after four years of no girlie exam because i was no longer taking the pill and not having to have a girlie exam, i finally went on my girlie exam because of the bartholin’s gland cyst i had developed. exams themselves are not so bad, but i had decided it was time to have some bloodwork done.
i am a severe needle-phobic. maybe it’s not fair for me to use the word severe since there are likely others out there with reactions far greater than mine. but in my opinion, it feels severe.
so i had finally gotten the girlie exam out of the way and, in order to ensure my return, i paid for the bloodwork in advance.
after much waffling and hemming and hawing, brian forced me to decide on tuesday august 30. i could have bluffed my way out for a little longer, but i decided that if my sister could go through what she was going through on that day, the least i could do was go in for a little blood test.
so in we went. i couldn’t decide if having brian there would empower me or enable me. i feared it would enable me, but was pretty sure i would avoid going in altogether and shopping at the neighboring bed, bath, & beyond if he wasn’t there to police me. and i’m not even that fond of bed, bath, & beyond.
when the secretary called me in the door and up to the window, i began crying just at the thought of having to say “i’m here for a blood test”. so i mimed to brian to say it instead. she handed me a kleenex and let me sit in the back to wait. i calmed down and we eventually went to the examination room with the same lady who had administered my exam. the poor thing.
i tried to make her aware just how ugly this was going to be, but for something like this, there was just no preparing adequately.
by the time she got around to pulling out her caddy of needles and tying the rubber band around my arm, i quickly went from jovial to falling apart.
during my very few experiences with having blood drawn, i have but one objective: keep that one arm still. the rest of me can freak out as much as it wants. and i don’t know why the process upsets me like it does... it just does. i began cussing and crying and sliding out of my chair and trying to break brian’s hand. it was the end of the world. it was hideously embarrassing. then it was over and i was left feeling weak and dizzy from my behavior and hoping it was from the enormous blood loss of three vials. no such luck.
we gathered my wits back around me and went to finish paying (turned out i hadn’t paid for everything after all... what’s another bill these days anyway?).
we dined at fadi’s and returned home to recoup.
this was the evening i began assembling my new ikea anse two drawer chest, but that’s a bitch for another day... damn pictures-only instructions and non-removable plastic nails.
that evening we did something i’m always meaning to do, but hardly ever do: we took some beers and went to relax on the roof of the continental. it was a really nice night. eventually, a group of maybe 10 people spilled out of the elevator. one of them lived there and the rest were his relatives who had recently escaped the path of katrina. they said they had lost everything, but who i perceived to be the drunk uncle of the bunch asked if we would like margaritas. he went back down and brought one back up for brian. i suppose that after a hurricane destroys your home, you don’t feel much need for silly things like mixers.
there. i think that gets us up to speed with my needle phobia. fast forward to today.....
after much waiting to align my schedule with dr. charles’ and getting close to no work done in the meantime, brian and i walked into the casa linda animal clinic on the other side of town. we were there to teach me how to give injections to a cat. brian is already a seasoned professional since beany was a temporary diabetic.
dr. C sat and talked with us a bit and then one of the other clinic’s employees came out carrying a fluffy, black cat... the clinic’s pet. i was aghast to learn this would be our guinea pig since i had had images of syringe-perforated oranges dancing in my head the previous 24 hours. my giddiness began kicking in and we moved into the examination room.
it started to get ugly as dr. C laid four syringes filled with saline on the table next to the, in my opinion, nervous-looking feline. poor thing. i’m sure she’d gone through this before; but, as dr. C explained it, “there’s no such thing as free room and board”... and rent was about to come due.
my giddiness turned to teary-eyedness as dr. C took the first stab at the cat. i began to feel nauseous and wondered if, somehow, god would take it easy on me and remove the diabetes from my cat if i passed out right there and then as a true display of just how upsetting this was for me.
i had tears on my cheeks by the time brian had had a go at it, just for sport, and dr. C had placed my hand on hers to drive the needle home into the side of this poor beast. the fourth still only got me as far as pushing in the plunger and quickly since the cat was starting to get upset.
thanks to the recently departed semi jackson of baylor hospital, i received a free bottle of insulin and a handful of syringes which, fortunately, possessed a shorter needle than the ones we had been using.
by the time i had gotten home, i had managed to trick myself into thinking this would be a piece of cake. i’m not sure how considering how poorly i had done at the clinic. i dilly dallied as long as possible while drinking a beer to try and remove the jitters from my hand and the terror from my head. it wasn’t until 4:20 that we began (brian had to be at work by 5:00).
ttyki was already in her newest favorite spot... laying on the ground with her face hovering above her water bowl (i forgot to ask the doctor why). i asked brian if ttyki would take less notice of the shot if i gently pushed her head into the water bowl first. ttyki didn’t laugh.
i straddled my little kitten. my first born. i pinched the skin on the scruff of her neck. i positioned the needle. and then i began to cry like a baby. i tried three times before asking brian to hold the needle with me at which point he did it himself. i completely and totally failed. it was harder than i thought it would be. i was emotionally ravaged. ttyki got up without even seeming to know what had just happened and trotted into the bathroom to sit between the shower curtains.
i feel better knowing she has something coursing through her blood that will make her feel better, but there’s still tomorrow morning’s shot.
at least she thinks her new diabetic cat food is like a giant bag of candy. a giant bag of candy that makes her usually benign poo smell like oskar unloaded a truckload of diarrhea after eating rotten, befestered sewage.