I have been meaning to go to the doctor for months. While I make sure my kids have all their preventative visits, I’m not so stellar about doing it for myself. A general check-up was in store—you know, keep mommy healthy and all that. I finally did it! Yay me. So yes, I’m gloating little, but I gotta say, I learned some things while I was there. Go figure! Ya want to know what I learned? I know! You do!
1. Our Poor Babies!
The check-up required a Tdap booster shot. Before the booster, the doctor said—and I quote—”your arm is going to feel like a horse kicked you.” I was also slated for a blood draw. Now, I’m no pansy about needles. I am very brave. But ouch! So here I am today, with a not-so-sexy lump of cotton taped to my achey arm, and a shoulder that does indeed feel like it took a hard punch. No wonder our babies are fussy after their shots. Since it’s been a long time since I’ve had this immunization, I’d forgotten. I have a LOT of renewed sympathy for the wee ones who can’t tell us that it hurts. (And some props for the infant room teachers who console them on our behalf!)
2. The Whooping Cough is Back.
The Dtap (or DTaP, depending on the variety) protects against tetanus and pertussis—also known as whooping cough. All of our kids get these vaccines, so I’m sure you moms and dads are familiar. What I did not know is that our immunity wears off by the time we are grown-ups. So we adults can get and carry this very contagious disease. That means our youngest babies, who haven’t been fully inoculated, are at risk. There was a great story about this on NPR recently. You can listen here.
While my kids are definitely past the danger zone, it’s important for parents like me to keep up-to-date on these kinds of things. I mean, if I’m going to stand at the baby room door and ogle all the cuteness, I don’t want to spread the whooping cough, now do I?
3. I Am Old.
I think the doctors advice to me started out with the phrase, “as we age…” Neato. Really, super.
So anyway, moms and dads: be nice to those babies after their pokes, even a day or two later. And consider reading up on our old friend pertussis, who seems to be back in town for a visit.