In an effort to keep her mind off of the looming POKE, I pulled out her notepad and wrote a sentence in it, "KayTar is 4 years old and she likes flowers and butterflies." She loved reading about herself in her book and read the sentence several times. Then she pondered it for a minute and said, "You forgot something. Write this, 'She wears diapers.'" So I wrote it.
There was a very small baby sharing the bench seat with us and he was wearing a baby t-shirt with a blue, smiling whale on it. KayTar admired it and then said, "Write this in my book, 'KayTar likes whales.' Wait! Say THIS, 'KayTar likes HAPPY whales. And mermaids.' No, wait! 'KayTar likes happy whales and ARIEL.' Yeah, write that."
Then she said, "Oh! Start a new story! Say this, 'Dr. Neuro lost his clacker. His dog ate it or a kid broke it.' That's a GREAT story." (KayTar was looking forward to playing with his clacker, those plastic clapping hands that clack together, but sadly he no longer had a clacker. He first told her that his dog ate it, then he said maybe another kid broke it.)
The next time she got worked up about the threat of the needle, I suggested we write in the book some more, "What else can you think of that we should write?" And she said, while quietly sobbing, "You should write, 'Poke.'" I asked, "Anything about the poke? Should I write, 'KayTar doesn't like pokes'?" She said, "No, just write 'Poke.' and make it BIG." And that is how her story ended.
PS: It is NOT mitochondrial disease. Although she has more mitochondria than your average