That's the only word I can summon to describe today's experience at the doctor.
No, they didn't do the blood test. My cousin, who turns out, works in that office (Hey, Cheree!) said it was too expensive and most insurance wouldn't cover it.
The staff was great - the doctor was great - it really wasn't their fault. The trauma is inherent in the procedure.
The first part of the visit was fine. We talked to the doctor. We talked to the nurses. They took a sample of her blood from her finger (to test her white blood cell count) and she did some breathing tests, to rule out asthma.
From the get-go, the doctor didn't think she has allergies. (I KNOW! CRAZY TALK!) He thought she was getting a virus during those times of the year. That scenario kinda made sense to me, since we'd had a virus-related problem when she was about six months old, and the pediatrician had said it was "that time of year" for the viruses.
Also, at the time, she was teething, and, of course, putting EVERYTHING in her mouth, so a virus was highly likely.
I like to think that, six years later, she isn't still shoving everything she comes across towards her gullet, but I do realize that viruses are out there, lurking.
Lurking. Like a latent blog-reader.
A bit later, Anna Marie was instructed to take off her shirt. She sat in my lap, with her head against my chest (aww!) as the nurse wrote "A,B,C,D" in four quadrants on her back. Then, she had four, eight-pronged "thingies," of which each prong had been dipped in a different irritant. They appeared to have wee tiny needles on each prong, but Anna Marie didn't mind that part so much.
I should have known we wouldn't get off that easy.
After no spots seemed to be reacting, we did another breathing test and, for good measure, she was given a dose of an inhaler.
Then, the nurse called me into the hallway to explain what was coming next: Anna Marie had to lie on her stomach on the table, while she was injected with more irritants - under the skin!
This part did not go so well.
We were already exhausted from all the breathing tests, and the fact that it took some major cajoling to get her to take that inhaler. (And also a demonstration by the nurse.)
Y'all, if you've never had to hold a child while she was injected - count yourself blessed. I stood at the head of the table, holding her hands, praying and trying to keep her calm while she got, oh, eight or 10 shots into her back.
Afterward, Anna Marie was loathe to even talk about the experience.
I guess it'd be worth it if we found some good results - but, no.
No asthma, or at least not enough to actively treat.
We're left with nothing to go on!
The doctor prescribed a topical decongestant for the next time her nose starts it's nonsense (which, if history repeats itself, should be in just a few days.) After about four days, with no improvement, I'm to bring her in to their office so she can be further evaluated.
Thankfully, we weren't in there four hours. We left after two-and-a-half. I called mom to see if there was any food left at the auction (they were shutting the bar down) and she saved me a chicken breast and some vegetables.
(Anna Marie just swiped some tomatoes, pickles, and olives from the salad bar.)
Oh, but let me tell you - I'd promised Anna Marie ice cream once we got through. And though I'd fully intended to go somewhere fancy, I realized she'd be just as happy (and I'd be much less broke) with a Fudgesicle from the auction.
Except, when I left for an hour to run to The Children's Place (where I scored a pair of shorts and a t-shirt for $6!) she somehow got chocolate on her clothes.
Which were clean when I left. Which was after I'd given her the Fudgesicle.
Guess who talked Gramma into giving her a second Fudgesicle?
I think Gramma needs a little "time out."
Back to the diagnosis - I know there are parents out there whose kids are REALLY sick, and who have to go to LOTS of doctors to find out what's wrong. I guess what I'm feeling today is a tiny bit of what they might feel - I put my kid through all that trauma, only to find out that it was utterly useless. And, that there really doesn't appear to be a whole lot I can do to help her when these episodes come around, except try this new medicine and this new course of treatment, and see if it eases her suffering any.
Friends, that part of my day just might be the most traumatic part of all.