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Lipreading Mom

Shanna Groves is the author of Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom (from which this story is excerpted), Lip Reader, and several short stories and articles. Her happiest moments are hanging out with her husband of 18 years and three children, ages 13, 9, and 6. Read more of her stories at and

I sat on the padded table, Reagan propped on my knee. The appointment was for my four-month-old daughter. Our family doctor was about to bring the nurses in to inject Reagan with vaccines for polio, diphtheria and influenza. I shuddered at the thought. Medicine intimidated me, the sight of a syringe sometimes causing my arms and legs to tense up and my stomach to constrict until I nearly felt I would blackout. “I’ll bring the nurses in to administer the shots.”
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