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.”
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 take.one.more.thing. 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!”
“DOES ANYONE CARE THAT I AM FREAKING OUT!”
Let me just share with you that by this time, Gia peed and pooped two more times. I.kid.you.not.
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.
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.