just a mom figuring it out one day at a time

H1N1- The Day, The Shot, The Panic

Beginning last night we started prepping both CJ & KC for the fact that we were going to get a shot today to prevent a really big sickness that could have them end up in the hospital. We tried to provide the rational that it was better to get a quick shot now, then end up really sick in the hospital with many shots and needles.

Did it work? No. CJ asked question after question- which is his way of working through his fears and issues. He asks the same questions, or variations thereof, over and over again until somehow he feels comfortable. KC on the other hand seemed indifferent, even going so far as to point out that the last time she had a shot she did not cry or anything.

The morning went off without much of a hitch, until it was time to get ready to go. I had a sitter here in the morning so I could run out to a few appointments and when I came back, KC was dressed but in no way ready to “go.” In fact the minute she saw me the tears and the mantra “I don’t want to get a shot!” began. It escalated to a full blown fit, much to the horror of my sitter. Bit by bit I was able to get her fleece and shoes on and just carried her out the door.

By the time we had arrived at the doctor’s office both children seemed pacified enough that we could walk in. We took our appropriate place in line and then as soon as it was our turn to go into “the room” KC began to wail. Not a small whimper but a full on screaming fit, with each “I don’t want to get a shot” statement getting louder and louder. These even continued after she had been given the H1N1 shot. Somehow she missed how I had to restrain both her arms and legs while holding her on my lap, and that the shot was actually over. A point that I found mildly amusing. Then came CJ.

I turned to him and could see the panic rise in his eyes. He grabbed his crotch and vainly tried the “I have to go to the bathroom” stall tactic. It didn’t work, the nurse simply explained that there were other people waiting and he could go just as soon as she quickly gave him his shot. With much trepidation he approached the table. As she was getting ready to do it he screeched, “WAIT!” With that he clenched his little fist, released it, closed his eyes and counted “One, Two… ” and we were done. He seemed shocked that it was all over and then suddenly very pleased with himself.

A huge weight was lifted as we walked to the front office to check-out and claim our stickers. And then, then I looked over to CJ. His lips were white. All the color was gone from his face too and then, “Mom, I think I am going to be sick.” I dropped everything and ushered both children into the bathroom. With one hand on him, I looked at the listing of the adverse side effects- paleness was one of them. Panic now began to rise in me. What had I done? Inside I was praying that he wasn’t going to have a horrific reaction. Here my children had been so adverse and I kept assuring them that everything was going to be fine and now my son was pale as a ghost on the bathroom floor with his head over a toilet.

I calmly went out of the little bathroom and ran right into the doctor. Luckily he seemed unfazed by the whole incident and said he thought that CJ’s blood pressure may have dropped. It could have been due to the shot combined with anxiety. He just needed a few moments to recoup himself and lay down.

Going back into the little bathroom, I looked at my son. His color was already starting to come back into his lips, and he was asking about lunch. These were all good signs. So I led him out of the office and, just for my own peace of mind, laid him out on our third row seat. He laid there happily reading his book, until finally he informed me that he really was feeling fine except that he was really hungry and could we please leave and get some food. Relief set in as I pulled away, but I am still on guard. I am watching and waiting to make sure nothing else materializes. Ironically their anxiety is fading while mine is lingering…

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