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The Dreaded Injection
a blog by Shana Kurz, May 31, 2012
When I was 12 years old I had a minor surgery scheduled in the morning. My mom accompanied me, and as part of the pre-op workup, I needed a finger prick test. The next time I saw my mom, I was in recovery, not because I had surgery, but because I passed out during the finger prick. The last thing I remember before passing out is the nurse calling for help, yelling “anybody!”
Fast-forward 15 years, and I’m faced, once again, with needles. The first ones start out small, as if that makes a difference. The needle may have been small, but facing my fear was not. I attended a class to learn how to draw up the medications, how to pinch my skin and inject. I also learned about the importance of timing these needles. So when the nurse says you need to do your injection tonight between 6 and 8 p.m., I had to comply.
I had a job that required a lot of travel, a different city each night. The first time I needed to inject myself, I was in a hotel room with a queen size bed, a sofa and kitchenette. I tried sitting on the bed, pacing the room, walking into the bathroom, but the needle will not make its way into the pinched fold of my stomach. No amount of hopping around, breathing, lying down and back up again worked. Injections are mind torture. You are willing your hand to plunge the needle into your body, telling your mind to get over it, while being so frightened at the same time. I wish I could tell you how I did it, but I just don’t know. There was a split second where my hand was just listening more then my head.
As I progressed through fertility treatments, the needles moved from small to large and from my stomach to my backside. My husband was usually the one to inject these, but he traveled as well, and there came a time when he wasn’t going to be able to do it. So in steps my mother-in-law, a sweet and caring woman who was desperate for grandchildren. She drove an hour each night to inject medication into my backside, a bonding moment to say the least.
Although each shot was painful (and in the case of my mother-in-law, embarrassing), it was always followed with a surge of pride. I had faced my fear, and I could congratulate myself because I was doing exactly what I needed to do to have a baby. It did not make the next needle any easier, but I’m still amazed with myself. It’s a moment in my life when I can say to my former self “I don’t know how you do it. You are so strong and courageous, I don’t know how you do it.”