For over 30 years I have nurtured a phobia to needles. I mention it to folks and they'd say "Yeah, I don't like them either" or "I just close my eyes". I'm not talking DISLIKING needles, I'm talking PHOBIA.
Twenty three years ago when Mark and I got our marriage license, you needed a blood test. It took 3 nurses, Mark and drugs to hold me down - and I really wanted to get married!!
Over the years I've fainted, had full blown panic attacks, crawled off the back of dentist chairs, cried, screamed but most usually just avoided the things like the plague. My doctors have suggested counselling, but I didn't want to be 'brain washed' into getting needles (yes, I know that makes no sense).
This spring I found out that there were some things in my life that I was more scared of then needles - like cancer.
During some routine testing for a small health concern I had last winter (Bless the Canadian Health Care system!) they found that I was very anemic and that I had a large mass in my liver.
Instantly things kicked into high gear. Many doctor appointments, ultrasounds, blood tests and CT scans (involving IVs) followed. I cried and hyperventilated my way through most of them.
Then I decided enough was enough - it was time to give up this ridiculous fear. So I did. Just like that. It is amazing what you can do when your motivation is high!
Last month I practically skipped home from the hospital after sitting up, drug free (my doctor used to give me cool little white pills to help take the 'edge off' before a blood test), and tearless for a blood test.
Yesterday I had to go in for a series of scans. It involved drawing blood, making it radioactive (cool eh?), re-injecting it into me and then scanning and x-raying as they tracked it through my body.
The tech poked my left arm over 6 times trying to find a vein. Months ago that would have turned me into a puddle on the floor.
I sat through it all without even flinching (BTW - the nurse apologized PROFUSELY and the second one found a vein in my right arm on the first try).
I can't decide whether to wear long sleeves for the next few days so I don't look like a junkie - or wear short sleeves to show off those needle marks off as badges of pride!
Oh, and as for the whole 'health scare' thing - don't worry, I'm fine. There is no cancer (and they have looked everywhere to be sure. There will be a bit of surgery down the road, but it's all under control) and thanks to getting my phobia and anemia under control, I actually feel mentally and physically better then I have in years!!
In fact, I'm thinking of donating blood sometime down the road - I've always wanted to do that!