her down to do the cursory exam, we waited for the doc. During that time AM gets my wallet out, pours it on the floor and comes up with my drivers license. Then goes to her bag and gets the keys to the van and heads for the door. I asked where she was going and she said, “Home!” She was done with laying on the exam table. So I watched. Just as I’m thinking no way she gets the door open, she gets the door open. Rachel who is a nurse practitioner really but doc is easier to say, intercepted her in the hall way. AM came into the room backing up the entire way, looking up at Rachel. I expected them both to be holding six shooters, the stand off was that epic.
We are taking her to see her developmental pediatrician in a week. The lady has a fancier and more accurate title but I can’t think of it. Mrs Frank’s place will yell it out for the 100th time as soon as she reads this.
For now, aside from AM not knowing when she’s really injured and thus endangering herself even more, it could be a pretty cool super power. Especially in a cul-de-sac full of boys.
Frank, Bennett, Jack, and Grant, you fellas better toughen up.
Might be a new sheriff in the Sac.
*Sac – the name all of us on our street gave our cul-de-sac. We have t-shirts. Yes we are that cool.