I wouldn't go so far as to say I have prided myself on being a really big baby when it comes to medical stuff but it's certainly not something that has made me feel shame. I think I came by my squeamishness honestly, having grown up in a home with a mother who worked in a nursing home for years. There were many nights we were all sitting down for dinner and she would cheerfully ask, "Does anyone want to know what happened to me at work today?" That was met with a resounding "NO!" from me and my dad but inevitably my brother would want to know and then she would tell us anyway.
"I had to do this thing with Mr. Johnson and then there was ooze and puss and so I stopped but it was too late because it had built up and so I had to lance it and then it exploded and shot across the room and stuck there all while he was giggling and telling me what a cute nurse I am."
You try finishing your spaghetti after that.
When I decided to join the Air Force I was given this big book of jobs to look through and possibly choose. It listed every single job they have to offer and you would think it would have taken me a long time to get through this book, except I got to eliminate about half of the book when I skipped anything remotely related to the medical field.
When I became a mother, I was forced to attend to scraped knees on occasion but I am not kidding when I say that I got a bit woozy more than once. Even reading the Twilight books were good for a couple skipped meals due to complete loss of appetite. Once, one of my coworkers told me about a particularly gory infection he got and I came VERY CLOSE to vomiting right in front of him. The visual actually stayed with me for several days and whenever I would think about it, I would dry heave just a little.
So you can imagine my glee when I found out that I have to give Rachael a shot once a week.
I've never even watched myself get a shot. I always look away and just breathe deep so I don't pass out. And forget seeing a needle go into my kids. I've put on a brave face for them but I could never watch. But, in preparation I had been forcing myself to watch every needle stick Rachael has gotten. I went to the little demonstration to learn how to do it and got to stick a fake blob of fat (because that is JUST LIKE my kid with about -4% body fat) and went home with full confidence that I could do it! Or at least with full confidence that I could drive two hours away where my mother lives and let HER do it.
I numbed up her leg with the cream and got all the stuff ready, which is not terribly difficult but just complicated enough to make me feel like I know what I'm doing. Rachael is lying on the bed and I've got the needle all ready and she starts crying and I'm considering crying but I take a deep breath and go in. And I get right there next to her thigh and totally chicken out. I have to back up and I'm trying really hard to not completely freak out and Tom is not happy with me and I'm very intentionally NOT hyperventilating and she says, "I'm scared Mommy!" And I just had to laugh. And I laughed and laughed and she's crying and I yell, "I'M SCARED TOO!!"
And then I did it.
And it was over and we gave her candy and I had a drink and later when she was telling Marc about it, Grandma overheard her say, "It didn't hurt. I just like to cry so they'll give me candy."
And you know what? That's okay.
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