Monday, November 2, 2009

Mrs. Grumpy Writes

Mrs. Grumpy just sent me the following email:

"I took the kids for their flu shots (regular and H1N1) this morning, before school.

"Frank always goes nuts when he gets a shot. I tried to bribe them by offering ice cream if they behaved. We walked in and Frank started wailing and yelling uncontrollably. He got louder when the nurse told us that he would have to have 2 shots because of his asthma.

"Craig and Marie were able to get 1 nasal mist and 1 shot. After they found out that they were going to have to get a shot (although we've been telling them for the last week!) they started crying. Frank was already nuts so I just had him go first. He was crying and yelling, but took the shots.

"Craig grabbed his chair and refused to let go. A nurse and I had to pry him off it. We almost broke his fingers. He screamed and cried through his shot.

"Then Marie started screeching and screaming and yelling during her shot. A doctor and another nurse from the office came running into the room to find out what was happening. They wouldn't leave even after we assured then that everything was okay. I kept expecting the police, fire department, and CPS to come rushing in.

"When we were done I said to the kids, "What do you say"? Frank and Marie said, "Thank you". Craig yelled, "Thank you for trying to kill me!"

"They stopped crying as soon as they got a sucker. When they got to the car, they all told me that it didn't hurt.

"I think we owe that office a lunch."

41 comments:

Helen said...

I waited in a 2.5 hour line for my H1N1 shot last week, and as we got closer to the community centre gym where they were giving the shots, all we could hear was screaming.

I hope someone bought those nurses a drink afterwards.

Rx Intern said...

Those little rascals!! Did they get their ice cream post screams?

ndenunz said...

or at least a large batch of brownies

Flavius said...

Oh dear God, I cannot wait for my own bundle of joy >.<

Mrs. Grumpy needs her own icecream I think. Preferably soaked in a nice rum float.

-Flavius

Anonymous said...

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. (Maybe, not?)

Anonymous said...

Yes, send them a great catered lunch.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I had no idea so many of my readers worked at that pediatric office!

Rebecca Setzer Schroeder said...

I do work in a pediatric office. But fortunately it is a specialists office and we don't have to give many shots. My own kids PCP just tells them "Scream all you want, you're still getting the shot!" LOL

Amanda said...

I'll second the motion for an icecream soaked in a rum float.

My Elder, when he got his pre-kindergarten boosters, was flailing so much the nurse and I had to lay on top of him to pin him down so he could get those shots. I didn't feel much like mother of the year. The Gum Zombie, on the other hand, sat still as a statue except for his face which was dripping tears and his voice which was yelling "THIS IS EXTREMELY PAINFUL!!"

The Good Cook said...

Oh my - makes me glad my kidadults take it in the arm like champs! But no H1N1 yet... still a shortage here in NJ.

Queen of Crafts, Current Events, and Such. said...

maybe the kids were smart to scream out....instinct???? I think the H1N1 thingy-ma-dig is a little media circus...I dont know ...who knows.

Barb said...

Sounds like my oldest son, except that he screamed "I HATE YOU!!!" to the nurse. He was 7 or 8 at the time.

Ladyk73 said...

I remember being held down when I was really little. I had a bunch of stitches put in or taken out or something. Very traumatic...

My mom would have never let me scream for a shot. I remember the fear....

Anonymous said...

My son is the complete opposite. When he was two and getting allergy tested, the nurse finally looked at him and said, "It's okay to say ouch!" He just kept on watching her prick his arm. Gotta love the kid.

Fiz said...

Mine cried as babies and both were fine till my youngest was 8 - she had a ear infection and our doctor injected her with a very thick syrupy fluid which had to go through a really large bore needle. Now she just faints whenever she has an injection! We used to go up and just as the nurse came out, I'd tell her she had a flu injection (we all have asthma - our overgrown village has the worst rate for asthma in the country) She still fainted. Her Gardasil trio last year (catch up injections) were awful. They all hurt and she fainted with all of them! I bet she doesn't go for one at uni.

student dr. blaze said...

You'd think by now some drug company would've developed a creative way to give kids shots w/o it having to be such an ordeal. If they can develop neat kits for diabetic children or those w/short stature who need growth hormone, would it really be so hard to make a better device for vaccine delivery? I mean, they could make one of those "pen" injection devices that goes with a cartoon character so that the kid thinks about that instead of The Shot. Much more useful than germ-spreading stuffed animal stethoscope covers....

As for the office gift, I think the brownies may need a little, erm, plant extract added to them. ;-)

danielle said...

I wish as an adult I could react that way when I get a shot. Must admit, the H1N1 (AKA hamthrax etc) was much less painful than the other seasonal slu shot I got this fall....

My 6 yo grandson started allergy shots this year. Daughter said it took 2 of them to hold him down for his first one....and after it was over he said "oh, that wasnt so bad" and has been much much better since.

stellans said...

wow. How old are your kids?

peedee said...

My kid never hated shots. She didnt like them, but never fussed.

Probably the 20.00 bill I was holding out from the time we got to the Dr's office until she got it after the shot.

