They had a flu shot clinic at dLife yesterday. This happens in most offices around this time of year. The nurse comes in, you submit your form, and she sticks a needle in your arm. Easy-peasy.
Not for me-sie.
I can’t stand needles. Irony, anyone? The diabetic who hates needles? That’s me. Better said: I fear any needle I’m not in control of. After administering my own injections for over seventeen years and using an insulin pump for the last two and a half, I am very accustomed to doing my own shots. When I was a little girl at the pediatrician’s office, my doctor would let me put my hand on his wrist as he administered the shot because he knew I needed some semblance of control over the needle. If I’m just sitting and waiting for that needle to slide into my skin … oooh, I can’t stand the thought of it. Having my blood drawn at Joslin is a nightmare and the lab technicians remember me as, “Hey, you’re that girl we had to sit on to draw blood when you were a kid!” Now I just turn a ghastly shade of pale.
So yesterday, the nurse came to give flu shots. And, knowing my mother panics if I don’t have this shot every year, I stood in line and waited amongst my co-workers.
My heart started to race a small bit from the anxiety of the needle-to-come.
“You okay?” Marketing Guy asked.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I just hate needles.”
IT Guy who busts on me daily leaned in. “You hate needles?”
“I fully recognize the irony. But I hate any needle I’m not controlling.”
The shots were being given in the conference room, which is behind plate glass walls. I could see every syringe that the nurse drew up. I started to get a little jittery.
“You really don’t like this, do you?” Marketing Guy asked.
“Not really, but it will be okay.” The Senior Editor walked to have her shot. I couldn’t control myself. “Good luck!” I called after her.
My turn. Nerves shot. (No pun intended.) I walked towards the glass doors with as much confidence as my shaky knees could muster.
“Good luck!” Giggles from the line behind me.
The nurse examined my form. I fidgeted beside her.
“Little nervous?” she asked with a smile. “It won’t hurt a bit.”
“I know. But I’m still anxious. I’m diabetic, too, so it’s bizarre to be afraid of needles.”
“Makes sense to me. Good thing you’re getting a shot. You’re in the high-risk group.” She opened a plastic sleeve and removed a sterilized syringe. I looked back over my shoulder. The group waved at me.
“They’re busting on me for being nervous.” I grinned at her.
“Looks like you should pretend to pass out afterwards.” She grinned back and uncapped the needle.
“Here we go, quick pinch … you’re fine. But they don’t need to know that. Go ahead and slump over to the side.” She pulled the needle away from my arm. I let my head roll to the side and collapse onto my arm on the long conference table.
“Are the looking?” I whispered.
“Yeah. They look sort of concerned.”
I popped back up, put my cardigan back on, and shook the nurse’s hand.
“Thanks for playing.”
She laughed. “Anytime.”
I walked back towards the line and tossed out a grin. A co-worker grabbed one of the many Telly awards that dLife has won. “Here’s your Emmy, Kerri.”
I’d like to thank the academy … and the patience of the wonderful nurse …