The Well Visit

Why is it that children look like angels when they are tucked in their bed at night, but during the day sometimes, they are far from acting like angels and as parents, we just have no control over the situation? I now have two words that may shake me in my boots forever: Well Visit! My five-year-old son had his doctor’s well visit on Wednesday. It didn’t go well! Fortunately, the good news is that he is healthy and on target for his age, but the bad news is, we probably left our pediatrician’s office with a huge red flag in our folder that reads, “BEWARE! Child is dangerous and out of control emotionally if blood work or shots are involved. Proceed with CAUTION!”

I’m sure I’m not alone, and other parents have issues when taking their children to the doctor, but it is mind-boggling when it happens to you. You feel helpless, angry, sad, frustrated, concerned, embarrassed, and so many other emotions. My son started having issues with doctors when I was pregnant with my second child in 2009. JH had to have allergy testing, a flu shot, and H1N1 shot within months of each other. I guess it was too much! At his four-year-old well visit last January, he yelled, “NO”, turned, and bolted out of the doctor’s office as fast as he could. He was almost in the parking lot before I caught up with him.

Luckily, he didn't go to the doctor for a sick visit last year, but we did go for a flu shot in October. He did great! Ironically, he even asked for a doctor’s kit for Christmas so I was trying to be optimistic for this well visit, but I still was worried about the appointment.

My husband was on deadline so he couldn’t go with me, and I made the crazy and bad decision to take my one year old because I wanted our doctor to check her ears while we were there. She’s been somewhat restless at night over the past few weeks, and I was concerned about an ear infection.

The infamous appointment was at 3:15 pm. I had to wake my daughter from her nap, which is just painful in itself, and dash out of the house with very few minutes to spare. Of course, we could not find a parking place. I get both kids out of their car seats, open the stroller, and make the very stupid decision because I’m running late to leave the diaper bag in the car. I guess the 15 seconds it would have taken to grab the bag would have made me even later. Who knows what I was thinking at the time?

We sign in and we wait! We’re in the lobby about thirty minutes. My daughter starts to get cranky, and a thought runs through my mind, “Can I leave them in the lobby, and run and get her food and Tilty Cup of water that is sitting in her diaper bag in the car?” I actually ponder this question off and on as I sat in the waiting room. I resort to having my son push the stroller back in forth in the lobby until we are called, and that made Little L happy.

We then get moved to the room. Things are going stupendously. He likes his tests with the nurse, the doctor, and Little L is entertained from all the commotion. But, things can go downhill mighty quickly! And that was the case here. We went from happiness to yelling, screaming, kicking, more yelling, and complete insanity over a single finger prick. My son is a slow bleeder so it took a little longer to get the blood the nurse needed, but by the time, she got on the band-aid, it was scene from the : “Exorcist.” I could not control him! I could not calm him down. He was an emotional wreck and we still had FOUR shots to give him! The nurse left the room. Meanwhile, my daughter is in her stroller looking at her brother, and he’s yelling and screaming at the top of his lungs, “I want to go home! I want to go home!” People in California probably heard him. Did you? I continue to try to calm him, and I grab my cell phone out of my purse, turn it on, and proceed to call my husband.

He answers. I immediately hold up the phone so he could hear the screams. I say exasperated,  “You owe me. You owe me big time!” I try to get my husband to calm JH, but it doesn’t work. He’s just distraught. I’m at a loss of how to help my child.

The nurse brings in two other helpers to help with the immunizations. My daughter is crying as we try to restrain JH. He proceeds to hit a nurse, kicks, screams bloody murder, and I look into his eyes with all of his terror as they administer these shots, and I just start to cry. It was the most emotional roller coaster ride that I’ve ever been on in my life. I feel bad about my son hitting this kind nurse, embarrassed that the doctor’s staff may think I’m a terrible parent because my child hit a nurse in the face, and sadness for my little boy who was apparently traumatized by this entire experience. It was an exhausting afternoon!

Later in the evening, I cuddled with my son, and we talked about our experience that day. He told me again that he didn’t like blood work. As we kissed, we focused on the positive. He said, “Mama, I peed in a cup very well today.” And that he did.

Until next time……I’m off for a cup of tea!

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