Bribery works. ;)

Dana said...

ELMA cream is my answer. My oldest goes into hysterics. So badly that as an infant, I thought she was having seizures.

So I go buy my ELMA cream and apply it before the visit. She gets the shot and no tears or pain.

I do it for my youngest because why should he experience pain just because he can take it like a big boy?

Griffin3 said...

I hate to say it, but, your kids are doing what you expect them to do. If you expect to have to bribe them to get shots, if you allow yelling and screaming, you will get all of the above.

I took my four-year-old in for his shots; he was not keen on the idea of getting them in his thighs (which was really the only thing that bothered him beforehand). He asked if it would hurt. I said yes, it would, but for a little bit, and it's better than being sick for 7 days (he vaguely remembers a flu-like illness). He was not happy, but was fairly brave; he started crying at the last one (measles *burns*) and then watched sobbing while I got my tetanus shot. After 10 minutes, it hurt, but not so bad, he agreed. He grumbled about it until naptime, and now is unaware of it unless I ask him about it.

My wife is a pediatrician; she is sly, and has her nurses poke the kids (so they don't think SHE is the mean one.) This last couple months has been her busiest yet; she had some unreasonable 700-odd visits in August. At any time the back of the office sounds like a beastiary, kids hollering and screaming over nothing, while others sit stoically with eardrums near to bursting. She'll be the first to tell you, the noise doesn't correlate with pain; it's all about what the parents will expect and allow.

So, yes. Send them a gift, and make it funny. Just a funny note in your usual style would be great; the nurses *do* get stressed by all the screaming; they have kids of their own, and it tears their hearts. But if you really want to send them a gift; lay down the law, next time. Tell the kids what will and won't be acceptable. Make them understand that such behavior will not be tolerated.

Throwing a tantrum about a bit of necessary pain might be something to blog about now. It won't be near as funny at the next vaccination. Or when they are teenagers.

[PS: Using a bit of sterile gauze, and wiping the alcohol off after the rub, and giving it time to *completely* dry before the injection, so you don't pick it up on the needle, really reduces the pain. We had no tears in 3 out of 4 flu shots this season (our family).]

Alex G said...

As a kid I hung out at the clinic my mom worked at after school a lot... I've seen kids freak out worse over vaccines, unfortunately.

M.E. Again said...

I suppose you get what you expect. When my daughter was 9 she started allergy shots. She asked if it would hurt - I told her it would but it would hurt less if she just relaxed her arms and didn't make a fuss. She has passed on this secret to many other kids since then. Or - as her dad says - "Man up, Girlie!" ( that always makes her laugh.

Gert said...

My kids handled their shots pretty well...a few tears, not much else. Good kids!

As a student nurse, our class manned a vaccination clinic at a local school.

There was one giant kid...8 years old but BIG. Biggest kid in the gym. He howled and screamed and hollered like you wouldn't believe. His mom was not leaving without him getting his shot. A couple of different student nurses tried, but he wouldn't hold still. I can't tell you the ruckus that kid made. His mom was pointing out all the other smaller boys and especially girls who were calmly accepting their fate. Didn't matter, he screamed and wouldn't sit still. Finally, his mom took him outside and we students also went on a break. About twenty minutes later, who sits in my chair but this big crying screaming kid. So, I bravely pick up a syringe, swab his arm (all the while he is screaming and his mom is holding him down and threatening him).

Well, I plunged the needle in and drew back only to find....blood in the syringe! I thought I would die. Had to start over. The second shot went pretty well...by this time he'd figured out that it really didn't hurt that much. He wandered away finally, no more screams or tears.

I don't do peds, as a rule.

TranscriptionistTia said...

I like the nurse at our pedi's office. Just before she gives them the shot, like a millimeter above the skin, she screams. The children are so startled, they can't do anything except get wide eyed and silent!

Is that considered reverse psychology?

Anonymous said...

The time in high school where I was seeing everybody but a neurologist for undiagnosed brain tumor, I was getting this and that test and blood draws up the wazoo. All that injection anxiety added up, so after one more time falling down in a faint, I bit the bullet and told the technologist ahead of time that I better have smelling salts ready, and the whole works because I was going to faint. The person giving the shot or drawing blood immediately drew me in an absorbing conversation and I 'lost' that particular anxiety. (I have not fainted since about being poked after telling phlebotomists to be prepared. Yes, it does take a certain amount of humility to admit it. The one time a nurse starting an IV in the back of my hand did not pay any attention was when I roused to a 'CODE' called in close proximity to where I had been sitting.)

In pharmacy school I nearly passed out in pharmacology lab every week when we were traching rats to administer drugs, and observe muscarinic, cholinergic, etc. effects, and I was the one that freaked out when professor described the three-way epidural anesthesia cath during lecture on IV anesthetics/pain meds/etc. I had no problem observing open-heart surgery at the head of the patient even standing on a little stool for the 3.5 hours.)

