If you haven’t noticed, it’s flu season. For most people, it’s pretty evident that it’s the season for sickness by the constant sniffling and hacking that they hear in all of their classes. For me, it’s evident by the fact that I get a call every hour, on the hour, from my dear mother asking, ”Did you get your flu shot yet?!?” And then by the use of my full name when I tell her I have yet to get a flu shot this year.
I still blame the government shutdown.
The real reason I haven’t gotten my shot yet is because I have an extreme aversion to needles, and I always seem to end up getting sick anyway. No joke. The year the swine flu epidemic was running rampant, I somehow managed to get swine flu, and then, two weeks later, two different kinds of flu at the same time.
If there’s ever a zombie disease outbreak like in “World War Z,” I’m a goner.
My extreme aversion to needles brings me to an embarrassing moment that happened to me during one of my recent doctor’s appointments last summer in Columbia. I was due for another checkup before I started school in August, and I was frantically searching for a doctor. After scouring the Internet for around three hours, I finally settled on one who didn’t appear to be a crazy serial killer or someone who only believes in “herbal healing.” I headed over for my appointment, and when I got there, I was informed that I was due for a shot for something I really can’t remember.
I’m such a wimp when it comes to getting shots, I always have to look away. I’ve even had a nurse ask if I was going to pass out because I was closing my eyes so tight as to not catch a glimpse of the dreaded piece of metal that was about to rip through my skin (I swear I don’t have issues). What always made me feel better when I went to my old pediatrician was when they would put magic numbing stuff on my arm before I got a shot.
Yes, I do believe “magic numbing stuff” is a medical term.
So before they gave me the shot, I casually asked, “Hey, would you mind putting some magic numbing stuff on my arm before you put the needle in?”
The nurse stopped.
“What did you say?”
“Magic numbing stuff. Can I have some? For my arm?”
“Uhhhh,” she chuckled softly, “I don’t think we have that here….”
When I got home later that night, after enduring the painful shot without any magic numbing stuff to ease my pain, I realized that there is no such thing as “magic numbing stuff.” All these years, my doctor had been swabbing me with an extra alcohol wipe and telling me it was magic numbing stuff. Apparently, I was enough of an idiot to believe him up until I was 19 years old. And ask for magic numbing stuff from a nurse who probably thought I was on drugs or something.
I feel like I’ve been living a lie my whole life.
I’m an adult, and I guess it’s about time I start facing my fears. I know that getting shots sucks, but it really does only hurt for a second, and someone with my immune system can’t really afford not to get them. If you haven’t gotten your flu shot this season and you are scared to, just think about how much more it would suck to get the actual flu. Trust me, I can attest to that.
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