Taming the Wild Ouchies

Learning to be brave when it’s time for your factor infusion
Author: Heather Boerner

Ouch! It hurts when you fall off your bike, scrape your knee or get a bleed in your joint.

When you take your factor, there may be an “ouch,” too: a little prick or push when the needle goes into your arm or port. If it really hurt before, now when you think about the needle or infusing, you may want to cry or run away. You might get so scared that you try to stop getting your factor—but then you end up with more bleeds and more pain later.

Everybody is afraid of different things, even adults. Some people are afraid of spiders. Others are afraid of flying in a plane. But there are ways to deal with your fears. Think of other things that once scared you but don’t anymore. Maybe learning to ride a bike was scary, and you didn’t want your mom to let go of your seat. Then one day, you pedaled as hard as you could and, whoosh!, you were riding alone. You did it! You can feel that same way about needles and infusions.

A Spoonful of Courage

Learning to be brave with infusions takes practice, but you can do it. It can be hard to tell someone why you’re scared. You might not be able to put it into words. But it’s important to tell your parents, your hemophilia treatment center (HTC) nurse or others who care. They can help you figure out why you’re scared and help you become brave.

If it’s time to infuse and you just can’t get yourself to sit still, try thinking of your favorite place—the beach, a family vacation spot or camp. You can ask your parents or the HTC nurse to imagine it with you.

Anything that helps you calm down is good when you know an ouch is coming. Try taking deep breaths and counting how many seconds you can breathe in and out slowly. Watch a favorite movie when you infuse. Ask your mom or dad to read your favorite book, or make up a story together.

If you’re scared, ask your nurse or your parents to show you ways to tame your ouches.

Getting an infusion doesn’t have to be a pain. Overcoming a fear can help you feel braver, stronger and proud of yourself, too. You’re doing the right thing by taking your medicine when you should.