Makes Me Sigh

Magic Cream

Tuesday morning, just as the liquid pink sun spilled over the horizon, I made my way to Sean’s room. I stood over him for a minute and watched him sleep. The nightlight revealed the form of his rounded spine. Like a little bug, his knees and hands were drawn up tightly to his chest. He was cold. He has yet to master the art of pulling up the covers.

I resisted the urge to pull his blanket up over him. I was on a mission. I was about to do the one thing that everyone agrees you should never do – wake a sleeping baby. But it had to be done.

I gently patted and rubbed his back.  I dug one arm out from under him. I tugged him upright. Still sleeping, he sat up.  His head lolled drunkenly to one side and then he collapsed back into this bed, feet still on the floor.

“Sean,” I whispered, “We have to get up.”

I pulled him up again, this time lifting him into my arms.

“Wanna play Legos?” he yawned into my ear, still mostly asleep. 

“Okay,” I said, “But first I need to put some magic cream on your arms.”

“Okay,” he said, as if that made perfect sense.

I sat him down on the side of the bed again. I pulled his twig like arm out of his pajamas. I rubbed the lidocaine cream on the inside of his elbow and put a plastic bandage over it.

Now he was awake. This was not right. The big plastic bandage felt weird. This is a child who must have every tag cut out of every item of clothing he wears.  He did not like it. Tears sprang to his eyes. His bottom lip trembled.

“I don’t like this!” he said, tugging at the bandage. I gently pulled his hands away and tucked his arm back into his shirt.

I told him that we had to go get his blood drawn and that this magic cream would make it so that it wouldn’t hurt. He searched my face. I knew he was thinking about last week, when he had his blood drawn, how it was scary, how it hurt. I tried to wear the expression of a confident grown up, of someone who had a grip, someone who knew what she was doing — someone he could trust.

“Oh,” he said quietly. His chin dropped to his chest. Resignation. Compliance. He looked so small and pitiful.

I wanted to cover him with kisses, to tuck him safely back into his bed, to pull the blanket up over him.  Instead I wiped his tears with the sleeve of my robe. Then I pulled his other arm out of his pajama shirt and smoothed on the magic cream.

If only they made magic cream to numb the heart.

57 thoughts on “Magic Cream

  1. Your post just broke my heart this morning! Sending you lots of (((hugs))) and prayers! Unfortunately, I’ve been there with a child and know some of the feelings you’re experiencing. I wouldn’t wish them upon anyone. I pray that God touches Sean and heals him completely… that this will whole ordeal ends NOW, and there are no more questions or tests. I also pray for peace for you and Antique Daddy. And of course, that the lidocaine works well and Sean doesn’t feel a thing!

    Take care!

  2. as you can see, I was very upset still while writing that and apparently forgot how to type 😉 Please excuse the jumbled words in the one part… too many thoughts at once, my fingers got confused!

  3. Being a good mom means doing the hard things – I am so sorry that you are having to go through these hard things with Sean – I pray for God’s peace to enfold you.

  4. Ahh! What a good mommy to give him the “magic” cream. We’ve only had to do one blood draw, so I can imagine the look on my little guy’s face if I told him we had to do it again–poor little Sean! What a trooper!

  5. *SOBS* I had to take Bean to have blood drawn for allergy testing when she was about 18 mos old. Nobody mentioned a darned thing about magic cream to me at the time. (Grumble.) I am not a good singer on a good day, but that day as that sweet baby lay on the table, I was at my all time worst, squeaking out, “La la la LA, La la la LA, Elmo’s world” around the huge lump in my throat and through stinging tears. The phlebotomist, who has a child Bean’s age, took pity and sang along with me. (Could be she did it out of pity for her own ears?) Bean did okay, actually. But I was a mess the rest of the day. I hope y’all have a surprisingly happy, positive blood draw (huh?!) and maybe a nice little Mommy/boy date afterwards to celebrate it being OVER. Legos – in the spilling pink sunlight – that’s a mighty sweet child you have there.

  6. Why didn’t they tell us in the manual that certain things would be terrifying and heartbreaking as a mom? I’d still have had them; I just wanted all the side warning so I wouldn’t be sideswiped when this times came our way.

    Praying for you still, AM. Praying for you all. And although this goes without saying, I sure do love you and your tender heart.

  7. If they made that magic cream for a momma’s heart I’d buy it by the case(they could sell it at costco). Someone could make millions! Although, those little heart hurts make me love my kids even more–wouldn’t want to mess with that.

  8. I have a friend whose 3 year old son is going through chemo…they have to do magic cream at least once a week, if not more, and he always freaks out about it. We are praying them through this, and so far the chemo seems to be working.

  9. Oh this brings tears to my eyes. I’ll be praying for you and your family that this will all turn out well.

  10. Went through some tough times with my oldest last year and I would have given my heart for someone to have told me about the “magic cream”.

    Praying for you, your precious son and your husband…

  11. I think it’s called gin. 🙂

    Seriously, though, I do hope that everything goes well and that Sean doesn’t feel a thing!


  12. Your post was so real and honest. It absolutely touched my heart. Being a parent is so hard and heartbreaking at times. We want to protect them and take any pain or worry from them.

  13. My friend Tammy told me that she mentioned the magic cream to you — and reading the comments makes me mad all over again. Why do moms have to be the ones to tell other moms about this? Why don’t doctors know about this? And if they know, why don’t they USE the wonderful stuff???

    Just my little useless drumbeat for the morning. I’ll quit being mad so I can be praying about your results!!

