My Daughter’s Afraid of Doctors

As I sit here in the surgical waiting room at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), I’m praying for my baby girl, but I’m still filled with anxiety.

No one can imagine the worry and panic of a parent when their child is sick, in any way.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that Faith had open heart surgery when she was only 5 months old. She pulled through with flying colors and not only were additional surgeries not required, but she has not needed any medications since.

Today, she is 16 years old and has been very healthy for the past fifteen-plus years. However, her anxiety got progressively worse the older she got.

It started at about ten when Faith became very agitated and overwhelmed with anxiety at every doctor appointment. As time went on I realized Faith has, Iatrophobia, a fear of doctors. The older she got and the more she grew, it was near impossible to physically make her do anything she didn’t want to do. Especially allowing doctors to examine her, in any way. Believe it or not, even a stethoscope or blood pressure cuff would freak her the freak-out. That of course created worry, panic, and high anxiety for me. Her fears heightened to the point that no doctor or nurse could perform any medical exam of any kind.

We went a couple years going to appointments and leaving without a completed exam. Medical personnel would not force her due to the risk of injury. So we began the arduous journey of trying to get all doctors, and specialists to coordinate efforts. Just as we were in the middle of organizing a joint effort, covid hit. Everything came to a screeching halt and I was left to continue to wait and worry about her not having any exams.

Meanwhile, I made sure I did everything in my power to keep her healthy. I loaded her up with all-natural supplements, whole fresh fruits, veggies, and a lot of water. She had minimal ‘junk’ and absolutely no soda or chemical sweeteners. It must have worked pretty well since she was never sick. Her pediatrician couldn’t believe she only saw Faith once a year for well-visits and always asked what I did to keep her so healthy. I would explain that I have been adamant about giving her whole, real food, minimal to zero processed foods, a lot of water, zero soda, no chemical sweeteners, all-natural holistic supplements, and a lot of fruits and vegetables.

As medical facilities opened more and allowed more procedures. We began again to convince, coordinate and plan for all doctors to each perform their own exams and procedures simultaneously, all while Faith was under anesthesia. It took another year to get that approved.

So, here I am.

Finally.

I’m happy all exams are being done, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I’m typing to stay calm but also to share with all of you another part of our journey in Raising Faith. Anesthesia is no joke. Everyone reacts differently to the medications used and not everyone comes out of it easily.

Faith did not.

The medical professionals brought me and her father back into recovery just before she woke up, so we were there when she came to. As much as I wanted to be there for her, it was very upsetting, to say the least.

We were by her bedside, only a few minutes when Faith awoke in a state of terror. She yanked out her mouthpiece, from the breathing tube, coughed up blood, tugged on her leads, and ripped out her IV! And as quickly as she woke up to cause chaos, she fell right back to sleep. It was heartbreaking for me to see her that way. I continued to pray.

Over the next couple of hours, Faith would wake with heavy eyelids, check that I was there, and go back to sleep. Between the breathing tube irritating her throat and the dental work that was done, her mouth continued to fill with blood. I assured her that I would be right by her side, cleaned her up, and gave her dozens of hugs and kisses.

By that evening, Faith was ready to eat having had to fast the night before and going all day without anything. I had to be careful what and how much food I allowed, not only because I was concerned about nausea but because the dental work that had been done had some restrictions as well. Then she grew more and more coherent and steady on her feet. Finally, about 24 hours late, she was back to her sweet, sassy self.

It was a very long, stressful, and mentally exhausting two days. I am extremely grateful that she is okay and has now had all of her regular exams.

If you have never experienced the anguish of a sick child, may God continue to bless you and your children. As for me, I am blessed and grateful that I’ve only had to endure such events three times in the past sixteen years. I know many parents who had to watch their children suffer much more and my heart goes out to all of you.

Want to share your story? Drop your comments below. It’s my hope that our stories resonate with you and you are touched and encouraged. Remember, to always Have a Little Faith!

Stay well!

Gina

http://www.ginapanzinolyman.com

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