Nothing is Ever Routine

Ever since the note about 6th grade physicals came home, Tommy and Belle have been obsessing about them.

“How many shots do we have to get?”

“Do we have to give blood?”

“Does the doctor have to see me naked?”

“Do I have to pee in a cup?”

“How many shots?”

I put off telling them that our appointment was yesterday because I didn’t want to hear the complaining. Tommy, however, saw the calendar and saw the times with his name and Belle’s and outed me. Nevermind that Tommy has NEVER looked at the calendar…EVER. All of a sudden, Belle had a stomach ache. She thought she was coming down with what everyone else had that she escaped getting. Anything but having to go to the physical. I made the appointment for the morning and told the twins that we’d go to McDonald’s for lunch before I dropped them back off. That seemed to quiet the complaints a little. I think Belle set a new record for how many times she said, “I don’t want to do this” or “I’m scared.” Once in the waiting room, she flat-out said, “I’m freaking out.”

Not really that nervous.

Not really that nervous.

Super nervous

Super nervous












Let me take a moment to tell you that Gia was with us. Sweet, newly potty-trained, Gia was right there in the middle of everything.


Tommy’s appointment was first (they have different doctors, Tommy has the male doctor and Belle the female one) and it all seemed very routine until the nurse casually said, “Okay, now to the eye exam.” Then it was my turn to quietly freak out. See, I have glasses and I really don’t care if my kids end up with them. But having to go see another doctor when I feel like we see a slew of them right now sends my anxiety through the roof. Having to constantly remind any one of my kids to take care of their glasses or contacts will do that, too. What’s the big deal, you ask? You see, I am already fighting such a big battle daily, I don’t think I can Tommy left and Belle immediately said, “I’m going to fail. I can’t see anything.” She then started to test herself with the magazines on the wall. She had completely psyched herself out which was freaking me out and I was already mentally trying to find room in our schedule for an eye doctor appointment.

By this time, Gia had peed and pooped three times. Seriously. No.lie. Big announcement to the nurses on her way in. It was hilariously embarrassing the first time…not so much the third time.

Tommy passed and while he waited for the nurse to come in with his one shot of Prevnar, Belle was having a slight nervous breakdown. I say slight because I had no idea what was coming. Tommy got his shot, the nurse said, “Stick around for a little bit to make sure he doesn’t have a reaction,” and she left. Tommy stood up to play catch with Gia and that’s when it all fell apart.

He quietly complained that he had a bad headache all of a sudden and his eyes hurt. I looked up at him and I noticed that all the color had drained from his face at the same time he said, “I don’t feel good. I’m dizzy.” I went and got the nurse and probably wouldn’t have gotten as scared as I did except the look on her face was fear. It was not good. She took his blood pressure and nervously said she was going to get the doctor. The doctor came in along with two nurses and said he had vasovagal response which is when the heart rate slows and the blood pressure drops and sometimes ends up with the person passing out. Thank God, he didn’t. But it was enough to scare everyone that was in the room, most of all…


If I thought she was having a nervous breakdown before, that was nothing compared to the conversation that followed Tommy’s episode. While he was on the table wincing in pain, Belle was circling the room. It sounded a little like this:

“Why? Why does that happen? Why?”

“Is that going to happen to me?”

“OhmyGod, that is totally going to happen to me.”

“We’re twins. Of course it is going to happen to me.”

“I don’t want it to happen to me.”

“I’m scared it’s going to happen to me.”

“Is it going to happen to me?”

“What if I pass out?”

“Do I have to pee in a cup?”

“Do I have to take the eye test?”

“I’m going to fail the eye test, pee all over my hand and pass out. I know it.”

“I think we should leave.”

“I want to leave.”

“Can we just go?”

“I’m freaking out!”

“You don’t even care that I’m freaking out!”


Let me just share with you that by this time, Gia peed and pooped two more times.

When you are stuck at the doctor for 3 hours, taking pictures helps pass the time.

When you are stuck at the doctor for 3 hours, taking pictures helps pass the time.


Belle’s doctor came in examined Belle, and knowing her gave her a Sprite to sip on while she was doing it. The funniest part was that while Tommy was still on the table in pain and dizzy and sleeping, the doctor was trying to be all secretive about what happens to some girls that are Belle’s age. I finally told her that there was no such thing as privacy in our house and anything she was saying to Belle, Tommy already knew. Here’s where it all fell apart for Belle. Her doctor has a different view on vaccines and when they are to be given so Belle had to get two shots. Well, that completely set her off and she burst into tears. I really didn’t and still don’t like that two of my kids have different schedules for vaccines. Tommy’s doctor doesn’t believe in giving the TDaP until they go into high school. Belle’s believes in doing it now. Tommy’s didn’t say anything about Hep A, Belle’s recommended it.

