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It's Worth a Shot

February, 2014

No shots. No school.

Those are the rules, and our family abides—despite panic around the word shot.

It's Worth a Shot

And by panic I mean red-faced-screaming-sprinting-into-the-wall kind of panic.
And not just in the doctor's office with a needle at the ready. It's also in the car on the way to the doctor and at home on the phone making the appointment.

Oh, you think I'm talking about the children's panic?

Sadly, I am not.

My fear of shots arose relatively recently. I survived childhood with a stiff upper lip and a lot of lollipops. I gave blood and plasma regularly in college. When my first baby was born, I was victoriously drug-free—a champ!—though hooked up to the obligatory saline drip via IV. Right after I watched them pull out that IV, I climbed off the birthing table unassisted and said, "Where can a mom get some French fries around here?"

Forty-eight hours later, they pricked my baby's heel. I knew it was coming. They told me it was coming. They summoned me to be there! I went eagerly because it was "baby's first blood draw."

Then they stuck a needle into my baby.

He let out a wail. My eyes rolled back in my head. The lights went out in my brain.

And thus began a dozen years of passing out, or nearly so, any time a needle got near my kids. Vaccinations. Blood draws. IVs. Don't even get me started on tonsillectomies—my child and I were actually wheeled out of a pre-op room in matching gurneys. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.


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