THE THINGS I DON’T SAY OUT LOUD

We decided to get flu shots after hearing the news reports about how wide-spread and severe the flu season was. It required use of several strategies to convince the Navigator to do it

  • Reminding him of how easy it was the last time he got shots for school
  • Offering him something he wanted in return for getting the shot
  • Giving him enough time to prepare himself to go

That morning, I called the pharmacy to confirm that they were giving the shots. I had heard of a particularly skilled technician who gave the shots almost painlessly and, after asking for her, was told the time that she would be in.

We arrived shortly after the technician started her shift, but then were told that they had run out of the shots.

“I’m sorry, ma’am, it’s first-come, first-served and we ran out of shots early today. We should have more in tomorrow and you can come back then.”

What I said was “I understand, thank you.”

What was I was thinking was

You have no idea how hard this is. You have no idea how hard I worked to make sure all of our tools and strategies were in place, all the details and hyper-attention I have to pay to support my son. You have no idea how hard my son worked to overcome his anxieties to do this, that it is a big deal that he left the house to do this, and how there is no guarantee he will be able to do it again. We can’t just re-do this again tomorrow. You have no idea.

The frustrated tears were close to the surface as we walked out to the car. After we buckled in, I looked over at my son.

“There’s another pharmacy we could try, if you’re up for it,” I said.

It was a gamble. Having gotten a reprieve from his fear of the shot, he might have been unwilling to do the work to make himself ok with it again, preferring to put it off until tomorrow.

What I was thinking was

It took two hours to prepare us for this today. I don’t know if I can give up another two hours tomorrow on the chance that they might run out of the shots again. I might not be able to get him to leave the house tomorrow, and I have got him out of the house now. I have nothing to lose – if he refuses to try the other pharmacy then we have lost nothing, and I can try again tomorrow.

“I don’t know. I was relaxed and if we go somewhere else I will get tense again,” he answered truthfully. But then he agreed, realizing that he, too, did not want to go through all the energy it would take to replicate the trip tomorrow.

The second pharmacy had the shots available, and we were taken care of right away. Soon he had the spicy nacho cheese chips he wanted.

When we left, I smiled at the pharmacy staff and said “thank you.”

What I was thinking was

Thank goodness.


Also published on Medium.

2 Comments

  1. Unfortunately, the older I get, the more the “in my head conversations” slip right out of my mouth 🙂 – Glad you did not have to do a repeat and it went well, eventually.

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