After Tommy’s response, I said fine to the TDaP for Belle so she got the Prevnar and that one and was completely distraught with the added one. There was a long wait, so long that we thought they forgot about her and in that time, so much freaking out. I am actually proud of myself that I didn’t lose my patience with her stomping and yelling and crying. She got the shots and immediately said, “I think I’m fine. Wait…I have a headache but I hit my head on the window sill. It’s from that right? Not the shot, right?”

After drinking some Sprite and eating some candy (because both the nurses and the doctors told Tommy that “a little sugar would make him feel better”) and taking it easy, Tommy’s blood pressure went back to normal but the dizziness persisted so we had to stay for him to keep getting checked out. We got to the doctor’s office at 9:15 and didn’t walk out until 12:30. I’ll let all of you mothers that have ever had to be at a doctor’s office for a fraction of that shudder at that thought.

Deciding the twins were getting two much attention, Gia, herself felt a little faint.

Deciding the twins were getting two much attention, Gia, herself felt a little faint.

We went through a drive-thru and for the rest of the day, the twins used getting shots as a reason to have to eat a lot of sugar. Tommy slept the entire day only waking up to aggravate Gia a little. Belle complained the rest of the day that she didn’t feel good and was worse off because she couldn’t move BOTH her arms and Tommy could at least move his right arm.

I needed a nap, a glass of wine, and a Xanax after that morning but instead got playing with babies (her dolls), lemon water and an Advil for the splitting headache I had.

Why did I ever think that a routine physical with my kids was going to be just that? After 15 years at this gig, don’t I know better by now?

So what are your thoughts? Weird that two doctors in the same practice have different plans for vaccinations? Did your kids get the TDaP at 11 or high school? Did your kids get Hep A? Did you ever pass out from getting a shot?

Edited to add that I just called the middle school and TDaP is required. Darn the doctor for not knowing that and now I have to take him back. Crap.

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  1. My kids got 3 shots for middle school. Hep A, the one for meningitis and Dtap. My middle son hates shots. Though they have never passed out my husband did when being treated for an allergic reaction. I might point out the reason was he had 4 shots and 8 horse pills in an attempt to stop it. His bottom lip was so swelled so quickly from the reaction they were attempting to stop it from getting to his airway. After the 4th shot he was sitting on the side of the gurney and I literally watched his eyes cross and he went forward, towards me, who was 7 months pregnant. I caught him, barely and called for help. In the next 20 minutes he had 2 mini seizures and passed out cold.Vasovagal reaction from all the meds hitting him at once. Scared the piss out of me.
    Southern Angel recently posted..Opal T is what we called her.. Writers WorkshopMy Profile

  2. Any ONE of those things would have made for a “memorable” experience (Tommy’s BP drop, Gia having to go potty so many times, Belle nervous then needing more shots than Tommy) but ALL OF THEM??!! I applaud you for surviving with your excellent humor intact!

    Here’s why you are awesome (in addition to all the other reasons): You not only handled this with aplomb, you also got adorable pictures! That’s how cool you are! (and the picture of Gia holding Tommy’s hand made me squee from its adorableness)

    You totally rock this motherhood thing, AnnMarie. I bow down! –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted..Never Let Anyone Steal Your SparkleMy Profile

    • And I will be coming back several times today to reread this comment. If I didn’t take pictures, I think I would have ended up in the fetal position in the corner sobbing. You give me way too much credit, my friend but I love you for it. :)

  3. {Melinda} Oh, AnnMarie … {{{Hugs}}}. What a day. I can just FEEL your stress! And I so understand the not needing one more doctor to have to visit!! You’ve had a tough week, mama. I’m praying for a dull moment for you this weekend! :)
    Mothering From Scratch recently’s my party … oh wait, it’s not!My Profile

  4. Ugh, I hate taking the children to the doctor’s., and especially if we have to wait. Don’t they realize, children, no matter what age, cannot be sitting around waiting rooms for hours on end?
    So sorry you had such a time of it. Glad the kids are okay but damn, taking Tommy back again?
    (love the picture of Tommy holding Gia’s hand, so sweet)
    Alison recently posted..Saying NoMy Profile

    • I am so mad that I have to and when I called the doctor, the nurse said the whole office felt bad that I had to bring him back. I do love that picture of her being sweet to him.

