A Saturday Morning Trip to the Doctor

11 Nov

The after-math of my and J.J.'s first round of vaccinations

9:30am. Saturday morning.

I am not a morning person for the most exciting of events, so when the 4 of us scheduled our first appointment with the travel doctor I was less than thrilled. I knew that this appointment would eventually end with needles, something neither Tal or I handle well.

We spent about 45 minutes in the waiting room trying to compile all of medical history as accurately as possible for the forms we’re asked to fill out. This was no easy task, especially before coffee, and involved phone calls to parents, piecing together elementary school records, high school records and a number of scanned in documents full of doctor’s scribbles. We also had a tough time filling out the ‘countries you plan to visit’ section because there was only room for 5 countries, not to mention we had a lot of countries to remember to write down.

10:30am. Saturday morning.

When we finally finished filling out the forms, all 4 of us were called into the doctor’s office to meet with the clinic’s 2 doctors. One of the doctors sat at a huge antique wooden desk facing the 4 of us sitting on our folding chairs and lectured us in a monotone voice. We went through everything we’d ticked off on our forms that we thought we might do while we were traveling. Each time he finished covering a topic, he would order the other doctor to give us the corresponding photocopied handout. These guys had the dominant-submissive thing down to a science.

The boys found the whole thing hilarious as the spent the entire time texting each other about what was happening.

11:00am. Saturday morning.

An hour and a half later, Tal and Jonny were shown into one room and J.J. and I into another. It was shot time.

I know I said that neither Tal or I don’t handle needles well, but that’s a serious understatement. As a kid I once locked myself in the washroom until the local clinic closed so that I wouldn’t have to get a blood test and in high school it took Tal at least 3/4 of a day of pacing and freak-outs to actually go through with getting her belly button pierced. I still can’t believe she actually went through with it.

Back to the doctor’s office. As the doctor in our room got all of the syringes and vaccines ready for me, I sat on the table with my sleeve rolled up, my hands getting clammier by the second. Just as the doctor in my room was ready to give me the first of 5 – yes 5 – needles, we heard Tal scream through the wall, “Oh my God! Oh my God! It hurts so much! Ow! Ow! Ow!”. Then we hear Jonny play music on his iPhone in an attempt to calm her down. Funny, yes. But now it’s my turn.

The doctor had to ask me to suck on a lollipop (so that I could bite down if it hurt) and had to ask J.J. to restrain me. I didn’t scream, but when the 5 shots were over I started sweating profusely and felt my cheeks flush. I remember repeating, ‘I need to lie down, I need to lie down’ over and over. Once I was on my back, the doctor tried to give me another lollipop. At this point I was feeling sick to my stomach and started repeating a new phrase ‘I need a bucket, I’m going to be sick, I need a bucket’. Poor J.J. was stuck holding a bucket (actually a garbage can) for me while I dry-heaved into it for the next few minutes. Luckily for everyone I know this tends to be my reaction to needles and skipped breakfast.

12:00pm. Saturday morning.

The boys got their shots, no problem and we all met back in the waiting area to do some more waiting. (Because of our reactions to the shots, Tal and I were ordered to hang out for another 20 minutes for observation.)

Finally we were ready to get out of there, but first J.J. accidentally patted his hand on my newly pricked arm to get my attention. My reaction? A very loud, 4-letter expletive. In a waiting room full of children. I had to quickly apologize and we got out of there as quickly as possible.

December 3rd. Another Saturday morning.

I really can’t wait for more papers, more shots, more fainting and more dry-heaving for our next travel doctor appointment – come on December 3rd!


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