*Abigail’s Success Story- 12 year old female. First needle procedure in over 4 years 29th April 2023

*Abigail’s Success Story 

Links to Part 1- The first needle: https://youtu.be/QljKzFWqY0Q

Link to Part – The second needle: https://youtu.be/oiot_ct065g

Background:* Name changed for privacy. Abigail is a 12 year old high school student who has not had a needle procedure for over 4 years. Her previous procedure was “horrible” and she had not been back to the GP since. 

 Lauren was contacted by Abigail’s mother for assistance. 

Preparation: The mother spoke with her GP and both the mother and daughter had an appointment with the GP about 3 weeks prior to the procedure. Abigail and her mother then had a 1 hour training session and a chat about using NeedleCalm and came up with a plan to work on to get her ready. 

The procedure: The appointment was booked for early morning. Abigail practiced her box breathing, meditation, prayers and had a nice relaxing bath the night before and the morning of her procedure. 

She also had a good breakfast, plenty of water and wore comfy and loose clothing.

In the waiting room she was nervous and quiet but we all did our box breathing. 

Our plan was to only have one needle procedure but after the first one she decided to have the second one to get it out of the way and was a champion with both.

Her gp had everything already prepared and Abigail didn’t look at the needles. She had her headphones in with some relaxing music and lay down on the bed. 

The environment was calm, private with no distractions. 

We did the most painful needle procedure first on her non-dominant arm.

After the first procedure she did become a little pale. This is why breathing and having a good meal is important to prevent a vasovagal episode.

Key takeaways: Preparation is key and sometimes this takes months. It is absolutely crucial to provide a positive experience and use tools to optimise the experience.

Abigail’s experience: Before: nervous, faint, shaking, dreading going there

  • During: There was little pain, just a slight tingling feeling. The Needlecalm really helped and Lauren was being very supportive and kind throughout the whole process
  • After: can’t believe I did it. Kids who are scared of needles should be told about Needlecalm and that it really helps. Also preparing beforehand with calming tips from Lauren was so helpful too.

Mum’s experience: 

As far as I can remember my daughter has cried at the mention of needles and vaccinations. Most people, including family members, don’t realise that needle phobia is real and usually fob it off by remarks such as ‘it’s not such a big deal’.

It has been 4 years since my 12 year old daughter had a vaccination. She came home from school a couple of months ago and with deep anxiety and urgency in her voice said that year 7 vaccinations are due and there’s is no way she’s going to do it at school. She said she’d ‘freak out and cry in front of her friends. How embarrassing that would be in the first year of high school.’

Consultation with Lauren was beyond helpful for Abigail as Lauren guided her with a plan to prepare for the GP appointment. She was also compassionate with a deep understanding of needle phobia.

In the lead up to the GP appointment Abigail was nervous and the anxiety was building up as the time drew closer. The plan of action helped Abigail feel like she was able to take part in preparing and as a parent I was able to encourage her towards positive action.

On the morning of the GP appointment Abigail was very quiet which is unlike herself. I could even see her breathing pattern out of balance. While I expected her to potentially refuse to have the vaccination or at the very least cry hysterically like she had done when she’d thought she’d have to get a Covid vaccine (but she didn’t because of her age at the time), I was pleasantly surprised and so relieved by the overall outcome.

The use of Needlecalm fit seamlessly into the overall picture of a vaccination process. It was over in seconds. Lauren and our GP worked in such synchronicity that my daughter was able to handle both vaccinations with only a handful of tears – and not the hysterical experience I expected.

I’m so grateful that my daughter had such a positive experience because of Needlecalm. Living through fear of needles actually becomes more complex as children get older as like my daughter they then associate it with embarrassment and self image issues at school.