I Hate Needles

My wife and I intend to be responsible parents, so we decided to get some life insurance to make sure our fetus will be provided for in the event I die in a tragic Whirlyball-related accident (currently the #1 cause of death for Zillionaires.) This was a reluctant decision on my part, and not just because my wife and the fetus would soon have a vested financial interest in my death. I was hesitant because the insurance company required my wife and I to undergo a blood test before our coverage would begin.

Now, for the record, I hate needles. This is the main reason I didn’t opt for a paternity test when I found out my wife is pregnant. I decided that even if the child bears no resemblance to me, or is of another ethnicity, or has a weak mastery of the Force… I’ll choose to delude myself into thinking the kid is mine simply to avoid facing a needle.

Concerned Friend: “Dude, your kid doesn’t look anything like you…”
Me: (awkward laughing) “Ha ha… That means he has a chance in life…”
Concerned Friend: “Ok man, whatever you say.”

Understand though, this has nothing to do with the bleeding involved. Hell, I bleed all the time. Instead of using the needle, I pleaded with the nurse giving the test to let me tinker in the garage for five minutes, as invariably I’d come back bleeding from somewhere.

But she insisted on the needle. After seeing her tools, it became clear. First off, why is it that nurses and dentists feel compelled to set out all of their pain-inducing instruments in plain sight? Is the whole process not unpleasant enough that it needs an element of psychological torture to it? The worst part is that it’s simply impossible to focus your attention on anything but the sharp and shiny tools in front of you. The nurse could have been showing spectacular cleavage and I wouldn’t have noticed… that’s how bad it was.

I was transfixed on the needle, as I realized the device was really more of a spigot. The “needle” actually had a little valve on it so the nurse can shut off your profuse bleeding while she changes vials.

That’s right: Vials. Plural. It’s like she’s doing her winter canning or something. I was going to be tapped like a keg.

Sure enough, she pulled out a heroin-user strip of rubber. She tied it tightly on my arm, causing my veins to bulge out prominently. I couldn’t take it. I asked the nurse to give me some nitrous oxide to knock me out. I pleaded with her to prick me in a less-sensitive area… I suggested my ass, like they do for shots. She didn’t budge.

And then she injected me. My eyes were closed, but I could feel the blood flowing out of my arm. Why do needles have to be so sharp and pointy? Honestly, I’d rather have blood drawn with a switchblade. At least then all my whimpering and theatrics would be justified.

It was over two minutes later. Apparently, she was able to top off a few milk jugs with my blood in that time. My arm felt weak, but the nurse refused to put my arm in a sling. Like my wife, she had no sympathy for me.

So there will be no flu shots for me this winter, or any winter for that matter. And I’ll pass on donating blood too. And, I don’t see how anyone can be an intravenous drug user. The same goes for diabetics. If I was put in the position of having to give myself a shot of insulin, or die… I’d be pretty indifferent. Both are about equally undesirable in my book. It would probably come down to a coin flip.

18 thoughts on “I Hate Needles”

  1. Quit being such a damn wussie. I used to give blood frequently, and there’s nothing to it. You just have to get used to someone sticking needles in your veins. Maybe you should just get rip roaring drunk before any future shots. Sure, it thins the blood and you could possibly die from bleeding to death, but at least you wouldn’t have the psychological pain. I hate to fly, and that is usually the method that I use to cope with it. About 4 stiff margaritas before the flight and I’m good to go!

  2. I had blood drawn last week and right before the poke, when my anxiety was at its worst, the nurse purposely (or so she said) stepped on my foot. With my attention elsewhere, she jabbed and before I knew it, vial number one was full. I didn’t notice a thing. My toe throbbed a bit, but I’ll take that any day of the week.

  3. man, quit using “fetus” to describe your new child, it’s too al bundy. anyway, my sweety had her wisdom teeth removed last wednesday. she fainted before they could insert the needle into her arm.

  4. Every time I go to give blood it takes them at least 2 or 3 tries before they hit a vein. The first nurse always has to call in the nurse closest to retirement to see if she can suck anything out of me. My veins are very small and I seriously think they get a kick out of eluding the nurses. I just love a good blood test!

