Friday, May 06, 2011

Stubborn, thy name is Ella

Ella has dreadful allergies, especially in the spring when everything is in bloom. Last month she missed multiple days of school because she felt so miserable. So I dragged her off to an allergist, for which she still hasn’t forgiven me. Every time someone mentions something that happened at school last Friday, she says, with a huff, "I wouldn’t know. My MOM made me to go a boring old doctor for no reason at all.” At one point when she was giving her patented not-so-silent treatment, I said, “I’m sorry I love you so much that I took you to the doctor to make you feel better.” Huge eye roll.

The doctor prescribed a steroidal nose spray for Ella, which just made the whole day even worse in Ella’s opinion. She has NEVER liked having any kind of lotion or spray or anything on her. She won’t let me put moisturizer on the dry patches on her face or use detangling spray on her hair. Getting her to sit still for sunblock is a real chore, especially when I get to her face. And to put drops for pink eye in her eyes I have to sit on her and pin her arms to her side, which is getting harder and harder because the child is freakishly strong due to all her climbing. Seriously, she could probably take me in arm wrestling. The only reason I can pin her is because she weighs next to nothing, and I (ahem) weigh a lot more.

I knew that getting the spray in her nose was going to be a challenge. I just wasn’t prepared for how much of a challenge. She really, really doesn’t like the stuff. The first night I managed to wrestle it into her without too much of a problem. But now that she knows how bad it smells and that it leaves a bad taste in her mouth, she wants nothing to do with it.

On the second night, I had to pin Ella to the floor and sit on her with my knees on either side of her head. We both ended up in tears.

We’ve tried appealing to her logic by explaining that once she takes this stuff for a week she’ll feel lots better. We’ve talked about how she can get sick from not treating her allergies. And we’ve explained allergy shots and asked whether two sprays in her nose was worse than getting a shot once a week. It hasn’t worked.

The other night, instead of fighting with her, B told Ella that she was now responsible for using the spray by herself and that she would be grounded until she did it. That meant she’d come home from school and go straight to her room – no climbing, no playing with friends.

Yesterday morning, I calmly explained to Ella the terms one more time, and played out all of the consequences – if she didn’t do the spray, she wouldn’t go to practice. If she didn’t do the spray next week, there’d still be no practice. And then there’d be no going to regionals next Saturday. And if she missed regionals, she wouldn’t qualify for divisionals in Boulder, and then there would be no way to go to nationals in Atlanta. I told her she needed to spend the day thinking about whether she was really willing to give up all of those competitions and trips just to be stubborn about using her nose spray. And then I walked away before Ella could argue with me.

When she got home from school, she dithered for a while and then used the spray while crying and gagging; it was a very dramatic performance.

But when she gets home today, we’ll have to go through the same routine – she doesn’t get to go outside to play until the nose spray is in. I’m hoping she’ll get over this quickly. I’m not sure how much more patience I have for this particular brand of Ella’s stubborness.


Baino said...

Aww I can't say I blame her. Clare had/has allergies all her life and she's now 26 but hasn't ever been prescribed nose spray. Can't they give her some prednosone or something?

Susan said...

My son has horrible allergies and would not take anyhting so we did the shots for over a year and saw no improvement. He demanded that I stop and let him be and he just suffers with it - he is now 23, still doesn't treat the allergies!