Recently, I dove through my brief cases, hunting for valuable proof of my connections in volunteering to help kids that I stored years ago. Supposedly, I had placed my certificates, letters of recommendation, and awards in plain-sight, but of course I wasn’t finding exactly what I needed at that moment. As I skimmed through my papers, by chance I discovered this story that I had written for my first writing class twenty-seven years ago. At first I didn’t remember the incident and then suddenly it all came back to me as if it was yesterday as it also was the day that the space shuttle, Challenger, exploded. It definitely was a dramatic, earth-shattering day. What the world didn’t know is that I was dealing with my own form of explosion… enjoy.
“There never was a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him asleep.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“You’re going to kill me!” shrieked my hysterical eight year old son, Mathew, as he cowered behind me. “I’m not going to let you touch me!” he yelled at his surprised doctor.
Concerned at Mathew’s slow recovery from viral pneumonia, Dr. Michael Kazaras, Mathew’s pediatrician recommended that a blood sample be drawn to check Matt’s white blood cell count. Hearing that the doctor intended to use a needle on his arm, Mathew rejuvenated immediately, as he sprang from the toppling chair where seconds before he had been sitting quiet and still. Only the encrusted mud from between the wedges on his favorite red and black Skyjordan tennis shoes remained as evidence of Matt’s hasty retreat to the wall and corner behind me.
As Mathew sprang from the chair, he instantaneously jumped behind me, and with a death-like grip clung to the scarf tied tightly around my neck. I unsuccessfully lunged to grab Matt while attempting to keep the scarf from choking me. The strangle-hold on my neck indicated that I more than likely would be the one to die! At least I was already in a doctor’s office and wouldn’t have to call 9-1-1.
Mathew, finally overcome with curiosity in the tourniquet the doctor was going to use on his arm, released my scarf. The tourniquet looked like the stretchy material for a sling-shot, and I’m sure Matt was thinking of the birds, squirrels, and raccoons around our home that he could terrorize, provided he could get his hands on the tourniquet. As if teasing a rabbit with a carrot, Dr. Kazaras slowly maneuvered Mathew to the table. Pounce – we had him! Now I know why doctors go to school for such a long time… to learn the fine art of ensnaring an eight year old boy.
Patience and understanding exuded from the Greek doctor as mother and doctor pinned Mathew to the table. Dr. Kazaras’, “Wait until you see the neat band-aide I’m going to give you” convinced Matt to hold still so the doctor could insert the needle, and that he wasn’t going to die after all. “I want my band-aide NOW!” screamed Mathew as the needle came out of his arm.
When I remember this incident, I think about the number of times my childhood doctor had to chase me around his examining room as I was terrified of needles too. Maybe my son learned his escape tactics from me. Come to think of it, I’m STILL terrified of needles, I can’t imagine why. I can remember my doctor telling me to “RELAX” so that he didn’t break off his needle in my rock-hard, tense butt! It’s easy for him to say, as he’s the one holding the needle!
Now, my son and his wife are about to have their first child. I think I’ll give him this story… to prepare him for fatherhood.