Monday, November 2, 2009

The Shot Heard ‘Round the iPod

Did you feel the planets align today? The earth shake? The mountains move? The cosmos shift in their timeless tracks?

Why would all these momentous things be happening, you ask? Because my son started allergy shots today for his environmental allergies (pollens, molds, animal dander, etc.).

Really, this is big stuff. The last time he had a shot was three years ago, and it took me and four nurses to hold him down, a half-hour of hysterics, and a margarita (that was for me) to accomplish it. That’s right, the human whirlwind of energy and adventure was transformed into a thrashing berserker by a little ol’ needle.

So starting immunotherapy shots today was bigger than big.

In addition to his peanut and tree nut allergy, my son is also allergic to almost everything that blooms, sheds, or slimes in Utah. Molds, trees, grasses, weeds, critters – they all gang up on his respiratory system year ‘round, and he’s on a small battery of daily medications to keep his lungs reaction-free.

So after thinking about immunotherapy for a couple of years, we finally decided (okay, I decided) the time was right to start building up his body’s own immune system so that he can hopefully wean himself away from the medications.

Yeah. Easier said than done.

Being a practical mom, I’m not above bribery. In fact, I keep the bribery option firmly seated in my parenting toolbelt for just such occasions, and I’m not afraid to use it.

This one required the big bribe. The open-ended whatever-you-want bribe. The I’ve-got-to-be-out-of-my-mind bribe.

We started small several weeks ago. It’s been building up ever since. Finally, on Thursday, we came to an understanding. A new iPod Nano. And it had to be orange.


“Trust me. This will hurt me more than it will hurt you,” I told him. Fortunately, his birthday is coming up soon, so the bribe became both bribe and birthday present. Still painful.

Today was the big day. I didn’t tell him this morning before he left for school, because I didn’t want to give him a whole day to agonize over it, or I’d never be able to drag him out the door. When he got home from school, I sprung it on him. His shoulders drooped. But he quietly scooped up his new Legos magazine and followed me out the door.

At the office, the nurse said, “How are you today?” He stared at the floor.

“He’s a little nervous,” I said. Like it wasn’t obvious.

She swabbed his arms (he needs two shots – one in each arm – oh, the horror), sprayed a little numbing spray on them, and reached for the needles. A minute later, it was all over, and he was standing there surprised.

“Was that okay?” I asked.

He nodded. Clearly, he’d expected it to feel something like a nastily barbed lightning bolt from truly angry Greek gods. But it was a piece of cake. A really expensive, orange piece of iCake.

On the way to the car, I told him I think I’d gotten the short end of the deal. He grinned.

So if you felt that little tremor in the fabric of space and time today, don’t worry about it. It was just my son making his peace with a tiny little half-inch needle that will, with any luck, put his immune system on the road towards wellness (and his ears on the road to music nirvana).

1 comment:

Kaylie said...

At first, I thought you were bribing your son with the margarita. I was relieved I don't have to stage an intervention.