It started with a wart on his foot this summer. We were at the doctor's for his checkup anyway, so we asked her about it. She said we could bring him in to have it frozen off, but we might want to try over-the-counter options first. I had used similar things in the past for a plantar wart, so I thought "Great! Piece of cake!"
It was a little trickier than eating cake. My children are very fortunate to be healthy as horses overall, so they balk at things like going to the doctor or doing any sort of treatment beyond fever medicine.** And the wart medicine stung, so the Littler One was not at all into that which, depending on the day, could be really prohibitive as far as getting the medicine onto his foot-wart. So it was kind of an off-and-on sort of deal, which isn't the best protocol for wart medicine to begin with. And on top of that, the wart grew. So this week we headed back to escalate the concern and have the little bugger frozen off.
I've had moles cut out, but I've never had anything frozen off. This may seem like a disadvantage, but I decided to stay deliberately ignorant, rather than do some research and risk freaking him out ahead of time (completely the right decision).
Well, here's what is involved. Basically they are creating a tiny, local bit of frostbite to kill the wart virus. The technician sprays the wart with liquid nitrogen for a few seconds to freeze it, then waits a minute or so. Then he sprays it again and waits again. Then he sprays it a third time and tells you to come back in 2 weeks for more of the same. He described the sensation as "cold and sharp."
The Littler One was extremely bummed out about the "sharp" portion of the sensation. He did not want to proceed after the first few seconds, but I persuaded him by holding him in a giant, nurturing, and firm bear hug on my lap. The tech and I also pulled out all the distraction and bribery techniques, which were enough to get us all through the rest of the procedure.
The Littler One is my kid with the strongest feelings, so he was acutely aware of how his foot was doing at any moment. It bothered him for a while, but once we got to gymnastics he was able to join his friends with no trouble.
I told him I was proud of him for doing a hard thing, and taking care of himself so the wart would go away and stop aggravating him. I went easy on him when he snuck ice cream from the freezer, and let him play with all 4 colors of the Floam I'd been hiding for occasions like these, and by the end of the evening we were back to driving each other absolutely bonkers... <3
**ASIDE on the medicine: By the way, the kids say medicine tastes really good these days. I don't know what to think about this--back in my day our medicine was sort-of-flavored but still tasted gross. So guess what? We took the gross medicine because we didn't know any differently. Now? They balk at the slightest hints of bitterness. Tiny E doesn't want to take Benadryl because it's GWOSS. I'm all "Sweetie, your face is all swelled up; this will help you get better," and she's all "Nope, GWOSS." I feel like maybe she doesn't understand the function and purpose of medicine. Thanks for nothing, artificial sweeteners! End Rant**