Op-Med is a collection of original articles contributed by Doximity members.
When preparations are underway for vaccinations to take place, my household becomes a war zone.
The thought of an impending vaccine, to my boys, resembles the actual possibility of a weapons attack. It is, in essence, a weapon. It’s a needle that comes your way and invades the comfort of your normally-undisturbed skin surface. But it also serves a purpose — much like the police department does — to protect and serve.
But that doesn’t mean that they’re welcomed by our kids.
In fact, all common sense flies out the door when we’re talking needles. They will happily embrace any illness known to man, at least as far as their naïve little selves are concerned, rather than be confronted with the thought of being stabbed.
My own progeny needed to be taken in for boosters just the other day. “Get that arm ready!!” I let one of them know. I know it’s cruel and unusual in its delivery, but when you read on and acquaint yourself with his response, you’ll understand why I’ve taken on humor to tackle the news.
My son becomes frantic. It is literally the start of World War III, as he pulls out his list of excuses. Not in the literal sense — he doesn’t have them written down on a list in his back pocket, but it’s almost as if he does. He starts to go through them, one by one, as if memorized from somewhere in the back of his head. Apparently, he prepared in advance. I think he figures that reasoning serves as a justifiable substitute for bacterial protection. Boy, does he not know who he’s dealing with, with a doctor, mom, me.
Every line in the book is hurled at me — and all at once. Here is just a small sampling for you to fully grasp the magnitude of his attempt at evasion.
“But my arm will be swollen!”
“I won’t be able to do my homework tonight, thus affecting my overall grades. Ivy league dreams crushed! My aspirations flushed down the toilet.”
“I was going to write a beautiful poem tonight. By hand. Just for you!”
“I have a scheduling conflict.”
“How will I be a star basketball player this week when my arm is hurting, or worse, swollen?”
“The dog needs to be walked!” (We don’t have a dog, dear.)
“My friend is coming over.”
The next phase usually involves hysterics. Some groveling is typically a part of this, as well.
Bottom line — nothing works for him.
But this is what it comes down to:
They’ll scream. They’ll fight. They’ll throw anything at me but the kitchen sink. But I’ll still vaccinate my kids.
My children may (and will likely) need dragging into that pediatrics office, but they will get vaccinated, by hook or by crook. As long as evidence-based medicine shows me significantly reduced numbers and we see the dramatically positive effect on our society through time, I will be vaccinating my children.
Now excuse me. I’ve got a child to rope in.