Needles. They never used to bother me, but today, the mere sight of one near my flesh almost did me in.
You see, I just got a new job that occasionally requires being around children with an infectious disease. Therefore, I must have a TB test. I went to get it today, knowing that my “needle issues” have been growing over the years but hoping that I could just do it and get it over with. By “needle issues,” I mean that shots, IVs, etc. scare the bejesus out of me, even when they’re happening to other people. (Blood and pain in general freak me out in a very visceral manner; I almost fainted when someone cruelly exposed me to the ear scene from “Reservoir Dogs.”)
So I go into the nurse’s office, explain that I’m a little nervous, and wait for her to come at me. She assures me that it’s no problem; it won’t hurt a bit. The tourniquet goes on, I squeeze the little ball thing, and the needle gets closer. But I panic and yank my arm away in anticipation, crying “Don’t do it!” I’m now hyperventilating, my head is spinning, my heart is racing, and tears run down my cheeks. I can’t get a grip for a couple of hours, and I’m still on edge half the day later.
I went to my doctor (same building) for advice or a pill to put me down, and she’ll give me some Ativan and let me take the test next week. I’m still concerned, though–will the meds work? Will I be able to get the shot? Will I have to give up my amazing new job? I don’t have tuberculosis, I swear!!
If anyone here has anecdotes of either surviving a needle under considerable anxiety or popping Ativan as a sedative, it might calm me down to read them…
(Guess they call me “the Frail” for a reason, huh?)