  5. Oh AnnMarie, I am literally laughing out loud right now! What a day for you. I can so relate though, as I have one who freaks out everytime we go to the doctor, AND I also feel like we already see so many doctors that the thought of adding another one makes my head spin. I’m so glad that Gia could provide comic relief for you though. Get that wine and Xanax, Mama!

    BTW, I gave you a shout-out on my blog today. xoxo

    • Thanks, Kathy. Knowing I made at least one person laugh makes me feel better having gone through it. What is stressful in real life makes for good writing for the blog, right? That’s what I keep telling myself. Thanks for the shout out on your blog. Your words about me are so kind and so appreciated. :) You made me feel all warm and fuzzy.

  6. The two pics of Gia,holding Tommy’s hand and the one of her feeling faint are a hoot! Belle-the drama queen,but then I can understand where she would freak out after her brother’s episode. Do you ever feel like it something wierd is going to happen it will happen to your kids???We used to say that with my 26 year old son but he just had hernia surgery a week ago and it went smoothly-watch I will get a call from his workplace that something happened this afternoon! :)

  7. The two doctors in my kids pediatricians’ office have different philosophies too and we only see the one that we like and feel comfortable with. I’m not sure how they feel about the vaccines but I don’t think it really matters what they think. There are guidelines for which vaccines the kids are supposed to have and when and the school nurses are totally on top of that which I’m thankful for.
    Susi recently posted..100 Weeks Of Fill Ins – WOW!My Profile

  8. Oh for HEAVEN’S SAKE!!!! Okay- I have a story that will make you laugh and cringe all at once…
    Cass had been hospitalized with asthma issues- I believe she ended up with pneumonia. And the entire time Cade was crying and fussing and I KNEW it was an ear infection, but who has time to deal with THAT? The poor kid waited for a few days before I actually went to the doc. The doc had to scrape some of Cade’s ear wax out to take a look at it- (His ears are a bit deformed but not as bad as Cassidy’s thank God) with the help of the nurse I was holding my screaming kicking baby down and the doc ended up CUTTING his ear drum!!! Oh. MY. GGGGOOOOOOOOOO———-. We ended up going straight to an ENT over at Children’s that the doc called immediately. (with coughing asthmatic sick Cass) By this time we were on hour four of the afternoon- got re-directed to the WRONG doc and by that time I gave up crying driving home in tears, while re-scheduling for the next day because Cade would NEVER be able to handle any more trauma that day. (nor I).

    Got lots more where that came from! Oh yes, we could commiserate together for DAYS!

    I hope you are drinking a nice big glad of wine by now… :)
    Chris Carter recently posted..February Friend #6My Profile

  9. You have to go back? Are you kidding me? Two doctors with two different immunization plans and three hours at the office? I may need the Xanax and wine after reading your editor’s note! Oh, and that photo of Gia feeling faint is priceless!
    Ilene recently posted..Finding InfinityMy Profile

    • I know!! I am so mad about it! It’s not for a month but I think I am going to need a Xanax for that appointment. I do love that picture of her feeling faint. She cracked me up.

  10. Oh, I couldn’t help laughing at this post! The pictures are just too funny & the chaos!! I am sure one day you will all look back & laugh over this! I love the one where Gia is holding his hand, he looks so dramatic with his hand over his face!
    I hope you were able to enjoy your glass of wine at least once this weekend :)
    Andrea recently posted..mixed emotions dealing with secondary infertilityMy Profile

    • I’m glad I made you laugh. It makes me feel like if I can make someone laugh from it then something good came from it. :) I did finally enjoy a glass of wine tonight. It was goooood.

  11. Had that ever happened to him before? My son has reflex anoxic seizures and often has that sort of response to a sharp pain like a shot.

    I just found your blog today through Kissing the Frog. Your kids are darling.
    Robin Jingjit recently posted..PicnicMy Profile

  12. Nothing is ever smooth sailing for you, is it?

    And also? What are you feeding Gia?! That’s a lot of poop!

  13. Sounds like something I go through, often. I’m sorry you have to go back but maybe if he is alone it won’t be so bad. My younger kids are terrified too, the older ones are fine now. How scary to watch Tommy have a reaction like that. Sophie has had the prevnar 13 vaccine 5 times and it still shows as if it’s not in her system, crazy right?! I do hope you got some rest and that glass of wine you wanted!!
    My Dance in the Rain recently posted..Another ER run, but it was for me.My Profile

  14. I was searching for antibiotics that you could buy without prescription and I found this site… hope you find it usefull 😀

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  1. […] the week I had with Nico being sick and then Tommy and Belle’s appointment being such a fiasco, I was really hoping for a nice, quiet weekend and for the most part, it was. The weekends just […]

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    Nothing is Ever Routine

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