Thursday, August 23, 2012

Show Me Your Papers

Today I and two nurses held my daughter down on a table while one of them injected her with a virus.

Luckily it was at the doctor's office. Again - following on from the last post about perspective - there's no way in Hell that would be condoned in any other situation. Anyway - she starts school in two weeks. And here in this fine country a child cannot attend school until they've been to the doctor, had an annual physical, been administered the relevant vaccinations and received a form proving all this has happened. So as I did last year I am now in possession of a signed form from the doctor to give my daughter's school declaring she is, "free from contagions and physically qualified for all physical education, sports, work and school activities. I would like to remind people that No - I do not live in North Korea.

First off the visit itself was unpleasant. My daughter loves the physical part of the whole thing. She has her own doctor's kit so enjoys getting her blood pressure done, having a light shone into her ear and her reflexes tested. She also enjoys impressing the doctor at how tall she is (something she thinks she's "achieved" by being tall) and how well her eyesight and reading ability is to get all the letters on the chart correct. And she was aware that she needed a shot. Which she was being very brave about. She obviously fears and hates them intensely. But her last doctor's visit to get that matchstick-sized sliver out from under her big toe had taught her that some things are just necessary. Which is an impressive concept to grasp. She could have walked away from that (well - "been carried away from that" is more appropriate) terrified of the doctor. But instead she managed to understand that some things are required to stave off more horrible things. So even after she learned for sure last night that a shot was happening she smiled through ti all.

And I was aware she needed an MMR shot. But when the doctor finished up and fled - to remove himself from ever being involved with shots and therefore a "good guy" always - the nurse walked in with three needles. My daughter saw that. And she didn't like it. But she let the nurse remove her shirt and position her facing my chest while I held her elbow - primed for the shot. Then after she plunged it in everything turned to shit. She screamed incomprehensible slurs at the nurse. I'm not fully proficient in Rabies but I'm pretty sure she called the nurse an F'ing C who - if she dares come near her again - will have a needle firmly rammed right up her A. My son gripped me and cried confused by the whole thing. Which is sad because his conscious experience of doctors is watching his sister scream. After this my daughter got up and stood behind a chair growling ferociously, not even allowing me to comfort her. Which was when the nurse - fully experienced at this sort of thing - left to get another nurse. A few minutes later I had picked my daughter up, laid her on the examination table and firmly lay over her while one nurse pinned her legs down and the other did the injections. Good Lord that girl can scream. But again - as soon as it was over she stopped screaming and calmly asked if she could have some of the awesome colorful Band Aids the nurses had promised. Then she giddily ran off to the front desk to pick out stickers and - I presume - prove to the people in the Waiting Room that this is a doctor's office and not a strip called the Titty Twister that is filled with Mexican vampires, and I am not an abducted pastor with an RV and an adopted Asian son. Although I was sort of hoping to find a biker named Sex Machine was stood in the waiting room proudly displaying his crotch weapon.

Anyhoo - the form the school requires evokes the same thing in me as when I read about Stakhanovite Soviet ideals in the 1920/30s Soviet Union, or Neitzsche's √úbermensch. I feel like that quite often over here mind you. That is not a Godwin's Law situation either. I'm not trying to evoke exclusively negative connotations by mentioning that all together. I'm just saying it's very strange to be within a very militarized society that elevates sports above intellectual pursuits - yet it lumps Communism and Nazism in together as an exclusively foreign and more-or-less identical phenomenon that weirdo foreigners did a while back until liberated almost single-handedly by Freedom and Liberty (more appealing than the names "Fat Man" and "Little Boy" I imagine).

The part of the form that confirms my daughter's physical qualifications to attend school seems almost solely focused around sports. Which says an enormous amount about how many US schools view the strata of education and money from sports. In fact if the doctor doesn't sign off on that part they get to authorize between, "limited contact" or, "non-contact" activities. Oddly the first one listed is, "cheerlead." I also thought it was strange that in a society seemingly paranoid (depending on the ideological circles of course) that a person's medical information may get into the wrong hands that this form includes an entire immunization record, all the specifics from a physical, medications with dosages and general notes from a doctor on any "abnormalities" the doctor has observed. My daughter really is like a Stakhanovite though. As this photo of her in a "super hero dance outfit" proves.

Right now though she and her brother are attempting to watch the start of a very poor movie we borrowed from the library called Thomas The Tank Engine and The Magic Railroad. It's appalling and has absolutely nowt to do with the actual Thomas stuff save the fact that some of the trains are in it. Instead it's about magic gold dust, magical transportation and Alec Baldwin's floppy hair. I like how some of the mistakes are left in - like when they forget their lines about where they are though. How bad is it? First off my son - obsessed with Thomas - is actually angry that it's on. Secondly, considering Thomas is supposed to be set on an island right next to the Isle of Man (which some parts of this were apparently filmed on) it was a bit odd that one of the first people to get on a train was a Native American. Add that Peter Fonda is in this but appears to have had a soul-crushing mental breakdown that has rendered him incapable of emitting any kind of hope or positivity. I just checked IMDB and the second review for this movie ends with the lovely summary of, "absolute shite." Actually according to Wiki the movie was so naff that Britt Allcroft (who is the reason Thomas exists in the US) was forced to quit.

Balls. We're going outside instead. I don't care if the kids don't want to. 

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