Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Irrational Fears and... Part 2: A Visit to the Doctor

(Just a quick note before I get into the post - Readers come back!!!!  I know my hiatus over the summer was long and painful, but I want to write again!!  Okay, begging over...)

Dr. Sammi strikes again

Things just get weirder and weirder with Samantha.  For a kid that must play doctor for at least a quarter of her waking hours, who owns not two but three doctor's kits, whose insatiable appetite for books includes anything that's got a character that goes to a doctor, who will tell you she wants to be a nurse when she grows up, whew, she's got a real fear of going to a real doctor that has cropped up in the last year.

Again, not really based on too much, although I think past strep tests and flu shots may have brought this on full-force.  The last time she had a strep test, the nurse had to pry her mouth open to get that horrible stick down her throat.  It was heartbreaking, and I've felt guilty ever since.  While I'm pretty sure that she did have strep that time, we suspect she's a carrier, and will always test positive.  And, as luck would have it, the only way to test that theory and get proof is to give her a strep test when she's obviously not sick.  Ludicrous, right?  Won't happen - I just can't put her through that. 

So last Thursday it was the day for her annual physical.  Just a physical.  I assured her they'd just listen to her heart, look at her ears, eyes, nose and mouth, and that'd be pretty much it.  She didn't have any vaccines due, no need for a strep test, we should be golden, right?  Nah.  Tears, tears, tears at the initial mention that morning of going to the doctor.  But they subsided, and, at the appointed time, she marched up to the office without a care in the world, even greeting the nurse who called us back, happily stepping up on the scale for weight and measurement (just FYI, she's 61pointsomething lbs., and stands 46.something inches tall).  All good signs in my book. 

But that's where the good signs ended and the fun began.

The nurse practitioner, a very nice, warm woman we'd seen before, entered the room, and the kid pretty much shook in fear through the paper gown she'd let me put on her.  I explained the situation to the woman, who took things slowly, explaining exactly what she was going to do.  Samantha, through her tears, said, "no stick!" in reference to the strep test, and we assured her no stick, no shots.  She eventually cooperated (sitting in my lap the whole time and getting to hold the lollipop the nurse had given her to hang on to until the exam was over), and the nurse was nearly finished except for the part where she has to press on Sammi's stomach.  Even after telling Sammi she was just going to tickle her tummy a bit, Samantha all-out bawled until the woman's hands were on her and she realized that it really did tickle.  I just love that laughter-through-tears thing, especially when it's proving I'm right.  :-) Suddenly, Sammi SHRIEKED and screamed, "Not my bum!"  The nurse had reached down to press her femoral artery in her leg to check her pulse, and my kid, proving that there's no grass growing between her ears and that she's been paying attention all along, reacted just as I would want her to react.  Just before the nurse had entered the room a few short minutes earlier, Sammi and I had been reading a leaflet for kids about how to stay healthy and safe, including not letting anyone touch their private parts. 

Wowza, that nurse's hands flew up in the air so fast, I actually felt sorry for her.  I explained quickly what we'd just been reading and the lessons she'd surely been taught several times before, and she was perfectly happy to skip that particular portion of the exam.  Let's just assume her circulation is perfect

Can I just tell you that for all the frustration of her sudden lack of cooperation at her physical, how proud I am of my girl?  How relieved I am that she reacted that way?  How hopeful I am that she will not become one of those frightening abuse statistics found in women with Down syndrome?



Jenny said...

Cracking up here!! And good for Sammi for paying attention and remembering! I remember having that talk with Amy when she was Sammi's age...After school she burst through the door and shouted "Good news Mom, nobody touched me today!" lol

Rochelle said...

Way to go Sammi! Giggling at the "bum" reference. Of course our girls use it too! LOL

Cindy said...

Excellent job Sammi! Even though she was afraid of the doctor, she still reacted that way. Awesome! (Beth is so shy and quiet, I expect she would have let the doctor check her.) I'm nervous about that kind of thing happening to Beth. Even as an adult.