The highlight of this year’s annual check-up for Claire was the paper gown. It folded, it rustled… it had a plastic coating on the one side. What’s not to love about it?
Granted, the paper dress meant the inevitable… shots. But for the time being, it was a treat. But she knew the shots were coming. Despite how great that paper gown was, the worry was in her face. And no matter how much we built it up, and no matter how much we tried to distract her, it was always there. We even tried the “you know, you need these shots to go to school. After these shots, you’ll be all set to go to Kindergarten!”. Nothing. Claire hates shots.
The doctor was nice, asked her all kinds of questions about how she was doing. Asked her about preschool, about her fingers and toes, if she went to the dentist… doctor stuff. I even think she forgot about the inevitable end to our time there until he started the rundown… this was fine, this was fine, she’s here in this percentile, she’s over here in this percentile, this shot is for this, and this shot is for this…
She got tense.
The nurse came in with the hypodermics, and every time Heather and I try to distract her. We tell her to look at us. We tell her to look at the wall… but she can’t. She needs to see the needle, and she will watch it go in. And she will cry a wail to break everyone’s heart and make me want to punch the nurse square in the face.
Why can’t she look away? Why can’t she just keep her eyes on our eyes?
There could be a couple of ways to end this on some spiritual level. Why do we take our eyes off of Jesus when we know the pain is coming? Where do we keep in our minds when we know the pain is coming? And all of these would be great… but I would just like to focus on this: I don’t want my daughter to feel pain. Simple as that. And no matter how necessary it may be for her, I don’t want her to get hurt. Now I know I can’t prevent it, and it would be wrong of me to try (After School Specials and all), but still, picture my fist to nurse’s face.