Forget nationalized health care, I have real problems. My son recently got a splinter. I say recently because I'm not sure when he got it. Blake suffers from a specific type of claustrophobia that makes him lose his mind when he is held down.
Forget nationalized health care, I have real problems.
My son recently got a splinter. I say recently because I'm not sure when he got it.
Blake suffers from a specific type of claustrophobia that makes him lose his mind when he is held down.
He screams and flails around any time someone tries to restrict his ability to move freely. Normally, this doesn't cause a problem.
But a few months ago, he had to have his tonsils out and to get him to lie still for the anesthesia and IV, a couple of nurses held him down so they could accomplish their task.
Thanks to that memory, when he woke up from the sedation, he saw more nurses and threw a fit until his mother got on the scene to calm him down.
Needless to say, he is not a huge fan of the doctor's office now.
So Saturday night he was noticing a cut on my leg and mentioned he had a sore on his foot, too. I asked him if I could look at it and maybe put some medicine on it. He was very clear with his belief that his foot was just fine without my meddling.
Thankfully, I am not the only parent in the house. I let him tell me he was fine and took him at his word. A mention of this story to his mother Sunday led to a closer inspection.
She found an infected sore with a splinter still inside it. He said the splinter had been there since vacation - at least 10 days ago.
There go my Father of the Year points.
For the next 30 minutes, we did the dance of trying to reason with him, threatening him and finally holding him down and excising the tiny sliver of wood from his big toe.
Thankfully none of the neighbors walked by and called the police to come over and see exactly how many people were killed in our living room that night.
After he realized that screaming and flopping around over the nearly painless removal of a small, infected splinter might have been an overreaction, he started laughing and telling funny stories to lighten the mood.
Ordinarily I would say I'm glad that's over.
But he has an appointment this week for two shots before he starts kindergarten in the fall. His mother already said I was in charge of getting that done.
I have plans to set the stage and let him know that everything will be fine. But I've tried that before and failed.
Maybe he'll surprise me and thank the nurse for the shots and ask for some ice cream.
Something tells me it might just be Round Two.
Knowing how irrational his fear is can be frustrating. But don't we all have areas of our lives that we prefer to have left untouched? Maybe the reaction is less demonstrative, but the fear feels just as real.
I try - emphasis on try - to be patient with him, knowing that everyone has holes in their mental quilt that need to be patched.
Think about the fears you have going to the dentist, elevators or even an irrational fear of failure.
When you see a child fighting his imaginary monsters, you know what he "should" do. How many of us fight similar monsters each day that could be overcome?
Maybe this is a teachable moment for more than just a scared 5-year-old.
He carried a sore splinter around for the better part of two weeks because of his fear. What have your fears cost you?
Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta (Kan.) Gazette.