  14. You are right. Why are the doctors not handing this stuff out like candy? Tammy did tell me about it in comments in the Seasick post from last week. I bow humbly at her feet and appointed her as my new best friend. We won’t be getting any shots or vaccinations without it ever again. It really is amazing. I had to have a needle biopsy of my thyroid where they stick a long needle in your neck and the doctor put on some of this cream, and honest, I didn’t feel a thing. Nothing. It’s a miracle in a tube.

  15. But you have the magic, too – in your touch, in your eyes, your hands, your heart – God bless you all and we are so looking forward to hearing about the results. Maybe next time I have blood drawn I’ll ask for the magic cream for myself. I had no idea it existed!

  16. AM, you are in my prayers. You evoke emotions that as a mother are always just beneath the surface. Oh, there is a searing pain that is associated with any kind of fear or discomfort that might come to any of my children. God is good but this is hard. Prayers for strength and grace and the “expression of a confident grown-up”.

    He is present through this storm.


  17. You should hear my big, old hubby praying for Sean, son of the Antiques’ from Texas. We have Bible reading, prayer and worship the last thing at night together. You have made Sean into a little boy we all know in our hearts and we pray for you all — God knows whom we mean.
    I wish I had known about “magic cream” when that doc stuck his big old needle into my thyroid — especially when he had to go for a bigger one to aspirate the contents of a cyst.

  18. My kids are both grown, and yet I can still remember, like yesterday, that undefined feeling of looking at them as they slept. It’s a most precious sight. Looking at them when they hurt, is a most devestating sight. You don’t forget that, either. You do survive it, but you don’t forget. I’m stopping to now to say a prayer for you and Sean today.

  19. I am so sorry that you and he have to go through this! I have never heard of the magic cream, either! Can you just buy it somewhere like Target? We live in a 200-year-old house and all 3 of my girls need to get their blood tested for lead, so this would be very helpful!

  20. Aw. Poor little guy. My daughter had to have her blood drawn for a lead test I think around 18 months because we live in an old house, and no one told us about the magic cream.

    They screwed up one arm and had to go to the other one. I had to lie across her body and hold her down while she screamed. It was one of the worst moments of motherhood for me. It was only made worse by the fact that I’d scheduled vaccines for her earlier in the day — I know I was thinking that we would get all the awful stuff over in one day, but honestly, WHAT WAS I THINKING???

    Hope everything goes well for your little guy.

  21. prilocaine/lidocaine cream is prescription only. It’s called Emla, although I got the generic and it worked just fine. Worth every penny.

    What you do is slather some on where you are going to get poked and then on top of that put one of those plastic see-through bandaids for 30 minutes or more. We didn’t have one of those bandaids so I just cut out a square of zip lock bag and then taped it to his arm because I’m just a little ole’ Florence Nightingale.

  22. FYI, my pediatrician says Emla works great for blood draws but not-so-great for immunizations, simply because the cream only numbs the surface of your skin, and the pain of immunizations is 90% from the serum going into the muscle (not the needle piercing through).

    Prayers for you, AM.

  23. (((((Blessings))))
    Joining all in prayers. Always remember Our Father is watching over you. His heart is moved by yours so you can trust Him and REST. I know easier said than done. You are loved dear one!!!!!!!

  24. I, too, read your blog with tears streaming down my face. As a mom who has witnessed way too many blood draws with 2 of my daughters (one with leukemia and the other had surgery 6 times) I was thrilled to hear about the magic cream. A warm wet wash cloth also works wonders. The ER doctors tried 11 times to start an IV in my 6 year old one night – to no avail. The IV team got it started the next morning with one try after applying a warm wash cloth. Thank you for sharing your incredible faith and such tender, special moments.

  25. I hope and pray with all my heart that you never need this site but, if you do, they will always be there for you!
    The information there is absolutely reliable and up to date.
    Good Luck!

  26. I hope the blood draw went okay. I hadn’t heard of using the magic cream before, but I’ll be sure to use it if we need it in the future. Doctors should be telling mamas about that!

    Your tender heart encourages me so much!

  27. Praying for you and Sean.
    Abel had to have surgery when he was little, and it was so scary for me. He was fine though. Took me days to get over it, but he was back to normal by that afternoon. So don’t worry if he recovers much more quickly than you do!

  28. AM – Wow. I had to go back and catch up on what was going on. I’ve not read your blog in a while, so I was unaware of the boat rocking that was going on. As the mom of a 15 year old type 1 diabetic, I can feel for that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when you get that news about sugar in the urine. Of course my son’s blood sugar was hovering around 700 the day we took him in. And yes, he does wear an insulin pump, but is doing great and still manages to be a hot-shot drummer and in marching band. But I digress…

    I will be praying for your precious one and for you. My heart knows the pain and shock of unexpected news.

    And by the way, I’m a doctor snob, too. I used to work in pharmaceuticals and I never understood how someone who had so little training could write Rx’s and give medical advice and then charge me for seeing the “doctor.” Heck, I’m not even crazy about the medical “assistant” calling to give me test results.

    Hang in there…Sounds like you have a lot of people who love you and are praying for you!

  29. All I could do was invision myself having to do what you just described with my son, and it brought tears to my eyes.

    Continued prayers…

  30. I’m curious, has Sean asked by he’s getting these blood draws? He’s a pretty boy, I’m curious to know what you told him?

    As you know, our prayers are with you too. Just keep chanting “it’ll be ok”. And maybe go eat a carton of Ben & Jerry’s (that always makes me feel better, for at least 10 minutes.)

  31. Ah, poor baby! Poor mommy and daddy too! It’s horrible when you have to have your baby go through this stuff! My thoughts and prayers are with all of you!

  32. I rarely post comments on blogs, but I have a four year old boy and these posts just resonate within me. This post brought tears to my eyes, if only because I can see my self and my son as the starring cast.

    I pray for good results, good luck you to all.

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