Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Fat Lady Sang, Pigs Flew, And Hell Froze Over

I can now call myself a blood donor.

I've avoided giving blood for a long time for lots of reasons - competitive racing, pregnancy, nursing, etc. - but for awhile my biggest reason was that I simply did not like needles. That's an understatement: I hated/loathed/feared needles. In high school, I had to get a shot for something and somehow kicked the nurse. In college, the coach forced me to get an annual flu shot and I spent the whole day sweating and shaking and stressing over the upcoming needle. One year I hid in the locker room to try and get out of it; that didn't work.

This fear of needles is completely irrational, I know. Most blood draws and shots really are just a pinch, and certainly running is far more painful than that, yet I enjoy it much, much, much more. But the anticipation of having my skin poked by a needle was enough to throw me into a psychotic funk.

My fear of needles was sort of tempered when I was in the hospital pregnant with Bruce. I sat in the hospital for a week with preeclampsia, getting blood draws at least twice a day. I also had an IV put in three different times ("Just a sting and a burn..."). I think after a few days of that I realized that I was just driving myself batty by stressing over the next needle.

I still don't like needles, but I've learned to tolerate them as long as I don't see them. Yesterday when I gave blood, I stared at the ceiling and made a conscious effort to not look around at all the tubes, needles, and blood bags hanging around. I survived: I felt just fine afterward. I brought a pack of Oreos home for Bruce and told him about the blood drive. When Scott got home from work, Bruce told him that I "was so brave."

I don't feel brave, but I do feel victorious.



Blogger mithu said...

Hilarious! I laughed out loud and couldn't stop when I read the part about you "somehow kicking the nurse" and "hiding in a locker room." I can picture a pretty redheaded girl kicking a school nurse...and sweating and shaking and having coniptions like a spastic marmalade-coloured cat! So cute and hilarious!

3:55 PM  
Blogger Karyn said...

I still giggle when I think of you getting shots... but hooray for you! It is good to give.

9:40 PM  
Blogger TheKunks said...

Way to go girl!

12:01 AM  

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