Marc is getting his first set of immunization shots. Choosing the right pediatrician is crucial to the well being of a baby. We are lucky. Dr Thomas is a friend of Sam’s and a super doctor. Here we are in the waiting room surrounded by other children and parents. After what seems like ages, the nurse calls us in.
She measures Marc’s height, head circumference and his weight, takes his temperature and carefully writes the results in his chart. The door opens and the doctor walks in. He picks up the chart and checks the figures, then he looks up and smiles.
“How are we doing today?”
“He is in the 90th percentile for both height and weight. Good job!”
I just got a gold star for good parenting.
I stand aside as Dr Thomas examines Marc thoroughly. The nurse has prepared the immunization syringe and needle on a surgical tray. Dr Thomas picks up the syringe and turns toward Marc. Galvanized into action by a strong instinct, I move forward to stop him. My aim is to reach Marc. The nurse is standing in my way. I move to the side to bypass her. The deed is already done. Marc is crying. I pick him up and hug him. Angry tears fill my eyes and with an effort I stop the flow of accusatory words aimed at Dr Thomas for having hurt him.
I hear him say: “He might have a slight fever. Give him Tylenol. If the fever is high, call me. Make sure he is well hydrated, I’ll see you in six weeks.” and walks out.
I am too upset to answer. I know it is unreasonable. He had to give him the necessary inoculations. Instinct could not let me stand by and watch my baby being hurt. My whole nervous system is still pumping adrenaline, ready for battle. Left alone, I hold Marc and sit for a minute until my breathing returns to normal. I wait until Marc stops crying and is resting his head on my shoulder, sniffling, then hurry out of the office. I just want to go home.