the bean, like her mother, absolutely hates needles. i'd suppose that's a pretty common sentiment, because shots aren't fun. she hadn't had to have any since she started kindergarten, and we both remember very clearly when the doctor said that she wouldn't need any more again until she turned 11.
you know where this is going.
also like her mother, she adores her birthday. total birthday princesses, we are. i know i'm a grown ass adult and probably should be way past that, but we all know how much i love to celebrate birthdays. not even just my own, but for everyone in my family. but this year, the bean was torn between being excited for her birthday and the party she knew we were planning and knowing that those shots were drawing nearer day by day.
because i'm a big chicken about this kind of stuff, i made sure to schedule the doctor's appointment while MIL was in town. it also happened to be on a monday so that the old lady could join us, which was extra great since the hub was conveniently off on his fishing trip. i put off telling the bean about the appointment until i absolutely had to, making sure to wait until her birthday and all of the party festivities were all over. i didn't want to chance her being all emo and moody during her big weekend, and sure enough, as soon as i told her about it her whole attitude completely changed. it was sunday evening and i tried to break the news with something positive - "hey, so i'm going to pick you up from school a little early and grandma and your sister will be with me..."
upon hearing the reason for that early pickup though, she burst into tears and immediately started dwelling on how much those shots were going to suck. we tried to console her and pep talk her, trying to convince her that it was going to be okay and that it wouldn't be as bad as she was imagining it to be. but we all also knew that the appointment was going to include the tetanus shot, and we all know how much that particular one sucks not just while it's happening but for a few days afterwards. yikes.
when we picked her up from school, she was already freaking out. oy. we arrived at the hospital in no time despite having to go to a facility a little further from home than our usual - there weren't any appointments available at that one, and i also wanted her to see a different doctor than her regular one. her regular doctor is a little rough around the edges, and in the past has talked about the bean's BMI being a little higher than normal and with her entering that tween stage i just didn't want her to hear that crap. and so we ended up visiting the very hospital she was born in, which she found pretty interesting.
checking in was a quick and easy process, and we sat down to wait for her name to be called. she, of course, brought her beloved "ducky" for comfort.
the nurse brought us into her station so that she could take the bean's vitals. she was so scared and frazzled that her blood pressure was through the roof the first time it was taken.
even after taking it a second time the reading was still pretty high, and so the nurse decided to wait a little bit before trying one more time. she took us into an exam room next, where she handed the bean a hospital gown and had her put it on. she hasn't worn one of these things in quite a while.
thankfully, the doctor we'd been assigned to was wonderful. she was friendly and sympathetic to the bean's concerns and tried to make her feel at ease as much as she possibly could. i really liked her a lot, and we may just start making the drive to baldwin park more regularly for whenever the bean has to see a doctor for anything. we talked about diet and nutrition and exercise and pre-puberty issues, and after she looked at her ears and throat and all that good stuff, the moment was upon us. she was due for 3 shots - the T-dap, meningococcal and the first dose of the HPV vaccine. i know that last one has been a little controversial in the past, but considering the fact that it's protection against what the doctor said are completely preventable forms of caner - well, it was a no-brainer for us.
when the nurse came in with the paraphernalia on a tray and made her first attempt at getting that first shot done - oh, the drama. my child turned into freaking meryl streep, wailing and crying real tears and carrying on. MIL, who she'd chosen to be by her side, did her best to talk soothingly into her ear, trying to get her to calm down, while the old lady and i tried to offer encouragement from our perch across the room. she was being super melodramatic and after awhile it got to be overboard, and the nurse did her best to explain to her exactly how things would go and that as she gripped her arm with one hand, the shot would take about three seconds and then it'd be over with. the trick was that she couldn't move, which she was really struggling with. when she tried a couple of times with no success as the bean kept flinching, i finally reached my breaking point and told her that she needed to just relax and get it over with because we weren't leaving the room until it was done.
and after that first shot was finally administered, she calmed down considerably as she realized that it really was, in fact, not as bad as she was imagining it to be. the nurse managed to get through all three of the shots and we all breathed a sigh of relief to have it over and done with. she attempted to stand up and said she felt a little woozy, and so we had her lay down again for a few minutes until she felt better again. another fun fact about the bean: she despises band-aids. she absolutely hates having anything stuck to her skin. that used to be a great way to get the old lady to settle down for her shots - with the promise of fun band-aids with her favorite characters on it. anyway, as she lay there i took this...for the wedding slideshow, as i told her. heh.
the nurse took her blood pressure one last time, and finally her numbers were back down to normal. sheesh.
we sent this to her daddy to show him that it was all done.
and then she was all smiles as we left the hospital.
we asked her if it had really been as bad as she'd thought, and she begrudgingly admitted that it wasn't the most terrible thing ever. this is good, because we have to go back in six months for the second dose of that HPV vaccine.
god help me.