Too much excitement just might kill me!
I might be the crunchiest person I know, but I’m a firm believer in the importance of immunisation – in fact I think it should be compulsory. This is why.
So when Monkey’s cancer was diagnosed two days before he turned 1 (and hence two days before he was due for his next round of vaccinations), that was one of the many questions we had for the doctors.
As it turned out, we had to skip his 1 year old shots. There’s no point in having vaccinations during chemo – in fact they tell you to wait until 6 months after the end of the last round.
Which means Monkey is finally able to start getting back on track.
Don’t get me wrong – I hate needles. In fact for many years I had a phobia of them, although I am now able to cope if I use Emla cream. And the thought of giving my baby needles makes me ill.
But still, after chasing the hospital for his revised immunisation schedule for the last couple of months (they understandably have more important things to worry about!) I got the letter I needed for our GP.
Monkey needs to basically pick up back with the 12 month shots, but also requires some additional boosters.
I spoke to Monkey in the few days leading up to our appointment about what would happen and why it was important. I explained that he was going to have some injections of a special kind of medicine that would teach his body how to fight germs so that he wouldn’t get sick – just like the injection I had had at the chemist a few weeks ago (flu shot).
The night before, I told him that in the morning I would put special cream and stickies on his legs like he gets in the hospital, and he would need to lie still for me to do it. We have Emla in the house and I always feel like we might as well use it since it’s there.
The morning of, in the dark of the bedroom, (we had a 7:40am appointment and Emla needs an hour to work its magic) he obediently lay still while I put on the cream. When I suggested I change his nappy too since he was being so cooperative, he jumped up going “No no no!”.
After the doctor checked his temperature and spoke to the nurse, we were just about ready. The letter the hospital had given us had a list of shots he needed, and said they could all be given on the same day. But the nurse worked out that this would be FIVE injections, so she suggested (and I heartily agreed) that we would go with 3 and come back in a month for the others. Five seemed too many – where would they even put them all?? I wouldn’t let someone give me five shots in one day – hell, I wouldn’t let then give me three in one day!
Once she was all set up and Monkey was sat on my lap with his legs pinned between mine, I explained to him that he would be getting 3 injections – one there (left thigh), one there (right thigh) and one there (right shoulder), and then it would be done and we could go home. Monkey nodded. I felt sick.
Then he had his first injection. And he turned to me and said ‘More’.
Blew my mind.
He gave a little ‘oww’ for the second thigh (my guess is that was the tetanus shot) and didn’t even squeak for the upper arm, despite not having Emla there.
And that was it. No tears, no nothing. He barely even blinked.
What a little champion.