The Immunisation Nurse

Twin 1 and Twin 2 went for their fourth lot of injections yesterday. We packed the tissues for needle phobic mummy and steeled our nerves, because we were going to see the immunisation nurse again.

On the first visit she asked the obligatory, “And who are you?” of my partner when both mummies turned up. She’d clearly learnt her lesson by the second visit, because mummy’s sister also came and she didn’t ask who she was – I presume she thinks we’re in some kind of polygamous lesbian relationship.

That alone doesn’t make her the immunisation nurse, though. Sitting there for five minutes telling us that she had a headache because she hadn’t drunk enough water through the day, and then a further five minutes debating whether she’d go up the Shard with her sister that evening in spite of said headache, helps make her the immunisation nurse.

Being in a bit of a huff because both Twin 1 and Twin 2 are asleep and won’t wake up for their oral immunisation – which she likes to give first – and asking us to pod and poke them until they wake helps define her. Despite my not being a health care professional I pointed out that injecting them first they may wake up for the oral one. Surprisingly it worked – I have clearly missed my vocation.

What ensures that she is fully deserving of the title is the long speech she gave us on the first visit about not giving out Calpol after immunisations unless absolutely necessary (after stripping baking twin down, putting on a fan and aiming at boiling twin, running around outside with roasting twin in just a nappy, and dunking fiery twin in ice water, you can give them Calpol if they still have a fever (some of this list may be an exaggeration – please do not try all the options with your feverish twin). On the second visit she held down Twin 2’s leg for 20 seconds, decided that she had a fever, and told us – without even thinking of checking with a thermometer, never mind breaking out the ice water – to give her Calpol as soon as we got home. When we got home we used the thermometer and found that she was a perfectly normal temperature.

When we entered the consultation room this time and saw a different nurse mummy and mama had to use the fear-of-needles tissues to wipe away the tears of relief.

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