Olga and I took Maxim to see his pediatrician, dr.Simos, and to make his first vaccination.
Tuberculosis vaccination, or BCG, is not mandatory in Cyprus. Cypriot kids don’t usually get it. It is recommended to aliens from those countries where tuberculosis is a real threat. Like Russia.
Because of such non-popularity of BCG among locals, it is not easy to find in Cyprus. Our pediatrician had the last case of the medicine and thus had to delay Maxim’s vaccination for a couple of weeks, so that two other kids could grow up enough to receive it too. Three vaccinations happened in that office today – all one after the other.
Knowing what a vaccination is I was worried for Maxim. I don’t obviously remember if BCG is painful or not, so I didn’t know if he was going to suffer more than for just a whole in his skin. Olga was also slightly terrified.
We brought Maxim in and his was very calm. He was even more silent than usual. He enjoyed himself. We undressed him to his bare butt and showed him the window. He loves windows. In fact, he loves any source of light. He can stare at a light bulb for like half an hour. Windows, with their natural light, can grasp his attention for a whole hour.
So he was laying there all relaxed and enjoying himself and the light from the window, when dr.Simos came upon him. First, he used some antiseptic on Maxim’s right arm. The smell of alcohol got Maxim exited and curious. He was moving his head around trying to find the source. There was even a semi-smile on his face and he was making sounds similar to “Au! Au!”.
… and than came the vaccine. It was in the small syringe with a really tiny and thin niddle. Dr.Simos perforated Maxim and he started crying. No, not crying. Shouting his butt off. He was terrified. Dr.Simos explained that its not that painful anyway, so it must have been the contrast of going from the total pleasure of a naked butt in the warm room with a huge window to the pain of the injection.
The next two minutes were harsh. We were listening to the instruction set on how to deal with the vaccinated arm on one side. And were trying to calm the baby down on the other. Both channels required a lot of concentration and there was no compromise. I think we let Maxim shout a bit more than we could have.
In return though, we learned that the injection is not painful and that it goes under the skin and not in the blood streams or anything. We were shown a little bubble button, which was immideately covered with a piece of plaster. We were told that the plaster should be taken off tomorrow and that there won’t be any bathing for Maxim today. Poor guy will have to suffer I guess. Dr.Simos also informed us that in about one month, the skin around the bubble will go red. And than it will start to sore a bit. I wonder if that will hurt.
So we were done with the vaccination and proceeded with the regular check. Maxim is growing nicely and everything appears to be in order. During the last week he has grown one centimeter and no measures at 56 centimeters. He has also gained 400 grams (!!!) and now weights 4560 grams. Yup, we passed the four and a half kilograms barrier!