Strange celebrations

At Rhema’s neurology appointment last week I raised concerns about side effects she’s experiencing from one of her meds.

Her doctor ordered lab work.


A few years ago Rhema suffered severe lead poisoning… most likely caused by her talent for eating lead paint off the window sills in her room. She had to go through two rounds of chelation, and she had lab work done every couple weeks for many months. That whole experience solidified her position on blood draws: She. No. Likey.

So when the phlebotomist called us in, I settled into the chair-o-torture and pulled Rhema onto my lap. I smiled sweetly at the phlebotomist and asked her to call for backup. She had no idea her day was about to go to Hades.

I’ll spare you the gory details except to say that there was blood, and not all of it ended up in the little test tube thingys. And I lost half a head of hair. And, of the 4 adults that held her down, one got head-butted and one got bit.

When we finally walked out of Children’s Hospital Rhema was thoroughly offended and I looked like I’d been in a street fight and lost. But I could not wipe this big, fat, silly grin off my face.


while we were trying to get that blood drawn my girl screamed, “NNNNOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

I have proof. The entire first floor of the hospital heard it.

It was the most clear and articulate, appropriate, spontaneous, emphatic, un-prompted speech I believe I’ve ever heard in her 8.8 years of life.



Go Rhema.

Small victories! I mean, big victories!

(And I think I’m losing it.)

19 thoughts on “Strange celebrations

  1. Awesome. Once again, grace in the storm. Leave it to you to find it, girl. Keep it up. And way to go, Rhema. Let ’em have it.

  2. That’s amazing!!!!!!! And I love that YOU are able to recognize and celebrate the silver lining of that moment!!!! We learn how to do that so well! 🙂 Yay Rhema!!

  3. Yes! Reminds me of the long ago day public health nurse was in the house doing an evaluation of myboy, who was in the garage destroying things.he ran inside and tossed onto the table a handwritten note that said, “@#&$ you!”

    And I thought, “Yay! My boy can write!”

  4. Do you find though that sometimes it seems as if extreme circumstances produce spontaneous speech? Sophie is pretty nonverbal too, but will yell “no” and any or all the words she has during a bath (she despises baths). Oh and when she had blood drawn it looked pretty much the same as how you described it

    • Yes, definitely! Although the circumstances have to be pretty extreme to get spontaneous language out of Rhema. Once she was getting an EEG hookup and I’m almost positive she was trying to say “Hurt, hurt” – although I’ve never heard her say those words since…

  5. So awesome! Not only am I celebrating with you, I’m remembering how Nigel did that in exactly the same situation (and it was for lead testing, too)! I had forgotten about that, and it felt good to remember. Cheers!

  6. Oh goodness, why is it that those amazing moments are tainted by the awful experiences that go with it? On the other hand, love that picture you put in to express your joy, and totally feeling you with it too! Yay!!

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