Yesterday afternoon I took Jackson to the pediatrician because I thought that he had an ear infection. He had a stubborn cough that we just couldn't shake and usually that means an ear infection for him. Imagine my surprise when his doctor came in and, after taking a look at his ears and his throat, announced that there was nothing wrong with him.
Now don't get me wrong. I was glad that his cough was nothing more than his allergies acting up, but I wish I wouldn't have wasted a trip to the doctor for that.
But I guess the trip to the doctor wasn't a complete waste after all.
A few weeks back when I asked everyone's opinion about the H1N1 vaccination, I went ahead and called our pediatricians office and asked to be put on the waiting list to be notified when they received the vaccination. I figured I would still have awhile to make my decision. When we got to the doctor, the nurse asked me if I had received a phone call yet about the shot. I told her that we hadn't. She commented that the office had received their allotment of shots and that they were starting to call down the list starting with kids who have asthma. Jackson does have asthma, and I guess the only reason we hadn't gotten our call yet was because our last name starts with a W.
Anyways, the nurse asked me the dreaded question: "Do you want Jackson to get the H1N1 shot today since he's eligible?"
I started mumbling all these questions that I had, "Is it safe?", "Have you seen any complications from it?" and just random other questions. The nurse wisely told me that she would have the doctor talk to me. When Dr. D came back in, we talked for awhile about the vaccination. I appreciated it greatly that she didn't blow off my concerns and questions. She really did talk openly and honestly with me. She answered my questions and then told me that she felt that next years flu season was going to be worse than this one.
The clincher for me was this: Dr. D told me that they have a very large practice (I would estimate they have at least 1,000 kids in the practice). They had asked for 500 doses from the health department and they only received 100 doses. 100 doses and 1,000 kids. With Jackson's history of breathing problems and asthma I just couldn't risk not getting the shot for him. What if I changed my mind later and decided for the vaccination and there were no doses left? It's a total "between a rock and a hard place" situation.
She asked if I was okay with it and I told her that while I wasn't happy with the vaccination, if she firmly believed that the benefits outweighed the risks for him that we would go ahead with it. I know that there are risks with the shots, and I know that there are great risks for him without having the shot.
And I know that if something happened to him because I allowed the vaccination that I wouldn't be able to live with myself. And I know that if something happened to him because I didn't allow him to have the vaccination that I couldn't live with myself.
It was around this time in Dr. D and my conversation that Jackson clued in to the fact that he was getting another flu shot and he was not a happy camper about it. When the nurse walked in with the shot he had a fit and just freaked out. That was when I found out that Jackson has super-human strength when he's fighting a shot.
There was great weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, and that was just me. You should've seen Jackson.
He got the shot and cried the whole way out the door. The only thing that made him feel better was that I promised him that we would go to get some ice cream at McDonald's, and that when we got home that we would jump into the bathtub and wash the flu shot off. Eventually he quit crying. The whole way home he kept saying, "I don't like having that flu shot from that nursery (nurse). I don't like it at all and I don't want that anymore. Okay?" I quickly promised that he wouldn't get another flu shot. Until next year. And then we ate our ice cream sundaes and I smothered him in lots of kisses and hugs and we headed off into the sunset to go wash that nasty flu shot off.