Kids who’ve had infusion treatments for a few years might be ready to start infusing their own factor. This process is called self-infusing, and it’s an exciting step in growing up. It means kids are ready to be the boss of their treatment and have more control over their own healthcare.
Kids may have watched with great interest what their parents do during infusions, or maybe they’ve seen friends or counselors at camp infuse themselves. If they think they can stay calm and are comfortable finding a vein, they might be ready to try it on their own. One suggestion: Make sure an adult is nearby to help if needed.
Here are a few key things kids should keep in mind when they prepare to self-infuse:
Keep it clean
This means washing your hands and arms before you start. Clean the area where you’re sitting. Use gloves and sterile needles on top of a sterile pad that covers the table.
Make sure you have everything you need before you get started. It helps to store your supplies in one place.
Make a schedule to tell you when you need to infuse. Be creative. Draw your own calendar and use stickers to show days you need to infuse. Ask your friends or siblings to help. Then plug the dates for infusion into a calendar that alerts you when it is time, such as Google or Outlook calendar programs.
If you feel nervous and upset, it will be harder to infuse. Deep breathing is one of the easiest ways to control your nerves.
Distract your mind
While you’re infusing, think about something you’re looking forward to. Maybe you’ve got a playdate with a friend or a family fun day coming up. Maybe your grandparents are taking you to a basketball game or movie night. Other distractions you can use include listening to music, watching a video or playing games on a smartphone.
It’s OK if you try a few times before you get it right. Your family and doctors can help you practice.
Self-infusing is a big step for any kid in his or her transition toward becoming a healthy, independent person. Parents and doctors can help children decide if they’re ready. Once kids can self-infuse, it opens doors to many potential new experiences, from sleepovers all the way up to going away to college.