Blessings by Injection

I tried to relax my muscles and breathe deeply, slowly.  The needle pierced my skin and I flinched, but managed to stop myself from pulling away.

“I always get so tense around needles.  I know it’s irrational.”

“What’s that?”  I realized my whole body was turned away from her.  I laughed at myself and repeated, “I don’t know why I can’t get rid of this fear I have of needles.”

“Some people are deathly afraid of needles — absolutely terrified.  You’re doing great.”  She applied a small round bandage to my upper arm.

I changed my view on flu shots and have been getting them the past couple of years.  It seems our collective consciousness has forgotten the very real dangers of influenza.

In 1918-19, the influenza pandemic reached global proportions and killed anywhere between 30 and 50 million people — including right here at home.  Influenza pandemics returned in 1957-58 and, again, in 1968-69.  Exactly 98 years ago, in late October 1918, researchers understood that influenza was caused by a virus and that viruses could cause diseases for more than twenty years.  The influenza virus mutates rapidly so a given vaccine is only effective for a year or two.*

fluiowa
Influenza pandemic in Iowa, 1918.

Today, we have new vaccines available every year.  How fortunate are we?

“It was really nice to meet you,” the nurse handed me a lollipop.  I laughed and my eyes must have lit up.  When was the last time a medical practitioner rewarded me with candy?

Delightful.  Well, about as delightful as getting jabbed with a needled and pumped with disease-causing agents can be.

 

 

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*The Great Pandemic.  From: United States Department of Health and Human Services.  See:  http://www.flu.gov/pandemic/history/1918/index.html.  Photo from public archives:  Influenza pandemic in Iowa.

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23 thoughts on “Blessings by Injection

  1. I HATE NEEDLES!!!!!! Toss me in a room full of snakes, spiders, clowns and mimes. Just no needles.

    I am sort of ok with shots, but not drawing blood.

    When I was a kid I smacked the nurse’s arm that was drawing blood from me. They almost had to put me in restraints. I still have to lie down. When I had to do an exam for insurance, I told them I would only do a blood smear, not a blood draw. I would rather cut my finger than have a needle.

    I can not understand how anyone would ever inject themselves with drugs, and am so glad I am not diabetic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe it’s part of a survival instinct? Many people have similar reactions. I guess you don’t get the flu shot?

      With drugs it’s probably a powerful reward that overpowers anyone’s fears.

      Like

  2. Great post Ms Danica … I was always shy of needles then I had to administer two insulin shots a day for “ever”. The one thing I learned was “don’t close your eyes” when poking yourself. You only have to stick the needle in your thumb once to remember that sage advice every single time you pinch with one hand and poke that needle with the other..
    g

    Liked by 1 person

                    1. You’ve found a wonderful community and I’m honored to be a part of it. It makes me happy that I was able to help — you deserve all the support, care and affection in the world, Rob. I’m lucky to have you in my life.

                      Liked by 1 person

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