The Shot

Yesterday P and I went to the doctor. She coughed all night the night before and I didn’t feel like I could send her to school. I got a morning appointment and we went. The doctor’s answering service can schedule morning appointments for you. That SO rocks. Oh, how I wish we had this doctor when she was a baby! She checked out fine. The doctor said that she may have a cold all winter. Fabulous. Since she hasn’t had a fever the doctor said it was OK to give her a flu shot. I told the doctor that I wanted her to get one but that I didn’t want to tell P about it beforehand. I read about a study last year that said that children’s experience of pain was greatly increased when their parent tried comforting and “preparing” them beforehand. The time for the comforting comes after it is all over. P found the little disposable cover the doctor had used on the otoscope and we played with that while we waited for the nurse to come back with the shot. She “examined” me with it. I even pulled her arm out of her long sleeved dress to get it ready but didn’t say anything about it. I questioned my method and wondered if I was being cruel by letting the shot be a surprise but decided to go through with it and see what happened. I’m so glad that I went with my instincts. When the nurse came back into the room with the syringe she turned to P and said, “do you want to count to ten honey?” I replied, “let’s count to three” and started loudly counting. P was shocked to get the shot but cried for literally three seconds before becoming interested in the Snoopy bandaid the nurse put on her arm. I know for a fact if we had spent the whole time waiting for the nurse to come into the room with the shot talking about the shot it would have been so much more painful and upsetting for her (and me) than it actually was. I don’t think this method will work for every painful procedure she might need (like taking blood) but it certainly rocks for shots. I want to shout this to the mountaintops!

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