Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Everyone likes surprises

Unless of course it's a surprise shot at the pediatrician's office.

It was once again well-visit time for the kids and since we were already home bound due to the election, I thought to schedule their check-ups for yesterday.

Naturally, the most frequently asked question from either of the kids is "do we have to get any shots?" and the answer is always "no". I can't remember the last time they had to have a shot. They definitely opt for the flu mist, so that alleviates any doctor visit anxiety automatically, but most of their vaccinations were done years ago. So no shots.

Well, apparently you can't go into 6th grade without a shot of something called TdaP. Couldn't even begin to tell you what it's for, but the doctor just blurted out "oh, they need a TdaP shot so they can go into 6th grade next year blah blah blah..."

Clifford got a somewhat concerned look on his face, but managed to man-up and decided to be "okay" with it. He wanted to tough it out. Good man.

Alexander, on the other hand, was sitting on the exam table and proceeded to curl himself into a ball tight enough for me to actually go bowling with him and dissolved into a pile of tears and "I'm about to be marched to my death" anxiety.


What followed was a series of "I can't do this"s and "I WON'T do this"s and despite my best efforts to use calming statements like "hey, Clifford will go first and he can tell you all about it", he was a mess. He cried all the way through his exam with a look of terror on his face. 

Begging and pleading, unfortunately (for him) to no avail.

Cut to the poor nurse coming in with the little tray of stuff, which included the dreaded death needles, along with the flu mist.

Considering Alexander was experiencing a psychotic break and had stuffed himself into the most remote corner of the teeny exam room, we opted to take care of Clifford first. Flu mist...check. Super easy. Shot in the arm...he took a deep breath, closed his eyes preparing for the worst, and just like that it was over. Nada. Hooray.

He immediately tried to convince Alexander there was nothing to be concerned about, but that worked about as well as if he had said "oh hey, it's gonna feel like someone just pulled your arm off".

We got Alexander back on the exam table, managed to get him to deal with the flu mist....and now it was time for the physical restraining.

I've had to do this before, like when the kids had to have their blood drawn for allergy testing a few years ago (that involved me, Alexander, 4 nurses, and we all broke a sweat).

So, I pulled him off the table, bear-hugged him attempting to reveal his left shoulder while the nurse, God bless her, was just as calm as can be and through all the screams rivaling that of a 1970's slasher film, got that TdaP in that arm of his without skipping a beat.

The SECOND she said "see? all done", Alexander spins around and through tears and a face full of agony looks at me and says "mom, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry....It didn't hurt at all and I was expecting it to feel like the shots I got when I got stitches".

Ahh, the beauty of the guilt trip.

Of course I said it was fine and he no longer has anything to worry about since he now knows what to expect when it comes to shots. All was well with the world again.

Until today when he got a fever from that TdaP shot and had to be snatched from school.

Anxiety reset.

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