Right from the time I remember myself as a child, I always had this needle fear. Just a thought of a small pointed object poking through my body lefts me jittery and why me, its poking through anybody had been unbearable. I had made unimaginable fuss when doctors were left with no option but to give me injections and it had always been very hard for my parents to believe and handle their otherwise calm and easy going child.
The fear never left me and even as an adult I insisted on taking medicines instead of shots, thankfully I never needed a lot of doctor visits. This continued till the time I had to get my blood test done for the pre employment medical assessment.
I was so disgusted at the thought of it that despite of knowing the answer, I subjected myself to ridiculing and actually asked the HR, can I skip the blood test?
But job was necessary and so the blood test. I didn’t prepare myself for it, I couldn’t. I was shattered totally and I knew it’s going to be tough, not for me but for the lab people. I was prepared for the mess instead of the needle.
My turn came and I sat on the chair, continuously moving my feet in and out to control the anxiety and the phobia. The lab assistant was busy preparing the syringe and I got up as soon as he turned to poke me. I was about to run but stopped as I remembered that I am not a child any more. Inside me everything was breaking apart and I kept swallowing the spit to keep that everything inside me till the point my mouth went dry and I started to cough. The lab assistant told me sit again and was searching for the vein to draw blood.
As soon as he started to draw blood I felt dizzy and was about to faint when I saw my blood in the small bottle he was collecting. The fainting was left aside with the sight of the blood and I wanted to throw up. I asked him, he directed me towards wash room and first time displayed some emotions, although only out of the worry that I might not wait for the wash room.
I cursed everyone who I could that time. Lab people helped me, gave me a place to rest sometime, provided me tea and glucose biscuits. Well, tea had always been good to me and I could return by myself without calling anyone to pick me up.
Nevertheless, I spent two days with that shock. My father constantly praising me for choosing to go alone for the blood test and coming intact. We also laughed at my childhood fuss and the frustration doctors were subjected to.
I never felt a need to do anything about this fear of mine until the time blood donation camps were organized at my work. These camps were organized regularly and many of my colleagues used to donate. Initially I didn’t give it a thought and if anybody mentioned it to me even casually, I straight away used to say that I cannot take the needle. But soon, I started to feel like I am making it too big thing and I should give it a try. I had this thought that overcoming the fear for helping others would do good to me in a way.
I am a determined person, so In the next camp I was there in the queue to donate blood. It was not easy, I sat at my desk for some time contemplating to go or to not go before proceeding for it actually.
I saw the needle, I saw them extracting few drops from the person before me for the test they have to do prior to taking the blood for donation and I fainted again.
Again the people there helped me, The NGO person very kindly said, “It’s all right, do not subject yourself to something you are not ready for”. I was given tea and biscuits again for attempting it at least.
That was my failed attempt to overcome the phobia which I still regret. I cannot say that I have overcome it completely but during the pregnancy, at the time of delivery and after delivery I had to poke myself so many times that I got used to keep the breaking stuff inside me and face the needle.
It’s been many years now and I haven’t yet made it to blood donation, I haven’t needed the needle either in these years but the spikes of regret keep poking me time to time.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Phobia, Shmobia.”