CDC Vaccination Schedule Supporters – PLEASE READ

CDC Vaccination Schedule Supporters – PLEASE READ.

I grew up going to a family physician, not a pediatrician.  I don’t remember his name off the top of my head but he was an older gentleman in a small town with its roots in agriculture.   I am going to tell you two very short stories and then give you some things to consider to help the CDC understand how to get almost everyone on board with their recommended shot schedule.

Story 1

As a young child I HATED shots.  In my memory I think I did fine for the first few years, i.e. I cried like most children but would let the good doctor stick me (keep in mind things were spread way out back then, not the condensed version we have today).  He didn’t have a nurse or medical assistant that did the shots, he did them himself.  Well, this doctor decided to try something different one day.  I was older, probably around 8 or 9 (might have been younger), and he talked to me about spaghetti arms.  He said that the reason it hurt so bad when I got shots was because I tensed up.  If my muscles were relaxed it would help the shot to not hurt so badly.  He was honest though.  He said that it would still feel like a small bee sting, but it wouldn’t be nearly as bad.  So he started shaking my arm to show me how to do spaghetti arms.  I followed suit and before I knew it he had made the shot and it barely hurt.

Story 2

We have four children and 3 of the 4 are either fully vaccinated or almost fully vaccinated.  We have NEVER had anyone suggest anything like spaghetti arms, and they never go in the arms any more – they get them in their thighs.  Typical scenarios have me holding my child down on the examining table with their lower legs dangling off the edge.  I hold their arms/hands and whisper in their ears that it will be okay and that daddy loves them.  The nurse or medical assistant then pins their legs against the table and puts either one or two shots in their legs.  On a more positive note, sometimes we have gotten them to stick both legs at the same time which tends to make the experience more bearable.

And so I ask everyone out there: are there doctors who see their patients as humans still, or are we just homo sapiens that exist for data collection in order to preserve our species?  That is a loaded and misleading statement but what I am trying to say is that if the CDC wants parents to feel more inclined and better about vaccinating their children per the CDC’s recommendations then they need to start with the medical community where they teach them how to love their patients and to express that love through caring and considerate actions – even if it means taking more time with a patient.


1. Have an estimated wait time at sign-in so that people can have an idea of how long things are taking.  Patients should not have to ask.

2. STOP with the ‘take a number, have a seat until your number is called’ routine.  I have a name and I don’t mind if you use it.

3. Ever hear of holistic care?  We are more than body parts, nerve endings, cardiac systems, etc…  We have emotions.  Get emotional with us.  Find out what stress is going on in our lives.  That may be the main reason for our ailments. Instead of prescribing a nighttime sleep medicine, why not prescribe a relaxing herbal tea with 30 mins to an hour of quiet time – no media, just our thoughts?  Physically write a prescription for exercise to include what exercises to do.  Get creative.  What do people really need – more medicine or a lifestyle change?

4. Don’t be afraid to speak the truth.  If we are over weight then be gentle about it, but explain that most of our problems are because of our diet, lack of exercise, and excessive fat on our bodies.  Then motivate us to change through resources, follow-ups (I can count on one hand how many times I have been called by a doctor to follow-up from a visit).

5. Online doctors!  I know they exist but this should really be more common place.  For example, we are following up for our son’s recent MRI with a neurologist who is willing to Skype with us instead of us traveling 3 and a half hours one way to the hospital for a visit.  The last time we saw her it took over two hours of waiting in various rooms before we actually saw her.  If this Skype thing goes then it will not only save on gas, but it will also cut down on how many people are transiting into and out of the hospital being exposed to other sicknesses, and putting wear and tear on the facility.

So what do you all think?  Would have doctor’s and nurses who genuinely care change your perceptions of hospitals and family practices?

I will end on a positive note.  For the birth of our third child, my wife had complications that required us to move from a home birth to the hospital.  I was overwhelmed at the concern and care by all involved.  So I wrote a lengthy letter to the board of directors telling them about each person that helped us and how they helped us.  I want that experience for everyone and a note of encouragement and thanks can go a long way.  I suggest everyone do the same.  Encourage the behavior in your doctors and nurses that you like, and let them know politely when you feel like a sheep unsure of whether you are about to be slaughtered or sheered.



3 thoughts on “CDC Vaccination Schedule Supporters – PLEASE READ

  1. Ma K

    When we were raising our children, we encountered doctors and nurses who were very warm and friendly, and did everything they could to make the experience of shots less stressful, but we also encountered some who had no compassion or kindness. The picture you describe is horrible, and makes me feel bad for your kiddos. I grew up traumatized by shots, because of the way the military did them–moving station to station as a family for an outprocessing physical, ending with shots. And we could hear hear other kids crying at the last station, so the fear and dread of shots built up the closer we got to the last station. I have to believe there are kind, compassionate doctors and nurses out there who know how to make the experience less stressful. Is it just in New Mexico that things have been that way, or was it the same in Tennessee? And I honestly I can’t understand with all the modern technology, if they can numb the pain for a dental shot, why they can’t numb the pain for a child, before injecting them with a needle???

    I’m sure the hospital was very blessed to get a letter of encouragement from you, instead of a complaint from someone, and it was like a breath of fresh air to them.

    I do think it is very cool that the neurologist has agreed to Skype with you guys for the MRI results–what a great idea! I am not sure how I feel about online doctors in general, though… Have to ponder that one.

    Love you,


    1. All the pediatricians, TN and NM, have done shots pretty much the same way.

      I think they don’t numb them first because that is a shot in itself and I am not sure there is anything they can rub on there to numb it well enough before doing it either, but that could be something for the medical community to explore.

      The neurologist at UNM ended up just emailing us the results with a couple of MRI pictures. Heather has a post coming out at some point with information from it.

      I wouldn’t want to do any initial consult via Skype, but I definitely don’t mind follow-up appointments being done that way to save the doctor and me time. The City of Lynchburg and the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System both had nurse clinics that employees and their family members could go to for urgent care needs. It saved them a ton of money on claims and I always had great experiences at both locations when I needed to go in to get seen for anything. Was it the highest quality care? No. But the nurses loved helping people and I think it was a relief for them to have a set group of people that they worked on instead of random folks. You built continuity that way.



  2. This is one of the few posts you have made that made any sense. It is full of ignorant nonsense but the main points are almost real. It is true that having a caring caregiver is essential to minimize trauma (just try to explain “spaghetti arms” to a two year old), but it is not the CDC’s business to explain pedagogically to doctors the same basic point that is drilled into them from the first day of medical school.
    People do a lot of stupid things and medical people are no exception.
    It is true that doctors are hopelessly conservative (with regards to SKYPE) but it is also true that doctors are wonderfully conservative (with regards to “sphagetti arms”) so which version do you prefer?


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