>Poke, Poke, Poke!

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I met with the radiologist yesterday to hopefully, finally get the schedule set for my radiation treatments.  Before we can set the schedule, I have to have a radiation simulation. That’s where they get me “fitted” for the radiation and I get three little tattoos – three little dots to mark the spot. That way they will be sure each time they blast me with radiation, they are blasting the right spot.   Poke! Poke! Poke!

I’m sure my phobia of needles is silly to some people.  I admit a 46 year old woman terrified (and yes terrified is the right word) of needles does seem ridiculous.  But I can’t help it. It doesn’t matter how tiny the needle is, I still break out in a cold sweat when I see one. Oh great, cold sweats and a hot flash at the same time – that will be interesting.

I’ve been terrified of needles for as long as I can remember. My mother used to tell the story that my problem with needles came from the fact that the doctor who delivered me, gave me too many shots as a baby. According to mom, who was 16 when I was born, the doctor’s nurse pulled her aside after one visit and recommended she find another doctor for me, as there was no need for me to get a shot every time I visited the doctor. The nurse said he was treating me like a pin cushion.

My mom often told this story, but she wasn’t very sympathetic to my fears. I stopped crying when I got shots after she spanked me and grounded me for doing so at one visit. I was probably only 6 or 7 at the time.  The tears may have stopped but the fear and panic continue on to this day.  It’s a miracle I ever managed to get my ears pierced. (Another joyful experience with my mom.)  It’s the main reason I have never gotten a tattoo. My dear sweet husband would love for me to get a tattoo – he even joked on Facebook that I would be getting inked on Friday.  Oh, I think of getting a tiny tattoo on my ankle from time to time.  I even have one picked out.

I just don’t see it happening.  I’m a wimp. I fret for days before a procedure involving needles.  I can usually “man up” enough to get through blood tests and IVs, but while everyone else is laughing, because they either can’t believe I’m actually that freaked out about it or because I’ve been cracking jokes as a lame attempt to get through the whole ordeal – I’m doing mental lamaze breathing and doing everything I can to either not burst into tears or to run screaming from the room.  I’m not worried about my mother grounding me anymore, but I really would hate to embarrass anyone trying to help me.

So, if my math is right. I’ve got four more pokes coming – three for the radiation and one for the genetic blood test.   Maybe if I put on my Super Librarian suit, I can get through it without it being too mortifying.

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