At the Sunday, the day after Milan had got tenth injection, he was scheduled for control exam. It was procedure that he had to go through after every therapy that his paediatrician had wrote him. Despite that those control exams never ended up with injections, it was never pleasant to him when he was going to that large white building at a top of a hill. It was waking up unpleasant memories to many received injections. All of those pains, tears, embarrassments...
While father was diving him to clinic, Milan felt every single mark on his butt with mixed emotions and memories about young nurse, her ugly very known old college and old medical technician. It seemed that injection marks hurt him more and more as they were approaching to clinic.
That day they were not go to paediatrics but to School youth department. The doctor, family friend, that prescribed Milan injections worked there, but also Milan had just turn 14 and his medical record was sent there as the place where he should visit doctors in future.
Hallway of school youth department was a bit different experience to Milan. There were no classic waiting room but a long hallway with benches placed on both sides. Two exam rooms were on left and reception window (not a desk, just a window on large door) and treatment room were on right side of a hallway. Also, there was no many patients waiting their turn. All of them were older then Milan and all of them were there alone, without their parents. Milan's turn came quickly.
When they entered into the exam room from where his name had been called, he expected that exam would be short and hoped we would soon left a clinic and all of those smells and atmosphere, as ugly reminders to injections. The doctor shortly spoke with father, then told Milan to take off jacket and shirts. Even he was aware that he feels better, that high temperature had gone even 5 days ago, Milan was still feeling that strange slight fear as short, cold touches of stethoscope over his chest and back evaporate memory to exam ten days ago. After few minutes the doctor finally announced there are no signs of pneumonia anymore and told Milan to dress.
He spoke with father about Milan's often respiratory infections and improving of his immunity. The doctor advised "Protection therapy".
“It will improve his immunity, reduce often infections and unpleasant injections therapies” he said. He ordered some tests before he made final decision.
So instead of going home Milan and father went in Clinic Lab. Milan gave urine sample, throat swab sample and blood sample. Even, taking of blood was painful and made him almost to cry, he was a bit happy when they went home. They had a great hopes from doctors orders, not only because of health but deeply into Milan's childish mind - because of his butt. The doctor said he wanted to save him from injections.
In a morning they were in the clinic again. First they collected all papers from lab then went to School youth department. This time large corridors were full of patients and Milan and his father waited his turn for at least half an hour. They sat next to a doctor office, in front of a door with a sign Treatment Room.
At first, sign on that door remembered Milan to Treatment Room in Paediatric Department he had called "Torture Room". The place where he received most of his injections. He knew everything in and in front of that room. He remembered all five steps he had to walk from a bench in waiting room to the door of treatment room. He remembered every detail in the room: Preparation table on right side, with metal boxes for syringes and needle, packages of medications, book and place for prescriptions. He remembered the large window over the whole wall in front of the door. He remembered the hospital bed on the left side of the room. On that bed his father would sitting and holding him over laps while nurse was giving him injection. He remembered all of 6 steps that nurse had to walk from preparation table till the hospital bed after she would prepare injection. He knew the smell of that room, smell of penicillin...
The door in School Youth department looked the same. Even the smell was the same. Only patients are not the same. All of them were teenagers, there were no younger kids. Most of them were older then Milan too and just two or three of them were there with their parents.
Milan's mind was not occupied with anticipation before his injection this time. There were a lot of space to think about other patients, about a skinny tall girl that had just exit the treatment room without tears or signs of pain on her face, about short boy he was seeing in the school that had just entered in the room, about all other boys and girls that are waiting their turn..,
When the door closed behind the boy from his school and his father, Milan was imagining what is going on the other side of the door. "He looked frightened, and his father is here, he will be probably hold over fathers laps...Nurse is finished with preparation, she is over them, she is soaking boys butt with alcohol, now he will cry..." But there was no sounds from treatment room. Few minutes later the boy and his father exit the treatment room. The boy looked like he has not received injection. There was no signs of tears in his eyes, there was no signs of pain on his faces. He even walked normally." Maybe has got just small injection. Ant tetanus or so... " Milan wondered. Anti tetanus serum was example of small injection to Milan. He had received it twice and both times he didn't let a tear during that injection. The big injections for him was penicillin. Especially that nasty , long lasting, extencillin injection he received few times. "Maybe this skinny tall boy will receive penicillin now" He thought as he was watching a boy as tall as him, a year or two older, as entering into treatment room. "He is skinny almost as me. He will cry definitely... "
But nobody cried that day from treatment room. There were some patients that exiting from treatment room with signs of pain on their faces, but nobody cried. Call of his name from exam room stopped his imaginations.
For the first time Milan was sitting in doctor’s office without an order to take off his shirt, without stethoscope or throat exam. There were no signs of fear or weakness in his moves, on his face. Doctor looked results and said
- “His immunity system is low. We definitely have to try with protection therapy.”
Milan ears, his mind, his eyes were waiting for doctor's “plan".
- “The therapy consists of 12 injections in period of 7 months. First four injections He should receive weekly. After that he will receive injection every 15 days, 4 times too, then every month also 4 times. In total after 12 injections we will see results.”
While his father carefully listening the doctor, Milan stopped to do it after first sentence. "He talked about reducing injections yesterday, and then he is prescribing me even more injections today?!. His face was showing obvious surprise. Obviously not pleasant surprise too.
