I have always had a terrible relationship with needles. My first experience with the painful suckers which I can remember was at the age of five. I had to get my blood drawn and during the entire process I screamed. And screamed. And screamed. Needless to say, I got many stares on my way out of the doctor's office.
I learned to fight back after that. In the second grade, I had to get a shot. I was a very skinny child and if back then you were in the business of fighting children, you probably would have said something to yourself like, "Oh I can take that!" Well the 250 pound nurse had to sit on me to get the needle in my arm.
By fourth grade, I had learned that one way or another the needle in my arm was going to happen so I should make nice with the nurses. I passed out one day and had to go to the hospital where they had to take my blood. I found myself alone in the room with the nurse.
I warned the nurse, "I am afraid of needles. You will need some back up." She was a small women.
"Oh Dear, I think I will be okay. You just need to keep your arm still."
"No, I don't think you understand. I can't keep my arm still once you start getting the needle ready. I may even try to swat it away. Or I may hit you."
"Well I can hold your arm while I do it."
"Tell that to the 250 pound nurse who had to sit on me two years ago."
She promptly left the room and brought back Candy, another small women, but one with a deathly grip.
I really avoid the doctors at all cost, especially when it will involve a needle. And really, at a certain age, there is no one to tell you to go to the doctors. But I can tell you that when forced to go, I resort to acting as if I am five. In college, my boyfriend forced me to go to the flu clinic at the request of my parents. He had to coax me with ice cream. My French prof ended up having to hold my hand. (Yes, my pride goes out the window when needles are present.)
But today I realized how far I have come in adulthood. Two weeks ago I voluntarily went to the flu clinic at work. I work in a hospital and although I don't do anything clinical I feel like it is my responsibility to protect those around me who actually do work with patients. (Okay, okay. My coworker did hold my hand but I was the one who reminded her about getting the flu shot.) And today I followed a dead body out of work as he was wheeled away by the funeral director.