Ronan’s 1 year check up was yesterday morning. It was his well check as well as his 1 year vaccines.
I’ve always been a little nervous about the vaccination debate, but have constantly come down on the PRO side of the fence. I’m just far more scared of Ronan dying of Mumps or Polio than I am of him getting Autism. Truly, I can’t even say I believe there is a link. I understand that people are concerned about the amounts of toxins in vaccinations – yes, that concerns me too. But I’m worried about the greater evil at this point, and vaccinating him protects him from diseases that will kill him.
We showed up at the office a little early, and they called us back immediately like they always do. The first thing I noticed was that our regular nurse wasn’t there. We’ve had this nurse for every visit since Ronan was born, so it made me a little uncomfortable, but I was sure she would be a perfectly good stand-in. They checked Ronan’s weight (33.5 pounds), his height (30.5 inches) and his head circumference (I don’t know the number, but it’s 95th percentile. Huge noggin.) She asked me if I had an questions, and then left to get the doctor.
The doctor came in, and we addressed all of my concerns (can he chew on toothbrushes? is his heart rate normal when he’s very worked up? is there any reason to take him off of his Prevacid?) He did the physical examination and told me that Ronan looked fantastic, and that we needed to keep up the good work. I asked about Ronan’s lack of speech development, and he said it’s so early, don’t worry about it yet. Then he told me the nurse would be in shortly to give him his shots, and we would be on our way.
The nurse came back in, signed our vaccination card, and prepped her business. She had me lay Ronan down sideways on the exam table, bent his legs over the side, and leaned into them so he couldn’t kick. She then alcohol swabbed both of his thighs, apologized to him once, and then started injecting. She did two in his right leg, and then one in his left. At this point, he was screaming and squirming so hard he knocked the last syringe off of the table. I looked down long enough to watch the cap go skittering across the floor. I watched, mind numb, as she bent down to pick up the cap-less syringe, look at it contemplatively for about 2 seconds, and then proceed to shove the needle into my son’s leg.
The needle that had just been UNCAPPED on the FLOOR.
The whole thing, from start to finish, took less than 30 seconds. I didn’t even have the time to make a sound of protest before she had injected the contents of the contaminated syringe into my child. I could feel my face get hot, and my hands start to shake. She turned around, gathered her things and said, “You’re good to go!” before leaving. I hadn’t even picked Ronan up off of the table before she was out of the room.
I took a few minutes to gather my emotions, calmed Ronan down and dressed him again. I put all of our things in the baby bag, and then walked out to check out. I looked around to locate nurse that had just failed at basic sterile technique as well as basic common sense, and then told the check out lady what had just happened. She asked me what the name of the nurse was. Just then, our physician walked up and I asked him, “What was the name of the nurse that took care of us this afternoon?” He told me, and the check out lady called him around the desk. She said, “Tell him what you just told me,” and I did.
He looked very concerned, but said, “I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. Everything will probably be fine. We will write up an incident report and file it just in case.”
I told him that I didn’t think it would turn into anything, but if it did, I didn’t want to be hit with the, “WHY didn’t you tell us when it happened?”
I then turned around and left.
On my way out, I imagined the doctor going up to the nurse and chewing her out thoroughly for doing something so utterly stupid. I imagined him telling her that something like that was worth her job. I imagined her crying because she didn’t know what possessed her to do it, and couldn’t believe it herself. I don’t know what really happened, but that’s what I imagine.
So far, everything looks fine. There doesn’t seem to be any redness or irritation, and Ronan’s been a champ just like he always is after shots. Let’s hope it continues that way.