Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Shot

Zack + ear infections = bff 4 ever. Well not really because, Zack certainly does not "heart" the ear infection, but the two seem to be stuck together. There we were on day six of antibiotics, round three, and Zack is holding ear in hand whimpering "owie". Ah man. Mama called the doctor and the doctor said "back to the office not to bed!" So we trek on over in the down pouring rain (it is March, in Berkeley after all) to the pediatrician. Dr. King checks Zack's ears and confirms the obvious, ear infection still alive and kicking. Now what? I ask. The doctor suggests a shot of antibiotics to "knock out" the infection. "Sure!" I agree too fast. He then raises his eyebrows and mouths "it's a bad one". No problem, I think Zack is a brave trooper. Yeah. I might have re-thought that one.

The nurse comes in with not one, but two shots and a worried look on her face. The shots are to be given in his behind. Zack lies face down on his tummy and pulls his spider man underwear down exposing his tush. He does not appear worried, the kid has had shots before, and shots usually bring good things like stickers and lollipops. As the nurse brings the needle close to his flesh, she motions to me to grab his hands. I oblige. The shot is administered and the wails begin. Frantic tears. Scampering to get off the table, but wait there is still one more shot. Holy hell.

"Zack" I say into his ear, holding his arms down, trying to sound soothing, "It will be over soon, you are so brave!" Zack responds with a heartbreaking "mommy, don't let her hurt me again...please!"

After the second shot, the very loud crying continued, for thirty five minutes. We had to wait in the lobby for fifteen of those minutes to make sure that Zack did not have an allergic reaction. During our stay, Zack stood in the crowded waiting room with his pants at his knees exposing his bare, sore bottom and refusing to pull up his undergarments because it "HURT!" He wailed. The nurse brought juice... for one. But there were two. There was also a 20 month old brother who wants whatever the senior sibling has, and Zack was not sharing. So now we have two kids sobbing and a room full of strangers staring at us. As we leave the office Zack waddles behind me, I cannot pick him up because I have Evan in my arms and I honestly cannot carry both boys. We are standing in the parking lot in the rain and Zack won't budge. His arms reach for me. I come to him and kneel down looking into his sad eyes. "Mommy" he says looking at me for some sort of reassurance, some form of protection, "that shot hurt my feelings". I hug him and say the first thing that comes to my mind "Oh sweetie, that shot hurt my feelings too". Because it did.

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