a hand to hold

I went to the doctor yesterday for a little check-up, which included some blood tests. Maybe you know this, maybe you don't, but I go into freak-out mode around needles. Well, specifically when they are aimed at me. Somehow, I can muster the inner strength and resolve to be there with and for a friend who needs one. But when it's for me? Whole different story. So as the doctor walks me over to the table, I warn him.

Me: "I really dislike needles."

Doctor: "Don't worry... Just this morning I had to give a 7-year old girl an injection, and she didn't even cry once."

Me: "I'm worse than a 7-year old girl!"

He didn't believe me.

I turned to Niel and asked him to come with me to hold my hand. "I can't," he said. "I'll pass out." Apparently, he's worse than a 7-year old girl, too.

The doctor had me lay back; he pulled up my shirt sleeve, and started swabbing. That's when my typical-freak-out-response hysteria set in. I started to laugh uncontrollably as my eyes let loose a stream of saline. I looked away and said, in Afrikaans, "Ouch, ouch, ouch!"

"I haven't stuck you yet," replied the now-believing doctor.

I continued to "ouch", laugh, and cry as he stuck me, took the blood, and removed the needle. As he taped on the cotton ball, I finally stopped hyperventilating.

The best part? When I ripped off the cotton ball hours later, adhered with amazingly strong medical tape, it hurt far worse than the needle did! Oh well...