2014 olympic opening ceremony halted by late-night lab results.

While Andrew and I were watching the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Olympics Friday, I got a call from Madeline’s endocrinologist.

Back story:
After a requested thyroid work-up (because of my Graves Disease), which involved an extremely traumatic blood-draw aka they stuck her three times looking for a vein (she cried and I cried), we discovered that Maddie’s TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) was slightly elevated. It required follow-up labs.

So early last week, Andrew and I took Madeline to a pediatric endocrinologist in Fayetteville. Dr. Gan was kind, gentle with our timid girl, a good listener and a great explainer. She suspected Maddie’s numbers were just a fluke, given her otherwise good health and demeanor. But she agreed we should retest her. Before sending her down to the on-site lab, the doctor put a bandage onto Madeline’s arm that was filled with a numbing cream, meant to make the needle less painful.

When our name was called in the lab, I prepared Andrew for the worst. This could be really bad. If they miss on the first try we’re pulling her out. We’re not going to put her through that again. I couldn’t take it. He agreed and sat down with her on his lap, his arms around her. I pulled out her lamby and started doing an extremely ridiculous song and dance to distract her. The nurse smiled at me and got down to business.

The numbing cream had burned Maddie’s skin a bit, leaving it red when the nurse wiped it all away. But when she stuck her with the needle and began searching for her tiny vein, Madeline remained calm. She couldn’t feel a thing! And when the nurse couldn’t find a vein and asked to try again, we agreed she could. She found one on her second try, and while we waited for the vial to fill up, I drew pictures on a magna doodle for Maddie to look at and sang songs. The nurse finished and bandaged her and we left, without a tear having been shed (except of course for when the nurse upstairs had attempted to weigh Maddie- that hit a little too close to home).

This cream was miraculous, and I wish I had gotten it’s name. But now that I know it exists, I think I will have to insist on it’s use for any future blood work.

Anyway, back to the phone call. Dr. Gan (who was working at 9PM on a Friday night, during the Olympics- committed much!?) gave us the biggest news of the night (bigger than the fifth Olympic ring not opening)- Madeline’s labs came back normal! She would require no treatment and no further care at her office. I cheered, as relief washed over me. Then I thanked the doctor for giving Maddie the numbing cream. It had been a total game-changer, I told her. I could hear her smiling, as she brushed it off, calling it nothing. But it was something. To have met a doctor who cared about my daughter within moments of meeting her, but who she would probably never see again (since her gut feeling ended up being right), was a rarity. I was grateful, and I told her so. People should know when they are appreciated.

I told her to have a great night, and we hung up. I one-it-upped to Dr. Gan, and then Andrew and I talked about how grateful we are to have such a beautiful, smart and, most importantly, healthy little girl.

Then we went back to the most spectacular opening ceremony since Beijing. Boom. I went there.

Did you guys watch? Sarah…I know you did. What did you think??


  1. Yay for healthy baby! I need the name of that numbing cream STAT!

  2. Can I get some of that cream??? I hate being stuck 7 times before they find a vein!!

    The Olympics. OF COURSE I WATCHED. I thought the whole thing was over after 30 minutes because they started marching the athletes in and that usually happens at the end, but then it went on for another three hours! I like that they got to see the ceremony instead of waiting in the wings somewhere. Although if I was good enough at anything to be at the Olympics I probably wouldn’t mind waiting in the wings. I loved the part with the men in blue marching then dancing with the ladies. I had no idea War and Peace could be turned into a dance but it’s not like I’ve ever read it. Not juicy enough for me. 😉

    • The blue suit guys were really cool! I liked them, too! And I thought the same thing about the ceremony- that was it? But after the parade the good stuff really got going! I might have gone to sleep before it ended…shh!

  3. EMLA! 🙂

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