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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Shot through the Heart Thighs

When I was young, I feared nurses. For some reason, my pediatrician always hired Nurse Ratchett clones. You know the kind: the sick little smile that appears when a shot is ordered, her firm grip onto a needle made for horse injections, and then at the last moment, her gleeful sigh as she literally punches said needle through your skin within a millimeter of your femoral shaft.
Casper has heard from Drama Diva the peril of shots. To hear her tell it, she suffered more than normal children. Her needle, longer than her first grade ruler, almost punctured her stomach (even though it was injected on the thigh). She then regaled how the nurse, an evil woman with 'yuck teeth' (brown and dagger like) twisted the needle until actual bone flopped out onto the table. And just when she thought it was over, the evil monster nurse almost pinched her leg off while applying the bandaid.

Creativity has its place, and I'm all for encouraging my childrens' special abilities until it creates panic and fear. Casper literally trembled at the thought of his five year old shots, until I dispelled Drama Diva's lore with my own innocent, relatively pain free experience. Of course this was a lie, but my children are slated for years of psychotherapy with me as their mother, so what's one more session topic?

They don't do this anymore, fill the syringe in front of the patient. I guess Dr. Spock or whomever exercised their infinite wisdom with the medical community. Now they walk in holding a tray, a tray showcasing not one, not two, but three separate injections just waiting to pierce the skin of my innocent child. What happens next is just short of Gitmo torture: Parents are told to hold their child's hands as they lie down on the exam table. The nurse swabs the thigh with alcohol, and the trusting eyes of your child stare at you, then fill with painful terror as she performs said brutality in a rapid succession.

There are moments in a mother's life when you wish you could change places with your child: the first fight, the first heartache, and yes, immunization shots. My tears dripped onto his shirt as we waited for the end to arrive. When it did, he was rewarded with a sticker and a sucker. For me, the bill and a pat on the shoulder by Nurse Ratchett. Just when I thought I got the short end of the stick, Casper turned to her and said, "Can my momma have a sucker? She was brave, too."
A heart filled with pride and a face dripping with tears, that's a good Tuesday.


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    By Blogger steelcowboy, at 8:05 PM  

  • What a sweet child!

    I remember when Max was a baby, I was holding him down for his immunizations, and I let his leg slip just as the witch, I mean nurse, was sticking him in the thigh of that very leg. The needle ended up tearing his leg up a bit, and he SCREAMED and HOWLED. I, of course, felt like a big fat loser. As Max was screaming, and I was sweating and whimpering, the nurse bent down, looked into my crying baby's eyes, and said, "Oh, it's ok, it's mommy's fault!" Hmph.

    By Blogger Robin, at 8:13 PM  

  • Shoot, the Hunter always came with me to the urchins' appointments when they got shots, and then went out and left me in the room with them when they got the shots. So then he was the good guy and I was the bad mama. All because he was a wuss. Of course he didn't mind being the hero rescuing the urchins from the mean doctor and mama. Come to think of it, this mean mama thing has become a recurring theme...

    By Anonymous TW, at 9:28 PM  

  • Oh, the pain of immunizations! It's all coming back to me now...

    By Blogger teahouse, at 11:04 PM  

  • Well, did you get a sucker or not? ;)

    By Blogger FTS, at 11:13 PM  

  • Aw what a sweet and touching story. Actually some places do fill the syringe before plunging it in to the child. Some clinics in my area do but recently I had to have my 2 year old's blood tested to see if the bumps on him were chicken pox or not cause my ex-idiot doctor did not know and he was so sweet and did not cry. The only thing he did not like about the whole thing was when they put the bandaide on him. He hates anything stuck to him.
    My daughter is the same way. I have a weak stomach and when my son was having his blood drawn, I felt light headed like the lab nurse was taking blood from me or something. Silly, I know but, I was anxious about the whole thing, like you said, I wished I could have traded places with him.
    (sorry this is such a long comment)

    By Blogger lillielaw, at 5:39 AM  

  • Jeremy, my middle one, threw a fit one time when Julia had to get an IV when she was hospitalized with her asthma. Of course, today he denies it, stating he would throw a party if the brat got a "shot" for anything. Right.
    You do want to change places with them during those times, don't you? As for the heartache...I'm praying she never has one and praying she does so she'll know eventually what true love is. Right now, she still labels which ones rate "cell phone status".

    By Blogger Monica, at 8:31 AM  

  • I remember my munchkin's first shots. I couldn't even watch, I turned my head as tears ran down my cheeks at the painful cries of my newborn son. To make matters worse, my pediatrician also had a nurse Ratchett and I dreaded our visits to scheduled appointments because she was so rough and cold natured to my precious little angel. Thank god we moved out of state and now have a new pediatrician and a new, loving nurse :)

    By Blogger Summer, at 10:51 AM  

  • Yes, I remember this well. And tomorrow I get to go with my youngest, and she is such a sweet thing (when she isn't in Ogre mode) that I'm really, really worried about her.

    Speaking for myself, I'm terrified of shots and bloodwork and at 40 I've finally faced SOME of my fears that were started by Nurse Ratchett all those years ago..

    By Blogger Silly Old Bear, at 11:24 AM  

  • Awww what a sweet boy!

    I was just reading Robin's comment and realized that I could not, I repeat, could not, hold my first child for her immunizations. I tried I really did but everytime they came near her with a needle I just about fainted (black spots and everything). Good thing my mom worked close to the place where she had to get her shots cause she always held her for me.

    By Blogger Nickle Annie, at 11:31 AM  

  • That is awesome. I'm getting misty. (sniff. sniff)

    By Blogger bornfool, at 9:57 PM  

  • A great story, but it points up an unspoken truth of adulthood: where's OUR sucker when WE get a shot, hmmmmmmm?

    By Blogger Skunkfeathers, at 10:41 PM  

  • I remember the first time I took my oldest in for shots...she cried...there was nothing daddy could do for her...I vowed then...Never again! I think it hurt me more mentally then it did her physically...

    By Blogger The Ugly American, at 10:28 AM  

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