It was two years ago when my eldest son was diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s. Just as age as my eldest, now my youngest needs to undergo tests for possible Hirschsprung’s disease! He already had gone through Barium Enema and sad to say, the white chemicals did not flush out after 24 hours. Hirschsprung’s disease was said to be a rare disease but in my case, it’s not rare anymore. My two offsprings are vulnerable to this kind of disease.
My youngest is now scheduled for a biopsy. Hoping that everything goes well.
For the parent whose child needs to undergo barium enema, I understand your feelings and more for the child’s fear when they needed to go inside the x-ray room.
The same with my eldest during the procedure my youngest Philnand was screaming and was very scared the first few minutes of the barium enema.
Below are the ways I used to calm my child’s fear during the barium enema.
Refer x-ray room as a spaceship. We use this word to calm my eldest son and now my youngest when they had a barium enema. I use the word spaceship to make them feel that they are just going play in the x-ray room and to make an impression of a fun environment.
2. Inform the child about the procedure.
For me, it is very important that they have a bit of understanding what they need to go through. I believe that it will help them emotionally to prepare and at least they won’t be surprised when they go to the hospital. I believe knowing what they needed to go through will at least help them face the procedure.
Days before the procedure I already inform the child about the procedure and use spaceship as x-ray room. Kids seem not to understand what you are talking about. But as a mother I believe deep inside them they can hear and understand what we are talking about. I talk to them like this:
“Philnand, next week we need to go to a spaceship. everything’s gonna be ok. It will help you so that you can poop easily. Cooperate ok?” Nanay is just here for you.
You talk to them about the procedure and how it’s going to help them, then assure them that you are always there for them. Do this not once but many times; before going to bed or breastfeeding time.
Use positive word to let him know that the procedure won’t be successful without him doing his part. For me, instead of saying “do not cry, do not be scared” I use the word, “please cooperate”. This word was very helpful for my youngest son. I am also using this word to prepare him for the biopsy.
4. Assist your child during the barium enema procedure.
Not sure in other hospitals, but for my youngest I was there and my mother to calm him during the procedure. We were holding him in the x-ray room. He screamed and was kicking! Trying to escape every hand that holds him. As a parent we pity them but our only choice is to let them do the procedure. All we can do is comfort them, hug them, rub their hair and for me, I just kept saying “nanay is here nak” (mother is here baby, it’s ok, we are almost done)
6. Take Picture
The radiologists use the word take a picture to ease child’s fear in the x-ray room. ” We are just going to take a picture” one-two-three… Yes, still helpful to ease their fear and make them feel that it’s fun.
7. Give your child a hug.
If the child really screams and seems uncontrollable give him a rest for a moment. Ask the radiologists if he can stop for a while. Give your child a hug and sing your favorite song. Assure him that it will be over soon and he needs to cooperate.
Sometimes, I think deeper and has many what if’s? What if’s and why’s? But, later on, I tried to suppress my fears and let Faith float over my heart and thoughts. I am trying to entertain what is only good for my thoughts. Whatever the outcome may be, God will provide and he lead us the way. This may seem difficult to do but we need to put them in our system. After all our creator is our best physician. Before the procedure, we also need to pray for our child and all the clinical person who will assist them. This is very helpful so that everything runs smoothly and in our favor.
5. Lullaby and Goodnight.
Sing your child’s favorite lullaby or sing any of his favorite songs while patting him. With my youngest singing, his favorite “Lullaby and Goodnight” song was very helpful to calm his fear as we go through with the procedure. He stopped screaming and just close his eyes while requesting me to sing “Lullaby and Goodnight”.
The first minute of the barium enema was very difficult, he screams and wanted to go out of the x-ray room; but as we go through with the procedure he gave in finally. When we went back after 24 hours for the x-ray. I felt he was scared saying with fear in his eyes and about to cry “Nanay, lullaby, lullaby” he did not cry or scream. He cooperates and just asks me to be there for him and sing a lullaby.
Now, he is scheduled for the biopsy I kept telling him that he needed to go to another spaceship and everything’s gonna be ok. It will help his “Lubot” (butt) so that he can poop easily. And we will be waiting for him. I told him that the Lords, angel and the doctors are going to take care of him in the spaceship. He just kept silent sometimes. Sometimes he says “no, spaceship” sometimes he says ” cooperate” sometimes he says “no cooperate” hehehe..
Lastly, treat him with the healthy food he likes he must be very hungry. He was on fasting for 8 hours before the procedure. It’s best to have the test in the morning before breakfast because most of the 8 hours fast was spent in sleeping and when they wake up and starts to ask for food. It’s the time you need to divert his attention through walking or playing. At least an hour or two hours of sacrifice not to suffice his tummy.