Thursday, August 28, 2008

FEAR and the dreaded needle...

FEAR! Such a small, simple word, yet it packs a punch. I'm curious what makes some people prone to be fearful people, fearing EVERYTHING, while other individuals are fearless in the extreme meaning of the word!

I guess I ask this question because I heavily lean towards the fearful side of things. I have phobias that take over my body and seem to be out of my control at times. I have many fears, but there are four that leave me trembling, often sick and sometimes close to passing out. Public speaking, needles, spiders and storms. Just ask anyone in my family and they will tell you... I have it bad.

Now in all fairness to myself, I'm better than I was, that is in some areas. I think having children will do that for you. For example, after being in childbirth, a shot isn't too bad, or when a spider is fixing to jump on your infant...well you do have to learn how to kill a few. When the storms come our way, I do have to remain calm for my son (who hates them too!) and as for public speaking... well I said I was better in a few areas, this just isn't one of them.:)

I was thinking about my fears today as I was walking out of the health department. The nurse had just checked my TB test results. (Tb free, by the way! YEAH!) As I was walking towards my car, I was remembering all the times as a child I would run, screaming in fear of shots. Here I was this quiet, shy child, yet if a needle was brought out, I turned into a child possessed by who knows what!

My mom said that I was never like that before I visited the hospital one night. I was five and having my tonsils out. Prior to that visit, she said I would just hop up on the table and take my shots like a big girl. However, that all would change. Looking back it was the needle itself that did me in. I was use to just getting my finger pricked like Sleeping Beauty... just a drop of blood, no big deal. So in my little five year old eyes, when they brought the big needle out, well I remember being terrified. It probably would have helped the nurses and their cause if they had just let my mom talk to me or hold me for a moment to calm my fear, but that didn't happen. My memory of that night is of several people holding me down while I was indeed possessed with terror! I remember someone even sitting on me!!! Funny thing is I have pleasant thoughts of going into surgery... not fear, yet when I think of being checked in and getting my blood drawn, I still cringe. (Truthfully, I don't know how accurate my story is, I was only five. Whatever happen that day, well, it left me terrified!)

OK, I know I need to put your mind at ease... I did NOT run around the health department screaming when I had my TB test done. No, I was a big girl and they really should have given me a lollipop or sticker for it too! That being said, I have to admit I was still afraid and I find myself asking WHY?

The adult in me, realized before going that if it hurt at all, it would just be a prick, kind of like Sleeping Beauty. However, the little girl in me still swells up with dread, anxiety and fear all rolled in one, when I know a needle is coming my way. (Lord help me if I ever have diabetes and have to check my blood sugar everyday!) This is why I ask the question:

"Why do some people have fears and others are fearless?"

I believe in God and I know he is my strength and source of great help in times of need, yet sometimes "phobias" still get the best of me. In this matter I often want to ask God "why?" I have the type of personality that is prone to worry and hold on to fear. I've looked up scripture, prayed and discussed this with others, yet even though some of my fears are not as strong as they once were, they are still there.

The only conclusion I've come up with is simply this; that God wants to show his power. In his word, he clearly states that he will use the weak of this world to display his strength. I think it also make me a more compassionate person as well, there is that ability to understand and comfort.

So, as I walked to my car today, TB free, I know I had a smile on my face. I had faced a fear, me and God alone, three days earlier. No one had to chase me down or hold my hand... I had walked in of my own free will and by myself. WOW! I guess there is hope for me yet!

Of course I am going to try and not think about the little girl sitting next to me who had to get four shots and never shed a tear... Hmmm... Oh well, I still think I deserved a sticker! I guess that is why I don't feel bad about the shoes I bought on sale afterwards!:)


Poohpa said...

I remember that hospital visit vividly. Ken, a male nurse that was in charge of the needle, was a friend of ours. I suppose the thought was that that might calm you somewhat, but I, too, wondered with the "army" of white surrounding you, if they were not most of the problem. It might have made a simple "tonsil-clip" seem like a life or death situation. And no amount of promised ice cream afterwards seemed to soothe your fears!

The other trauma I remember was when you were a little older and were confronted by the necessity of wearing "the brace"! You remember the "why me - What did I do to deserve this - trauma?" I tried to counter with "this is your friend to help you" but I agonized on that experience for you, too! I am proud of how you handled that during those years.

Oh, daily checking the ol' glucose has its moments for me. In my mind as I do my "morningly" routine of "scales, BP, and finger-stickin'" I usually ask myself right before I "push the button that injects the needle", "Am I going to feel it or not?" OUCH! I usually do. Then I am amazed at how resilient and unaffected the skin on my two digits (I rotate from one hand to the other each day)are, for after a squeezed drop of blood, a kleenex swipe, I look and what should clearly resemble a drug user's arm gives no appearance of having been violated at all! It's nice when our minds can be that way, too, instead of all-full-of holes called anxiety. The good side, my blood is holding on to near normal for my Type 2 Diabetes. Have to watch my diet though! No KFC buckets of that preacher fare! Now, that's real trauma-drama!

Well, enough for now. Wish you could be here this weekend but understand the work goes on there, too. Won't be long before my retirement and move to Arkansas. Hopefully, some freedom to come and camp on your doorstep. I'll let you watch me do the finger-stickin', iffen you want to!

Love Ya,

Amber said...

I'm TB free, too! shoes. Much better than a sticker!