I went in today for my annual exam of the…girl parts. It’s not a pleasant experience, of course, but I have a somewhat backwards appreciation for the appointment, because, finally, a doctor’s appointment where I know there will be no needles. When I’m sick, you never know what tests they will want, though usually it’s just a nose or throat swab, but I never can be sure they won’t prick my finger or draw some blood, or that they won’t want to treat something with an injection of penacillin or something. But in an annual exam, I know they won’t need any blood.
They started off with the usual questions. Are you married? Have you ever been pregnant? What was the date of your last period? Blah? Blah, blah?
And, last question, what was the date of your last tetanus shot?
WHAT IN THE NAME OF SWEET SOAP ON A ROPE DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING????
Darn it anyway. So much for my “no needles” doctor’s appointment. And now, to finish off the surprise, I have a sore arm for the next day or two. On the plus side, for the next 10 years I should be safe from tetanus, diptheria, and whooping cough. Yippee. It better be worth it.
Actually, he also would like me to come back later this week for a “fasting blood draw,” to get a baseline for things like cholesterol, blood count, and I can’t remember what else. He doesn’t see a need to do that every year yet, but since I’ve never had a cholesterol test, he would just like some baseline numbers with which to compare later results. Call me crazy, but I’m actually looking forward to that one. Not the actual drawing of the blood, of course, but I find myself ravenously curious to know what my cholesterol levels are! So, while a nurse pokes a giant needle into my precious blood vessel, (I assume a finger prick would not produce enough blood for this one?), I will concentrate on my wondering and ignore my fear.
Either way, I know that part of getting past a fear is letting yourself experience it, and two needles in one week is a pretty big saturation of experience, compared to usual. (I’m pretty sure I haven’t had a shot since my junior year of college, and I can’t be sure if I’ve even had a finger poke since moving to Omaha. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve even been to the doctor since moving here!)
But, just to be clear, I’m not asking for more experiences with needles! Keep them far, far away and I will be happy!