Last Thursday I had a terrible day.
It actually really began on Wednesday when my orthodontist said I was ready for my jaw-breaking surgery. (This was a good thing since it is the first required step to getting two missing teeth replaced). But then minutes later, an x-ray showed that I did NOT have enough room for an implant; the root was NOT diverging; and it was possible that I had an abscess. The short story there? I was NOT ready to have surgery.
If you’ve ever been toothless for three years, then you know what a blow that was.
So, I got that bad news on Wednesday, when it was Thursday I had been dreading most.
Because on Thursday, my 7-year-old Alyssa was getting an allergy test—the needle poking kind with a cajillion shots. She was not happy about it. And honestly, I couldn’t blame her. Who wants to spend three hours getting a cajillion shots? She wasn’t exactly alone, though. Her five-year-old brother Wyatt had to have blood drawn that day, too, and he was about as happy about the trip as she was.
But let’s back up just a little. Because on the way to get a cajillion shots, I got two tickets. One for speeding, which I totally deserved, and one for expired tags. Expired tags?! I say to the officer, “Ohhhh! I forgot! My stickers aren’t on there yet, but my husband renewed them online. So they’re not really dead.” I say this because I believe it is true.
He says, “I can check that.”
I shrug and say, “okay.” Because I believe it is true.
Until he comes back and says, “I checked. Your tags are expired.”
And then I looked like a big, fat liar.
And the tickets made us late for Alyssa’s appointment.
And Wyatt was bawling (I’ll get to that).
And my tags were expired! (I still can’t believe that’s true!)
And… I… was… mad.
Now, on to Alyssa and the cajillion shots.
She had worried over it for a month, which had apparently given her plenty of time to come up with a game plan: duck and run… and hide.
Yep, she ducked under the nurse’s arm, ran to the end of the room, and hid under a table.
She hid. Under a table. And she refused to come out.
I thought I would die.
I just got two tickets.
My tags were expired. EXPIRED!
I was late.
Wyatt was crying (still).
And now, my daughter was under a table.
I coaxed… to no avail.
I threatened… to no avail.
I finally dragged her out and put her in the chair. And then I stood in front of her so she couldn’t escape.
She winced and squealed and squeezed the bones in my hand as hard as she could until the nurse gave her the first shot.
And then, guess what? She giggled. Because she didn’t feel a thing. Because they had numbed her arm when we got there.
And when that was finally over, it was Wyatt’s turn to get his blood drawn. His eyes were still swollen from all the crying that had gone on earlier. See, what happened was, while I was getting the two tickets and looking like a big fat liar, Alyssa had taken the liberty of explaining to Wyatt—in detail—the size of the needle and the level of pain that came along with having blood drawn.
At the hospital we waited and Wyatt cried.
We waited more, and Wyatt cried more.
I wanted to cry too, right up until it was over when… he… giggled. Giggled! Because it was a good nurse and the needle didn’t hurt at all.
And on that good note, I thought it was over. Being over was just about the only good thing that had happened all day.
Except that it wasn’t over. Alyssa cried half the way home (like, for 45 minutes—it’s a long trip) because of the three allergy shots she will have to take every week. EVERY WEEK, since how she was allergic to 57 of the 60 things they tested her for, including our dog and cat and all the trees and grass and weeds and dust in a fifty-mile radius of our house.
By the time I finally got home, the tension in my shoulders had drawn them up even with my ear lobes. I looked like I didn’t have a neck, and the next day, you still couldn’t see it.
I tried to make myself feel better. Even though I’m generally a pessimist, I do try to find the good in things. After much thinking, I could only come up with two things: “It could have been worse,” and “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
I do suppose that somehow, it could have been worse. Alyssa could have gotten STUCK under the table.
But make me stronger? I say: Psht! It didn’t kill me, though. I guess that’s the good thing I found. If you can’t say anything else, this will always stand true: What doesn’t kill you… doesn’t kill you.