Doctor suggested that injections schedule always in same day in a week and asked is Sunday a proper day since Milan's parents work during a week days. When father was agreed doctor concluded: -
- "He can receive first injection right now. Next one, as same as all others let be on Sundays. "
The happiness he usually felt after control exam caused by the fact that painful penicillin injections are "officially" behind him, and hope which new doctor gave him, became just an empty dream Milan was waked up from. When doctor had written a prescription and filled his medical record, like an old paediatrician used to do, he told
- " You can go to treatment room now."
Milan's face looked much more seriously when they were walking out then when they had come in. They found the same place on benches as they were sitting while they were waiting for turn for exam. This time the door in front of his face didn't looked so interesting to Milan. They were waiting nor only other patients to go through and receive injection, but Milan too.
There were about 10 teenagers sitting on benches and at least 5 of them waiting the same. Milan was the youngest patient there and one of rear with a company of father. He looked to that door again. His mind didn't let him to imagining what is going inside with patients that had entered into treatment room. He was afraid what will be with him when he went through that door.
The door was opening approximately every 5 minutes. When one patient had left nurse would yell “next one”. When that “next one” would enter into the room, nurse the door would close and the silence would rule over the corridor for next five minutes.
"Well, I have already received 10 injections, I can handle one more. Is this one of those small or big injections. I hope small. It will be less painful then penicillin. Maybe shorter. Nobody cried inside. There is probably some good nurse. I hope." Milan was collecting his anticipation as patients were coming in and out of that room. There were no scenes like in paediatrics when screams and loud cries coming from inside. But most of patients, even older teenagers, walked hardly after injection and had expression of pain on their faces.
When his turn came, they finally entered inside and stand next to a just closed door. Nurse, in his 40s, took a prescription and sat on a desk to do paper works. She didn’t talked while she was reading , just at the end she told “he can lose his pants and lay on table”. Courage that Milan had collected into his mind was spending rapidly.
They passed behind screen and walk to the table in a middle of a room. Father noticed a fear into his son and asked him if he would like to hold hi. Milan resolutely said no. After he had received ten penicillin injections at home Milan wanted to show how he could do it without assistance. He unzipped blue jeans pants, dropped them down, pulled down his white briefs and laid down on exam table. Milan felt cold air around his bare backside in same time when he heard first sounds of opening and closing metal boxes. That terrible silence interrupted with sounds of touching metal and glass parts of injection’s equipment surely increasing his fear and anticipation.
After couple more minutes, he heard a nurse approached to him. She rubbed the boy's right butt cheek with cotton pad soaked with alcohol. Plenty of blue scars on his smooth butt shined. He tensed his muscles immediately. Nurse told him to relax muscles but he was sure that tensing muscles is the way to stand pain easier. So visible 10 bruises from just finished penicillin therapy and tensed buttocks was obvious sign that Milan would not relax himself. Nurse didn't waste her time. Milan felt wide needle penetrating his skin and entering deeply into my tensed muscle.
Piercing of needle was painful but he was prepared for that. He strongly tensed butt muscles.. Struggles started to fight into Milan's mind and body. One with pain and another with tears. He used all of his strength to tense himself as much as he can but it was wrong. Grabbing a pillow - worse pain. Clenching teeth - worse pain, closing eyes - worse pain, biting lips - worse pain. Initial slight "Aaaaaaa" becoming louder and louder. After just few seconds we was loudly crying.
"Come on, don't cry, it is almost over" nurse was trying to encourage him as his father hold his back and legs from the other side of a table. Milan actually was not moving his body or struggle. But he was so loudly crying that father was afraid he would run away.
When agony was on the climb, the plunger reached the bottom of syringe and nurse withdraw a needle from clenched butt. Milan was all in tears and still crying. Not only then, but after father helped him to clothe, and when they were walking out to a car, he was still crying. He felt like everyone in waiting room laughing at him again. If he had not see someone cried walking from that treatment room, patients that waiting their turn, saw one – him.
Instead of showing he grew up for his teenage years, he had to listen “he cried again” when they back home. His brother laughed again, his mother was angry. At least his father concluded it was probably "Nurse gave him injection in same side as yesterday".
The next Sunday and next appointment in clinic came very fast. At afternoon, scenes and procedures repeated again for Milan: driving to clinic knowing what to expect, entering in clinic building full of smell of alcohol, waiting his turn in full waiting room and look other teenagers coming in and out from a door in front of him. Not to mention, repeating of growing up of his anticipation and fear for every next minute of waiting, and every patient less to come in before them. Then once again, entering in injection room, telling his name, walking to a bed, stripping his pants and briefs, laying on stomach on the cold sheet on exam table, waiting a nurse to prepare an injection with his long slim body laid on exam table and skinny masculine buttocks exposed in the air and listening terrifying sounds of preparation.
Then another feeling of cold soaked cotton pad massaging his skin, another big needle, another jabbing into tight butt, another fight with pain, another long injecting and, from a middle of injection process, another crying again.
When injection had been over, needle had been drawn out and soaked cotton had been applied again, another reoccupation, another careful clothing of pants over injected buttocks, another long lasting pain in injection site, and another walk out with hiding his face under hair in front of full waiting room.
When they back home Milan was not sure what is worse to his teenage proud. The terrible pain he was still feeling in his butt and leg, the laughing of his brother, or anger of his parents. "Nobody else cried, only him" his father talked to his mother.