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Sunday, December 7, 2008

How to administer nasal spray to a preschooler.

So I've told you all how my poor little girl was diagnosed with pretty severe seasonal allergies. At least now we have some reason for the fact that every night she sounds like she might hack up a piece of lung (sorry for those with weak tummies, I am one of you).

On top of it all, it seems she's got a nasty cold that is exacerbating all the coughing. And of course, lying down makes it all worse (according to her pediatrician, she is "drowning in postnasal drip" - sorry for yet another icky visual but I can't get it out of my head, so I feel the need to share with anyone else who might be able to commisserate. Even a little.)

Anyways, after a thorough exam from said pediatrician (who MH publicly declared her love for at about a 10+ decibel upon entering the waiting room, causing fits of hysteria from everyone within earshot, which I'm not entirely unconvinced was the entire practice), I was given instructions to administer OTC Claritin or Zyrtec once a day, and told that she could highly benefit from a prescription nasal spray.

Pediatrician: How does she do with things being put up her nose?
Me: (wanting to say, how do you do with things being put up your nose, but refraining because I love our pediatrician): Well, she's not always the easiest to give meds to . . . I am guessing she might not handle it too well. BUT, she is obsessed with you, so maybe if you give her a pep talk . . .
Ped: Well, let's see how she does with the Flu Mist, and we'll go from there.

You have never seen anyone like MH when it comes to getting shots. The pediatrician left the room to get the flu "shot", and when she returned, MH proclaimed "I'm all ready! Look at my sleeve, it's all rolled up!".

I am proud of her enthusiasm. Last year, we prepped her by having her come along while my mom and I got our flu shots, and letting her ask as many questions as she wanted. Knowing she was scheduled for hers a week later, we really capitalized on the fact that we were getting this shot so we'd stay healthy, blahddy, blah blah.

For one of the few times in my career as a mom, it worked. Like a charm. That shot came at her, and she was ready - dare I even say, looking forward to getting it. She didn't flinch at all - in fact, she was more concerned about getting to pick her 3 stickers and a lollipop.

So, here we are this year, pulling the bait-and-switch AND using it as a test to see how she might respond to something up the nose on a daily basis.

She did okay. I wouldn't say she loved it (who would?), but anything for Dr. L.

So again, I capitalized on her love for Dr. L and told her the whole way home about how Dr. L was giving us some medicine that was going to help her feel a whole lot better, and it was going to be kind of like what Dr. L did at the office. In fact, Daddy, MH, and I could all do our nose medicine at the same time (poor thing - Daddy has awful allergies and Mommy has big-time sinus issues, it was inevitable). The family that sprays together, stays together.

I praised her for being so brave at the doctor's office.

I buttered her up more than Paula Deen butters, well, anything.

All was fine and good in theory until it was showtime. Then the curtain came crashing down. I honestly can't say I blame her, but I would like her to feel better and get a good night's sleep sometime this decade.

So, four nights in, I feel like an absolute pro, and I've got some advice for you on the best way to administer nasal spray to your not-so-cooperative preschooler.

1. Slice up some limes.
2. Grab a salt shaker.
3. Line up 3 shots of tequila.
4. Lick, slam, suck 1 of these shots.
5. Approach your child with trepidation. And bribery (we're still working with candy corn).
6. Try to reason with said child as s/he backs away from you and gives you every excuse under the sun for why you need to wait a few minutes (be careful - if they're smart enough, they'll say they want Daddy to do it, and then pull the same following routine with him, and you'll go back and forth, therefore doubling the time this job will take. This knowledge is quite useful once you know what you're up against).
7. Take some deep breaths and try some more.
8. Leave room and bang head on wall for 20 seconds.
9. Come back in and try to do a bit more reasoning. Get so close that you actually spray, but your child jerks back and the spray goes into his/her eye, causing complete and utter meltdown.
10. Try to explain that if s/he hadn't moved, this wouldn't have happened. Feel guilty that you don't even feel bad because it's true and you've already been at this little "game" for at least 10 minutes.
12. Leave hubby in the room to deal with the sobbing and overly-dramatic (and most-likely overtired) child while you go lick, slam, and suck another.
13. Come back and tell your child that if they don't want their medicine, it's fine, you'll just let the doctor know they didn't want to take it and feel better. Experience another fit of hysterics, this time with your child begging for you to spray the stuff up their nose.
14. Calm child down, explain again that this will take 2 seconds, but they can not move. Explain that this is the fourth night in a row you've done this and they're getting better each time! Why is this time any different?
15. Give child boo-boo bunny (actually a stuffed dog, but hey, s/he named it) to hold, pray s/he doesn't move (which will happen a few more times out of pure reflex), aim, shoot, fire. 3 times in the right nostril because s/he keeps moving back every time you spray, leaving the medication on her cheek instead of in her nose).
16. Try not to laugh at his/her interpretation of "okay, take a nice deep breath in! PERFECT!!!", praise WILDLY, and know you will go through the same exact routine tomorrow night.
17. Pray silently that as your child gets older, they don't ever enjoy things going up their nose, and secretly feel completely guilty because this is definitely not fun for anyone and you know you would freak if someone was doing this to you.
18. Leave hubby to read stories and snuggle while you go lick, slam, and suck down tequila shot number 3.
19. Stumble back into room, tell child how proud you are, give huge kiss and hug goodnight, and amble to your own bedroom to promptly fall into bed from sheer exhaustion.
20. Take a silent oath to yourself that tomorrow night is Daddy's turn, and you'll be happy to play bartender.

If anyone has easier instructions (come on, I just know there is some doctor or nurse reading this blog!), please feel free to share! Otherwise, I urge you to use mine - they seem to be working out just fabulously for all of us!

4 Fabulous Replies:

Liz said...

Oh dear...that does not sound like fun (but completely hysterical at the same time) our big guy deals with allergies too - we have so far avoided nose spray b/c of age (he's just now almost 2 1/2), I am hoping that we can continue to avoid it...if not I know who I am calling for help!!

Leslie said...

Wrap her up tight in a bed sheet, like a little burrito, or mummy, and spray away!! If you become desperate, email me. As a pediatric ER nurse, I've had to come up with MANY ways to administer medicine, but I'm not going to publicly post them on your blog, haha!

thanks for stopping by my blog, keep in touch!

Heidi said...

My little one has horrible post nasal drip also. Many nights (and even some days) she will cough so badly she will gag herself and throw up everywhere. I can't wait until she grows out of it!

Lisa said...

No fun!!!

I am glad that shots of tequila weren't for MH though!