Bet you never ever thought that you would hear of someone asking, nattering and practically begging to have a jab done did you? Well if you read on, I will tell you the tale of my Downs Syndrome daughter who just can’t seem to stand missing out on anything that her mother is having done, whether it be her hair done or in this particular case, a jab for pneumonia.
It all began on Saturday when we attended our Doctors to both have our Swine Flu jabs. The nurse who was carrying out the jabs informed me that because I was now 65 years old and had experienced a heart attack previously I now qualified for a Pneumonia jab as well. She went on to explain that this jab was a ‘one off’ and once I had been given it, it would then protect me for the rest of my life. K was of course present in the same room waiting her turn for her Swine flu jab whilst this conversation took place. The nurse offered to give me both injections at the same time, one in each arm, but as I was concerned that might render me ‘armless’ I politely refused and afterwards, made an appointment to have the Pneumonia jab done this morning. (Thursday.)
During this last week, both K and I have experienced fairly sore arms following the swine flu jabs on Saturday morning, and K’s was particularly swollen and red. She has been complaining about it hurting her all week. So imagine my surprise as we readied ourselves this morning for the trip down to the Surgery to hear her begin to natter on about why couldn’t she have the pneumonia jab as well as me? Now she has heard of pneumonia, mainly from her Mum who often mentions the word when she is about to exit out the door, full of cold, and clad only in the thinnest of outfits and her thinnest coat. It usually goes something like this,
“ Are you wanting to catch pneumonia or something? Go back upstairs and put something warm on!” or if she has just washed her hair and its still damp,
“Are you mad? Get that warm jumper on and put your hat on, you silly girl! You’ll get pneumonia next!” (or words to that effect depending on the circumstances at the time.)
Yes I know! Makes me sound awfully bossy all of this, but if you only knew how I have tried desperately to learn her during these past 30 years how to dress appropriately for the weather outside, you would all sympathise. Who else puts on thick clothes during the summer months when the sun is blazing down and its 80 degrees outside, yet dresses in a short sleeved t-shirt and her thinnest summer jeans on in the middle of winter?
As a matter of fact, when I leave this mortal coil, unless I leave a warning (underlined in red) for whoever will be looking after her wellbeing that K just doesn’t seem to get the idea of dressing appropriately for the seasons, she will in all probability be shortly following me. Yes I am well aware that I could stand over her every morning making sure that she only dresses in an appropriate outfit for the weather outside, but I don’t like to do this as I want her to have as much independence as possible, I don’t want to ‘stand over her’ or choose appropriate outfits for her every morning, and anyway, I keep hoping that it will suddenly ‘click’ in her mind.
So. As we made our way down to the doctors, she began the assault.
“I should have the ammonia jab as well.” followed by “I would be ill if I got ammonia.” and the inclusion of, “ I might die if I got ammonia.” “I have a poor mune system.” (She means she has a poor immune system.)
This continued all the way down to the doctors. “Will you ask them if I can have the ammonia jab?” By this time I was so tired of hearing her nattering that I agreed to ask the receptionist, which I promptly did although K got her twopenneth in as well.
“I would be very ill.” She said to the receptionist trying vainly to persuade her. The receptionist told me to ask the nurse when we were called in. I promised K that I would ask. Eventually we went into the nurses room, and she gave me my jab. K was looking at me, mouthing as she did so, “Ask her.” or words to that effect. So I asked. The nurse then poured over her ‘bible’ to see if K was included in the criteria for the pneumonia jab. Lets face it, she wasn’t 65, although she had actually toyed with the idea outside in the waiting room of actually saying she was! She doesn’t even look 30 let alone 65!
“Bet you never EVER thought you would meet a patient begging and pleading to have a jab done, did you?” I asked the nurse. She agreed that she had never met anyone else so desperate to have a jab in all her years of nursing.
“I can’t have anything without K wants the same. She hates missing out on anything,” I told her as she arrived at a decision and gave K the pneumonia jab as she had requested. “ Mind you K” I added realising one of the repercussions that might occur now that she had been granted her wish, “Don’t think that now you have had the pneumonia jab you can go out in the middle of Winter with next to nothing on! “