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Friday, January 29, 2010

My Heart Broke

Today we had our medical appointment in Guangzhou. We showed up at the hospital a few minutes early; our guide was more than a few minutes late. By this time the girls had heard several children scream in pain from the immunizations that were given, so they were on edge.
We found out that Amanda’s vision is not great and she may need glasses. I say “may” because their testing was inconclusive, and no matter what strength of lens they put in her glasses, she couldn’t do any better than when she was looking at the chart without glasses. Unfortunately, they either said or did something to scare or embarrass her, or just the stress of being in the hospital for so long was wearing on her, and she started to cry—hard. I spoke to the guide and told her that I wanted the testing to stop, that we would have her vision tested in the states. She translated, and the doctors said that they needed to continue to test to find out what her vision was to know what to write down. I riled, and told them it didn’t make any difference what they did to her eyes, it didn’t improve the vision at all, and they were only making her cry so she couldn’t see through the tears. I told them to write ANYTHING down, I didn’t care; I was taking my daughter. I fully expected backlash—but it didn’t come.
The immunizations were awful. Each girl needed 4 plus a TB test. Hope needed to get a Hep B shot, even though she sero-converted. When I questioned our guide, she agreed with me, but shrugged her shoulders. That was one battle she wasn’t willing to fight. Amanda cried horribly, and was red eyed for quite some time. Hope did ok, very little emotion.
Once we were released (two hours after we arrived) we went out to lunch at Lucy’s and then walked down by the water front. We went back to the hotel room and the girls watched some Chinese movie we bought for a few hours. Dave and I were getting stir-crazy, so we thought we would all go walk around and see what was in the area. Amanda had a melt-down! She was shaking and crying uncontrollably. We tried to get Hope to tell her that we weren’t going to the doctor’s again, but she wouldn’t. (she is selective about what she will obey) We got a person at the hotel’s front desk to tell Amanda that we were going to just walk around, but NO doctors, but Amanda wasn’t listening anymore. Customer service got involved, took us back to their office, consoled and tried to explain to Mandy that all was well, but she wouldn’t, couldn’t calm down. Finally we just went out of the hotel carrying a crying girl. First stop: Mc D’s for an ice cream cone. We shopped around for a new pair of pants for Amanda since she doesn’t have a pair that really fits, but the shops were way too expensive there. We bought some candied fruit on a stick for Mandy, walked in circles for a while, and finally found a cheap, back-alley place for dinner. So far, we are all doing well—no intestinal problems! Right about the time we got a table for dinner Amanda settled back to her impish ways. On the walk home, she was in full swing of attention seeking behavior! Even through the worst of her melt-down, she still held on to me, and her grip strengthened as she realized that we really weren’t going back for more shots.
I dread our return trip on Saturday to get their TB shot analyzed.
I am so angry with our politicians. I had contacted them repetitively months before coming about this silly Hague law. These children are treated like livestock—and livestock are not treated well in China! It was MANDATED that they get the flu vaccine, Hep B vaccination when none is needed, and all with questionable timing and viability of the vaccines used. Once we return home we will have blood titers drawn to find out what is good and what needs to be redone. I would love for our politicians to take their child or grandchild and put them through what my kids went through today. Perhaps something would be done for these children who have no voice and no rights at this point. Perhaps.
Enough soap box—we are all tucked in for the day.
Until tomorrow,
All my best,


  1. Hang in there Amy. It will all work out. Just keep doing what you're doing. She may continue to reject you, but sooner or later she will realize that you are not going anywhere and she can finally let her guard down. You will be surprised. Stick to your guns. I am praying for you!
    Jill :)

  2. Amy
    ~Hang in there. It is interesting re: the shots. My son got the MMR/VARICELLA/DPT/ORAL Polio. I am a nurse and deal with shots daily. They also marked that he got the Flu shot. He did not. I am thinking of you!!!