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The Moment I Allow Myself to 'Go Blank' When My Child Has a Medical Procedure

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There’s a moment when I hold my son, T, for his blood draws, before the countdown starts. Before the elastic band gets tied above his elbow. Before the nurse tries to make overly lighthearted conversation.

There’s just a minute when I allow myself to feel guilty. I know what’s coming, and by now so does he. He’s already getting agitated and I can feel him start to pull on my sleeve.

It’s a quick second before all hell breaks loose. Before the cold alcohol swab warns him what’s coming. My eyes flutter closed, and I retreat away from the room, the nurses, the tablet and the bright hospital lights. I sit there, in the recesses of my mind and let everything go blank.

You see, you need to be the strong one. Even if you don’t want to be. You need to be the brave one, even if you feel the tears prick the corner of your eyes. You are the mother bear and the protector, even if you feel shattered.

So I take a moment. Just a quick one. Because once the elastic is tight, the vein has been felt and the alcohol has been swiped, the countdown begins. And then there’s no turning back.

Three. Two. One.

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Originally published: December 3, 2017
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