When she's at the hospital it's mostly smiles and when we get home the next day all h-e-l-l breaks loose, being the fighter that she is. I realized that the hospital is just too scary to throw tantrums in, but home is very safe. So I now anticipate one to two days of full fledge boundary testing and tantrums at home until she feels stable enough to be herself again...right in time to go back the hospital.
It's been really hard to see Grace so angry, and it's so hard to know how to help a four-year old cope. I'm currently reading and researching and trying to learn how to help her. In the meantime, we have discovered a few tricks. Giving Grace choices seems to really help.
The other day in clinic, the doctor wanted to feel Grace's tummy.
Doctor: "Please lay down"
Grace: "I will NEVER lie down"
Me: "Grace, will you choose to put your head on this side of the table or this side?"
Grace: "This side," and lays down
Grace didn't want the nurse to take off her adhesive bandage, which granted pulls out any small hairs on her chest ares
Grace: "I will NEVER let the nurse take off my bandage!"
Me: "Will you choose to help the nurse with an alcohol pad or will you choose to let her do the whole thing?
Grace: "I'll help," and she helped the nurse and I rubbed off her bandage with minimal resistance
It was time to take her nightly regimen of medicines.
Grace: "I'm NEVER going to take that medicine. It tastes like garbage," (which it probably does even though it's flavored. She likes the other flavored meds but this one consistently gets resistance.)
Me: "Will you drink water after your garbage medicine or will you take your bubble gum medicine after?"
Grace: "Bubble gum after."
Granted, this one still gets a lot of push back but now that she knows she can "chase" the bad with bubble gum medicine it's helped.
I can understand where she's coming from. Most all of her choices are being made for her, like not going to school, not playing at the park, going to the doctor and having to get shots. So even when we're at home I'm trying as much as possible to give her two choices for everything, and even saying the word "choice" a lot to try to compensate. I'll be reporting more on other things I learn to help her get through all the emotions that come with cancer.