Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Full-out freakout

Even if I didn't agree with the whole "cocktail mom" thing, today I would have gone through a drive through liquor store if they had them here. (Do you know they have them in Ohio? You just drive right through and they load you up. Weird.)

See, Maggie had to go to the doctor. She has had a cold for, like, ever and has been getting increasingly snotty and cranky. She hasn't had more than an hour nap in the last three days (which means I out-crankypants her) and this morning woke up at 5 am. FIVE. A. M. Paul brought her into bed with us and she just laid there and snarked for awhile until all of us fell into a fitful sleep. She finally woke up at 7 am and reacted with violent insult to the idea that maybe just maybe she'd like to sleep a little more. NO she did not want her diaper changed and NO she did not want to put on the shirt she'd JUST picked out and NO she was not going to wear shoes and why couldn't she put both legs into one pantleg? Because clearly her mother wishes to suck all the joy and creativity from her life, that's why.

Now, Maggie is usually a very pleasant kid, bouts of Two notwithstanding. She's also a morning glory (how the hell this happened I do not know) so when this crankitude descended I thought one thing: ear infection. We called the pediatrician and they worked us in, so I began prepping her as best I could.

Seee, this is neccessary because while most two year olds seem to hate the doctor, Maggie's full-out petrified. Right before Christmas, she suddenly spiked a fever of 103 and was very lethargic (at least for Energy Girl). So we brought her to a local hospital's pediatric urgent care. We've gone once before and were in and out in 30 minutes. Not so this time. They suspected a bladder infection or a bacterial infection, so they had to take blood and urine. Which meant holding down our screaming toddler while nice but not very quick nurses put a catheter in and drew blood from her impossibly tiny veins. She was beyond anything I have ever seen, screaming and yelling and finally escalating to this awful howling sound I hope never to have to hear again. I had to leave the room and cry out of her sight, it was so awful. She did have some sort of infection, so they gave her two huge shots of antibiotic right in her thighs, which didn't do a lot for her opinion of the proceedings.

We had to bring her back the next day to her regular doctor, where they took more blood and gave her another shot. As we were pulling into the lot, she cried "NO!" sadly from her carseat, and that was the quietest reaction she had all visit.

So today, I tried to get her ready. She loves an interactive story about Elmo going to the doctor on the Sesame Workshop web site, so we read that together and explained the doctor would be listening to her heart and peeking in her ears just like Elmo. We brought in her Elmo doll to reinforce the connection. She was happy and playing in the waiting room, reading books and fulfilling her Official Greeter role by saying hello and goodbye to everyone that came through. I felt optimistic.

Then the nurse came in.


Screaming. Yelling. No. No shirt off. All done. ALLLL DONE, Mama! See, here's the sign so you know I mean it. All done doctor. No. (Pointing toward door) THIS way! Sobbing, in a way that let me know she was terrified, not just mad or thwarted.

Sheesh. (She just has a bad cold, no ear infection and no strep).
When you know the pediatrician and his entire office staff are giving you the Bad Mother stink eye, it's not a good day. Any advice, internet? I'd just like to be able to go to the doctor's offcie without wishing they had a) a bar or b) samples of Valium stashed somewhere for the parents.


teachermom said...

Hey! I'm also a motown girl and I've seen posts from you since before you were pregnant. Just de-lurking here.

My daughter did this, and now my son, who is also nearly two, does it. I have no advice except to just stay as calm as you can in the moment, realizing that it is going to happen. After a time (for my daughter it was right about when she turned three) they'll kind of get better becuase you can reason with them (and of course bribery works). Once she realized there was a sticker or trip to the park or something else in it for her, she turned into an angel. So, just brace yourself and forge forward!

You could also try shows that talk about the dr. There's a Sesame Street one (Elmo visits the doctor, I think), or books about the doctor. You could also try using a little doctor's kit to act out what happens when you go there, but I don't know that it would help because she'd still be pissed off when the dr. or nurse came in.

As for drive-thru liquor stores, they used to have one in Ann Arbor, but I do believe it's long gone. :)

tripmom827 said...

Yikes! I know how much that totally sucks. I wish I had some advice for you. All I know is that after a bad appointment, yes, liquor, valium, cookie dough, or some combination of the three is definitely in order for mom. Maybe next time, just Paul could take her! :) I hope she feels better soon!

Wood said...

Juniper does the same thing -- the same screaming, awful, freakout. and she's never had the hospital experience your daughter had.

no advice here, just sympathy.

pnutsmama said...

amy!! i hope i can leave this comment, i don't know if i am registered or not.
first, i love you! love your writing- everywhere i seem to go on the internet there you are and before i red your name i am nodding my head in agreement- i feel as though we are kindred souls, not in the creepy way. you are also one of the first momblogs i read-through selkie and moxie about bfing when i was in a bad place- and when i googled you i found melissa summers and well here i am now, all filled up with great reading- so thank you for so many things.

as far as the dr. is concerned, i am sorry to say that pnut is the same way, gets to the exam room and starts to fuh-reak out. i am not so good with her when she does the public freak-out, my social anxiety kicks into overdrive, so i usually apologize to the dr (who lucky for us all is wonderful and sweet and tells me it's normal) and do my best to hold her tight and soothe her and tell her almost done! over and over. i didn't realize it has gotten so bad til i made the mistake of bringing her with me to my dr and she screamed the whole time *I* was being examined- i was so embarrassed which is stupid but i could tell my dr (mom of 3, btw) was a little annoyed.

my only suggestion to add would be buy one of those dr. kits for her to play pretend with? maybe alter something into a white labcoat to dress up in? play examine the dollies/stuffed animals? have a waiting room, be the nurse, give the shots and fun bandaids? my kid is probably still too little for all that but our friends have an almost 3 yr old and she loves her dr. dress-up set.

anyway, i've been meaning to drop you a note in forever, i hope this works, and good luck!!

AmyinMotown said...

Awww, pnuts mama, I think the same of you! I loved your post on Ask Moxie the other day, and same thing, I was all "Amen, sister!" before I knew it was you! Thanks for commenting, and come back sometime!

Em said...

Holy cow, Amy. I feel for you. Maybe you should make that liquor store run BEFORE her next Dr. visit.

E likes the doctor. Then again, except for the occasional vaccine, she has never had a truly traumatic visit. I didn't realize how good we have it.