I’m a bit of a fool when it comes to needles.
When the dentist proposed doing my filling without anesthesia recently I was thrilled. The kids aren’t allowed to know about my dirty little secret. Tracey has this ridiculous idea if Miss7, Miss3, Miss1 & Master5 know I’m scared of needles they might develop a similar phobia.
Although, to be fair to her there is a precedent – Master19 & Miss16.
For a blood test Master19 once required five nurses to hold him down: When Miss16 had vertebrae fused and titanium rods inserted, the only thing she was concerned about was any potential jabs.
“It’ll only be uncomfortable for a few seconds.” my dentist said. And, like said fool, I agreed to letting him proceed without any anesthesia. You’d think I would have learnt. Of course, when he mentioned it would only be uncomfortable for a few seconds he was right, except those few seconds of grinding the nerve in my tooth seemed to last ten minutes or so.
Growing up, avoiding jabs had become something of an obsession for me, although I got over it eventually.
In fact as a child the first half dozen fillings in my mouth were all done without any anesthetic. As the dentist drilled and filled I’d cling to whatever instruments were free, and securely bolted to the floor, and do a couple of laps of the dentist chair with my butt cheeks.
And still I wouldn’t have a needle.
A less confident man would probably be too embarrassed to admit it, but at 21 when I needed a blood test I took my mother, who diligently held my hand and promised me lollies if I was a good boy and didn’t cry. I don’t recall getting a jelly bean that day.
The turning point in this whole Trypanophobia thing (that’s needle-phobia for those unfamiliar with wikipedia) came a few years later when I went for my first Gastroscopy – that’s where they shove a camera down your throat and take photos of your insides.
Now with this procedure looming I gotta tell you, I was shit scared. Not of the procedure itself, mind, but of the horse needle they would need to give me beforehand.
A week before the big day I was chatting to a friend’s partner and the whole topic (somehow) came up. And then…a golden ray of light. This young man had the same procedure only two months previous and HE DIDN’T HAVE A NEEDLE!!
So when the nurse arrived to prep me I explained I wouldn’t be needing any jabs and we could just get on with it.
A very short time later a bewildered doctor visited my bed. “What’s this nonsense?”
“I don’t want a needle.”
“You have to.”
“No I don’t. Friend of mine didn’t have it, so I won’t either.”
Frowning. “Okay, we’ll see how you do.”
And I did remarkably well, thank you very much, and the procedure went without a hitch. They shoved a hallowed bit in my mouth and told me to bite down hard and, when they began shoving the long tube through the hole and down into my gut, I prayed for God to take me from this unholy plain.
For the next five minutes I imagined I felt much like an alien abductee must feel – helpless, violated and wishing they’d killed me before they began all this unpleasantness. On a related matter I was also thankful I wasn’t in for a colonoscopy. They just kept feeding the the tube down my throat while I lay wide eyed on my side, clenching my butt-cheeks for good measure.
It was, without any hint of a lie, the most uncomfortable, inhuman, disturbing experience of my life.
A couple of months later I was chatting to my friend’s friend again when he asked how the procedure went.
“It was great,” I lied. Well one bit was – “I didn’t have the needle.”
Then he said something I was NOT prepared for. “So you had the gas too?”
GAS! GAS! He never said anything about gas!
“Well what did you have?” he asked me.
“Nothing,” I said, feeling a little silly. “I just kinda lay down and they shoved the thing down my throat.”
“What are you?” said this otherwise nice young man, “Some sort of fool?”
And, despite my fear of needles, that was the last time I ever insisted I have any sort of procedure without anesthetic, which is especially pertinent at the moment because tomorrow I’m being neutered and I suspect there will be at least one little prick involved – but that’s a whole other story.
When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’ Facebook Page.
’raising a family on little more than laughs’