Challenge Your Assumptions

My 15 month old who had never been ill since birth was hospitalized last week. He was dehydrated at the point of admission and the nurses had to start him on IV hydration therapy. As soon as we stepped into the paediatric treatment room, the nurses asked me to lay my son on the bed, distract him with his favourite cartoon on my phone (he has none for he never had screen time), while they secure his arm against the bed on the other side, locate his vein, and insert the needle and cannula under his skin. 
I wasn’t comfortable with the approach but I assumed I didn’t know better. I followed the instructions and within seconds, my son was screaming at the top of his lungs. He had zero interest in my phone and was absolutely horrified by the physical restraint.
The next day, the IV plug came loose and had to go into the treatment room to have it reset. Before the nurses could say anything, I explained that my son wouldn’t need to lay down, or be excessively restrained. I requested for my son to be seated upright, and for him to witness the entire procedure. I assured the nurses that he would be fine, and that I’ll hold onto him securely and explain to him what was happening to him as the process unfolds. The lovely nurses agreed and one of them held onto my son’s arm with me, to ensure safety.
I nuzzled my face against my son’s warm cheek and explained to him what was going to happen, and then I went on to describe every action that took place before his eyes. He watched the movement of the scissors, surgical tape, needles and cannula intently. As he did that, he would sometimes turn his gaze to the nurses, as if he was studying the colour of their eyes, or perhaps he just wanted to ensure that everyone knew what they were doing. Regardless, he didn’t move, didn’t resist, and didn’t cry. When the procedure was completed, he turned to me with half a smile. When we returned to our room, he initiated a game of peek-a-boo and chuckled incessantly.
Perhaps the above mentioned method would work with other children, but it didn’t with my son. If I had assumed that the nurses know best and did not request for things to be done differently, my son would have experienced unnecessary discomfort and fear. 
Assumption is defined as something that we accept as true without question or proof. We make assumptions about everything. We are often not consciously aware of the assumptions we made and more importantly, the powerful yet invisible effects they have on every aspect of our lives.
In the commencement speech to the graduates of Connecticut College in 1980, American actor Alan Alda said, “Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while or the light won’t come in.” 
I say let’s take it up a notch further by protecting our windows with anti-dirt coating – through questioning, communicating, and coaching – so that we can live our lives with complete consciousness and be in empowerment every single day.


Sheena Ang

I am here to help you uncover what you have within yourself, and thereby discover things that you could not see by yourself. Things, that when seen, can radically change your life.