How Far We’ve Come

Until recently, doctor appointments with Reed were incredibly stressful for both him and me and unfortunately, because of Williams syndrome, he sees a lot of specialists.

In the past, he would get anxious as soon as he saw the hospital. He would run around the waiting area like a pinball in a pinball machine and then as soon as we entered the clinic, he would start screaming and wouldn’t stop until we left – both of us frazzled and frustrated.  So many things would set him off: the lights, the smell, the stethascope and blood pressure cuff, and those horrid purple, rubber gloves – just to name a few.

We’ve introduced a lot of strategies – some we’ve been doing for a long time and it is just now clicking and others are new – and his visits have drastically improved.

Prior to his last appointment, we talked about the appointment and what would happen. We showed him YouTube videos and played with the toy stethascope and blood pressure cuff.

When we got to the hospital, he was much calmer. He sat and played at the ipad station.

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When they paged us in to the clinic, he walked right up to the nurse and said, “Hi! I Reed!” Through vitals, we counted in a slow, rhythemic cadence – that really calms him for some reason.  For the first time in I don’t know how long, we were able to get a good resting heart rate and blood pressure.

When the medical assistant came in to the exam room and put on the purple gloves, he started to get nervous and tried to avoid the gloves but we used the “replays” strategy (info here) and he ended up making her put the gloves on again and again to play. If you have ever met a child with Williams syndrome, you know that they can charm most people in to getting their way!

After the MA walked out, I thought it was time to try some essential oils since he was getting wound up. When he is excited, he can quickly escalate to an anxious and agitated state. I layered the grounding blend and invigorating blend on his feet and behind his ears (and a little on my wrists for good measure). You can also make the Monster Juice blend with these two oils in a roller ball bottle with coconut oil.

And then this happened.

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He was so calm!

The nurse came in with a surgical mask on because she had a cold. I thought for sure this would set him off when I saw the worried glint in his eyes. Instead, we made a big deal about her halloween costume and had him cracking up. Reed is seriously obsessed with holidays and Halloween is one of his favorites.

Then, the doctor came in – also wearing a mask. Reed immediately broke in to song singing Monster Mash. By the end of the appointment, he had the doctor and nurse singing and dancing along and we left with smiles on our faces.

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I am amazed (and relieved) by how far he has come in such a short time. It was such a good feeling to leave knowing that neither of us had a really stressfull experience. I remember, not too long ago, thinking that this day would never come but it did. For families out there struggling with the same thing, hang in there and keep trying and retrying new strategies. It WILL get better.

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*To read more about my interest in essential oils, click here. Or, to learn more about the oils I use and how you can get them, contact me using the form below:

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