  5. You are a damn wussie MR. Quit you’re crying. I guess I can’t relate though because I’ve never had a fear of needles. The last time I had to get a blood test the nurse turned away and I had the rubber tube on and the vein ready to go.

    And dude, you’re an actuarial analyst and you didn’t have life insurance already. What the hell is wrong with you?!? That should be one of your benefits at work!

  6. I support MR allthe way. Needles are the worst invention in the history of man. When I was 14 I actually injured a nurse who was trying to prick my finger for the sports physical. I do have to agree with Solo the fetus thing is kind of disturbing. How about calling it the great white hope.

  7. Oh Matt, we’ve shared needle-phobia tales before. It took 5 sessions with a psychologist before I could bring myself to do the tests. Granted, my fear was spurred by a minor trauma at 14, but still…nobody took the gravity of the situation seriously until I threw up all over the oral surgeon. Two laters later, threw up on the nurse as she unexpectedly wielded her tray of torturous implements in front of my face. I can get through without vomiting now-just a lot of tears, and if fortunate enough, passing out. How proud I feel.

  8. Sigh… (that’s me sighing.)

    I’m using the title “The Fetus” because, as of right now, that’s the biologically correct term. I’m using this terminology mainly for newcomers to the site, as it’s clear we are expecting a baby… and don’t actually have one yet. And since we don’t know the sex yet, this term isn’t gender specific either.

    However, I admit, “The Fetus” isn’t very flattering. I wouldn’t mind using a different name. Maybe Cletus? As in “Cletus the Fetus”…

    Obviously, I’m accepting suggestions.

  9. Uh Matt, your blushing bride asked me to stop calling it “Cletus the Fetus” and I got the go ahead on “Womb Goblin” so feel free to steal that.

  10. Remember the scene in “The Basketball Diaries” when Jim Carroll (aptly played by Leo Di Caprio) was in an abandoned building with some junkies? The question was “Why snort it [heroin] when you can freebase? … And why freebase it, when you can shoot it?”

    After this post, I suspect Matt would stick with the freebasing, if he forced to choose a life of heroin use.

  11. Your addiction to Halo 2 is about as difficult to quit as smoking. That and black tar heroin. We used to talk about that scene with Jason Mapes.

    More disturbing is if people struggle with my references to “pop culture” that doesn’t include “Real World – Austin” or “The O.C.” just shows my age, I guess.

  12. I’ve been using “alien inside my wife’s stomach” lately. Fortunately, I only have two more weeks before learning if I’m X or Y.

  13. STick with cletus the fetus, it’s just a down home, good-hearted name for a fetus. Then you can name it Doc Boy, or Roscow when it is born and move out to the country, maybe Omak or something, and buy a chicken farm. THat would be so zillionairesque! By the way, how come Dave hasn’t commented for a while? Is he too busy in livin’ it up in NY?

  14. And who are Lindsy and Danielle, single ladies? If so, will they be at the zillionaire lounge on new years to fight over me when the clock strikes midnight?

  15. I’m with you. Hate the needles. During a recent visit, I was told to “cowboy up”. WTF? I said, “Fine. You stick me, I get to kick you in the nads”. Seemed fair.

  16. I’ve had SO many bad experiences with needles! Even reading these posts is causing me to squirm!! Not only was I forced to have FOUR teeth removed aged 10, I jerked so violently when he stuck it in that the needle bent and snapped, meaning I had to spend ANOTHER 10 minutes shaking in the waiting room whilst they found another one!
    After that I’ve had to endure the course of HVP jabs to prevent cervical cancer, and the two I’ve had so far have caused me to hyperventilate, pass out and vomit. Nice. The final injection is in March. Can hardly wait.
    I also had the joy of a boy at school looking for some ‘fun’ by stealing a sewing needle from the textiles room and stabbing me in the arm with it as I talked to my friends one afternoon- what is WRONG with people today? Surely that can’t be healthy?

    Basically I can relate to this far more than I’d like and would probably do the same as Ryan given half the chance!

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