However, a year's worth of SQ injection self-treatment was ordered (fortunately, I don't have DM2!) and tried techniques of ice application, vigorous gauze swab rub, and relaxing music (cannot stand to hear NK Cole's Nature Boy to this day without a sense of impending dread). It started out as 1 mL SQ every other day, then 1.5 mL every two days, until I couldn't bear to administer a shot more than twice a week. The doctor said I was 'cured' at the end of the year, but I never let on how a little matter of therapeutic pharmacodynamics trumped pharmacokinetics.

On the other hand, some days I almost psyche myself into thinking I could get certified in giving shots. Usually a day later I decide I'd be the one to draw up the injection, keep the records, or hold the patient's hand. Until required by job description or law...

I got a flu shot for first time ever this year, mainly because no one else was getting one, so I figured I'd be ... anyway, it hurt for days, and yes, I told the nurse ahead of time that I might faint.

As for kids and shots, I usually told them up front it was going to sting or feel like a pinch, or something temporary, and they might see kids crying but that was because they didn't know what to expect; there was no need to carry on like that. I never, ever, ever related to them anything about how I felt about it personally. To tell the truth, I don't really remember the shots. Maybe their Dad took them after all. If I was there, I should think that I would have told them it would be like the hornet sting Dad got from digging in the lawn that one time, only there would be no giant welt, and the pain would be gone after an ice cream cone or lollipop. But, maybe that was the story about going to get their haircut, as I remember those shaven little heads and a lollipop, and my husband was involved in that, too. Anyway, I know I must have been there when they had to get some shot or the other, and I tried to behave real nonchalantly and matter of fact about what must be done to get better or stay healthy, to facilitate the speed of the process. (Unless, it was me that was passed out in the waiting room?)

vanity press said...

My granddaughter is very bright. At the age of three, she told her mom, "You are deciding to many things for me; I am almost grown up; I should get to decide more things for myself."

A few months later, when she went in for shots, she did not cry or make a scene, but stoically held out her arm.

Mom explained, "She was proving she is almost grown up."

At 65 I am just about able to hold my own with her at 5. When she turns 6 and I turn 66 (very close to each other), I won't have a chance. She will approach me with a needle and say, "Grandpa, hold still for your shot."

Anonymous said...

I vividly remember getting tested for allergies as a child and how much I cried when they did the 20+ sub-q shots on my upper arms...only to have to come back a few weeks later and have them repeat them. I was not a happy camper.

I've heard of the development of a needleless drug injection system...a device that uses bolistic technology and the drug particles are blasted through the cell walls by a "gun."

http://www.fluent.com/about/news/newsletters/04v13i1/pdfs/s7.pdf

River said...

It didn't hurt but they made all that noise and fuss anyway? I would have taken away their suckers immediately and taken back the ice cream promise too. Please tell me they didn't get ice cream, after all, they didn't behave well.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

No, they didn't get ice cream, or any reward.

Anonymous said...

"You might feel a little sting when I put in the needle."
"That's all right, Ma'am, I'm a Marine, we usually scream and pass out."
:)

Arps said...

Hahaha.. That was so just like me when I was a kid.. and the poor docs never got even a cookie, let alone a lunch..
Feel sorry for them now. Maybe I owe them a nice box of chocolates..

mommanator said...

arent kids great!
and this is why you didnt go into pediatrics!

Amanda said...

I think some of this has to do with individual pain tolerances and mindsets also.

I understand what some posters are saying WRT " this is what you expect/ permit", but as a parent who's raised two children pretty much the same way yet has two entirely different reactions from those children (flailing hysteria to calm, if loud, logic), there is an individual differential in there.

Just my observation -- and I'm aware the plural of anecdote is not data.

WellIlbe said...

Well, I have to boast, my 3 and 4 year olds didnt even grimace at their shots last year or this year, just whatched what the nurses were doing. Of course the oldest wants to be in the medical field already....

Pencils said...

Hey, at least you have the H1N1 and seasonal flue shots available. My daughter got her regular flu booster today (she's 13 months) and they had a sign up saying that they were out of shots for kids over 3 who weren't already scheduled, and they said that they're hoping to get the H1N1 in three weeks or so.

MLee said...

cute... work gave us our regular flu shots a couple weeks ago. Now I give shots all the time, not afraid of needles, yet for some reason when the nurse gave me the shot, I passed out cold. My ER docs are still teasing me :)

Fiz said...

Dana, EMLA is not the answer. My daughter still faints.

mojitogirl said...

aaahhhh!!! the joys of being a parent!! They seemed to have inherited their humorous streak from you!

Don't worry, it gets better. They become TEENS!!

I think you owe your wife something REALLY NICE!! like in the Tiffany's category?

Anonymous said...

They stopped crying as soon as they got a sucker.

Next time, suckers before shots? :P

Anonymous said...

My oldest absolutely HATED needles when he was younger. When he was getting his "toddler shots", he threw off the three adults pinning him to the table, grabbed the syringe out of the nurse's hand, and brandished it, holding the 4 of us at bay for awhile. Thank god he's gotten better as he's gotten older!

 
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