Saturday, January 23, 2010

Vaccinations, sunshine withdrawals, and Laurie Berkner

"Rain, rain, rain! Why is it always raining?" Queen Teen shouts. She has said this every morning and several times throughout the day for a week. I can't really blame her. I love the rain but even for me this weather is a bit excessive. 7.25" in only three days, and it's still pouring. Occasionally it hails and the wind blows so hard from the south there has been rain-water pushed under my front door, making the entry damp and slippery. Queen Teen is a sunshine girl;she needs sunlight to make her smile. When it's gray and cold for more than a couple of days her spirit matches the weather: she gets gloomy.

And then to make the week extra fun, she got vaccinated.

We were finally able to get Queen Teen the H1N1 shot. She's been on the waiting list at the pediatrician's office for two months, and although there have been open clinics via the health department in our area, there was no way Queen Teen was going to stand in line for two hours waiting for a shot. Going to the doctor to get one and waiting 35 minutes was bad enough. She screamed and cried and hit. Luckily her dad came with us to help hold her down while I shoved up her sleeve, held her arm out to the frightened nurse, and said, "Now!"

I hate doing this but it's the only way to get her vaccinated, or her blood drawn. But I know every time we do this it just adds to her trauma and PTSD. I'm surprised she doesn't break into hives just at the word "doctor." By the time she's grown-up and able to make her own medical decisions, she's going to need daily therapy just to walk into a doctor's office for a check-up. That's why I only force this on her when it's really, really, really, really, really, really, really important. The H1N1 virus made this year's flu shot extra important.

Queen Teen was so upset she didn't even want to go to Starbucks. She wanted home: now! Then she hid in her room and rubbed her arm where she was injected. I keep trying to tell her that if she relaxes it won't hurt so much, but in the throes of panic she can't hear me. I gave her tylenol and juice and left her alone to sulk.

After a few minutes she came to find me. I supposed I was forgiven. She came into my room where I was surfing the internet and I suddenly had a brilliant idea.

"Come here, doll." I pulled her toward me and sat her on my lap, then clicked on Laurie Berkner's website. Together, Queen Teen and I watched a few of Laurie's webcasts. It was like the sun had broken through the rain clouds. Queen Teen was laughing and singing along to the songs. She grinned and then hugged me tight, and then we sang, "The Goodnight Song."

"I'm a little frog and my daddy loves me.
I'm a little frog and my mommy loves me.
And when they tuck me in to sleep at night,
they say Ribbet Ribbet Ribbet, good night.

Goodnight. Goodnight. Goodnight little froggy goodnight..."

No matter how bad things might get in Queen Teen's world, Laurie Berkner always makes her feel better.

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