Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Sticking Point...

As a child I was deathly afraid of needles. I don’t know how my mom did it. I tried giving blood during a blood drive my senior year of high school. I made it as far as them tying the tourniquet on when I muttered that I couldn’t do it, and the nurse quickly agreed with me and sent me on my way. I tried again 3 or 4 years ago during a yearly blood drive at the university. I had friend go with me. I was ready. But I never made it past the screening phase. My iron was too low. I was so upset. The nurse told me I could try again the next day and suggested I have steak for dinner to help get my iron levels up. The next morning, my iron level was right at the cut-off. They let me donate anyway. As long as I don’t look at the needle during any phase of it or think about what they are doing, I can handle it just fine. I have made it a habit of donating every year during the university’s yearly blood drive (you get a t-shirt and a coupon for a free pint of ice cream!) and even have gone down to the blood bank to donate a couple of other times. I missed the drive last year since I had just given birth. I can’t believe I am actually looking forward to donating again.

But the fear of needles is coming back but in a different way. Instead of fearing the pain they may inflict on me, I’m now fearing the pain that my son will feel. Today I set up a doctor’s appointment for my son’s one year check-up which means the next round of shots. I had a hard time when they drew blood when he was first born. They even had to do an additional draw at the hospital to check if he had jaundice. Then we had to have even more drawn (3 little vials worth) when he was 5 days old due to some really strange results of his blood work done at birth (that was the worst 6 hours of my life which is a story for another day). I cried at every blood draw. I teared up at his first 2 rounds of shots. And now that he is more cognizant of his surroundings, this round is going to be tough for me. Thankfully the nurses are really good. They have two nurses give shots simultaneously, one in each leg so that it is over much quicker.

So I have a week to get myself ready for it. Thankfully, my husband will be there. Thankfully, I don’t have to give the shots myself (I still have nightmares of the time I re-pierced my step-daughter’s ear with one of those do-it-yourself kits…never again!!!!!!!) Thankfully, I know it will be over quick. But it still hurts, knowing my child is going to be in pain, even for a short period of time.