How To: Take a Swab Test Before Surgery

Threenager needs to have another op on one of his toes, but before he does, he needs to have a few swab tests. He hasn’t had one before, so of course his first one had to be in the  “down below” region. read the list below to see how it all went!

  1. Book surgery and find out swab test is required
  2. Make plan on best approach to take Threenager to the swab test
  3. Pick Threenager up from Kindy
  4. Talk with Threenager about the swab test: “The Lady will use a cotton bud and tickle your bottom with it. If you are a good boy and stay still Mummy will get you a Toy after ok?”
  5. Threenager smiles and says “Ok Mummy! Yes, Toy!”
  6. Drive to the lab and have another chat with Threenager about the swab test, talk him through it again and make sure he understands what is about to happen.
  7. As an after thought, while walking from the car to the lab, remind Threenager that it is his body and no one is allowed to touch it unless he is ok with it
  8. Worry that might have said something over the top, but know that it’s a subject that needs to be broached
  9. Get into the lab and talk to the technician
  10. Find out that it is not ONE swab test, but THREE swabs (Nose, Groin and that place named after a planet in our solar system)
  11. Take moment to let Threenager know the change of plans, and make sure that they are ok with it
  12. While telling Threenager the new plan, lab technician corrects me and tells me that because I am the parent, I will be taking the swabs, while they assist.
  13. Feel heaps better with this change of plans, and tell Threenager “Wow! Guess what, Mummy will be doing it! Is that ok?”
  14. Threenager smiles and says “Yes! Sure Mum, ok”
  15. Take Threenager to the room with lab technician and sit them on the orange bed (Threenager’s favour colour, so a bonus)
  16. Swab one: Take swab and swipe it around each nostril making Threenager wiggle their nose and sneeze. Threenager says “Achoo Mum, Achoo!”
  17. Swab two: Take nappy off and swab groin area. Threenager giggles (so far so good…)
  18. Swab three: Prepare swab, walk towards Threenager who is laying there waiting patiently. Move swab closer to planet named region. Threenager closes legs and calls out “No! Doors Closed.”
  19. Stand there frozen for a moment. Look back at the lab technician who is trying to hold back laughter (and failing) Collapse in fits of laughter. Manage to talk to Threenager and ask them if it is ok to do the next swab – Threenager obliges.
  20. Dress Threenager, wash hands together and leave to go to the warehouse for the promised Toy
  21. Praise Threenager for being brave, and being a very good boy while the swabs were being taken.
  22. Get into the warehouse, Threenager makes a beeline for the toy aisle
  23. Catch up with Threenager and they have a handful of toys
  24. Smile at Threenager and remind “One toy hun”
  25. Threenager stops and looks me dead in the eye “No Mum.”
  26. Take a breath and think that this needs to be held with care, as a tantrum could errupt if not handled correctly. “Remember I told you one toy? Perhaps we can tell Santa you want those for Christmas, and then we can get one now. How does that sound?”
  27. Threenager, staring into the depths of my soul calmy replies “Mum. Three cotton buds, Three toys”
  28. *Mouth drops to the floor* (can’t really argue with that one)
  29. Buy little smarty pants three toys, put two toys away for recovery time while Threenager is distracted playing with his new puzzle.

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