When our doctor in Wisconsin reviewed the records we brought with us from Ohio, they couldn’t figure out which vaccinations she received. You see, the vaccination chart was on the SECOND page of the girls’ records we brought back from Ohio, but our new doctors’ office would only scan the FIRST page of the records into their electronic systems. The rest of the documents in the girls’ charts went into some strange land of limbo known as “storage,” accessible by neither man nor beast.
Because I couldn’t say for sure which vaccinations she already received, I went ahead and told the staff to skip the vaccinations for this visit, we’ll get the necessary vaccinations once we have all the records straight.
Fast forward three months, and we STILL didn’t have a clear vaccination record for either of my children. By this point I was so fed up that I just said, “Go ahead, just give her whatever vaccinations she missed from her 15-month checkup, along with whatever she’s due for today.”
“M’am, that’s going to be six shots.”
“Really? Hmmmm.... is it dangerous for her to get that many?”
“No, there’s no danger.”
“I may regret this, but lets just do them all and get it over with. It’ll suck for today, but she’s so little she probably won’t remember.”
Poke. WHAAAA!!! Poke. Poke. WHAAAA!!! WHAAAA!!! Poke. Poke. Poke. WHAAAA!!! WHAAAA!!! WHAAAA!!!
I regret this.
Not only did it physically hurt her at the time, which broke my heart, but she remembers those jabs. Now she is terrified, utterly, utterly, terrified. All a doctor has to do is look at her to reduce her to a trembling wailing heap in my arms. If I even go to lay her down on the scale to get her weight and height measured, she clings and trembles as if I were trying to baptize her in a fountain of acid. The poor thing desperately clings to me, shaking with terror, if I even try to lie her down on one of those plastic changing tables in the McDonald’s bathroom.
I ruined her.
And I felt like CRAP about it. How could’ve I willingly exposed my baby to such pain, that it would stick around as one of her earliest memories? But as I was wailing and gnashing my teeth over this, my Mom came up with the best reasoning I’ve heard yet.
“Honey, lots of people are afraid of the doctor. Who’s to say that she WOULDN’T have developed such a fear, no matter how many or few vaccinations she received?”
So maybe I didn’t ruin her. Yet.
Sorry Toddler. Mommy loves you very much. Even when your 5, 15, 25 years old, if you need some one to hold your hand at the doctor’s office, I’ll be there.
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