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.”

“Okay.”

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.The Flu Shot Emmy

“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 …

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