Posted by: Diane | January 12, 2012

Big Picture Focus

I’m fifty-five years old and I’m still very dubious of needles. I have a vivid memory of Dr. Revich impatiently chasing me around his big brown doctor desk, trying to inoculate me when I was a little girl.  I remember painful tetnus shots, mandatory vaccinations, special shots for mission trips, all those blood tests I underwent during my three pregnancies and the ongoing arm pokes that I continue to tolerate for cholesterol levels and diabetes checks.

Needles just keep coming…and I don’t like ’em.

Do you know that I’ve NEVER…and I mean NEVER watched a needle go into my skin? I can’t. It just grosses me out. Yet, I’m fascinated with the human body and I even watched two open heart surgeries in my early university days – no problem with the sight of blood.  I also had no problem Epi-penning a young boy when he had an allergic reaction and I did so without flinching.

I find it rather disheartening that someone who has such an aversion to needles also has really terrible veins from which to draw blood. That’s me! Apparently, my veins are deep and terribly difficult to access.

Now, what’s important to know about this story is that the lab downstairs from my doctor’s office has one technician who performs magic – she can find my vein every time and I don’t even feel the prick as the needle goes in – she is marvelous and I want to kiss her every time I see her.  BUT…today, she was on holidays.  So, a young technician with a beguiling smile (but a lousy “vein-finding” success rate)  started on my right arm – it didn’t work.  Then she moved to my left arm – no success. She called a male technician into the room, who tried to find a vein in my right arm and he too failed.

That’s three traumatic stabs so far.

The proud, male technician could not accept defeat so he moved onto Plan B – he decided to draw blood from the back of my left hand. That REALLY hurt but it didn’t work either. By this time, I was getting a bit nauseous so I suggested that we wait a few minutes. This guy was determined so he headed for my right hand and finally, three bruises later, he was successful.

It wasn’t a pleasant experience.

The same thing happens at the dentist.  Why is it that that the one who has such an aversion to needles also seems to have very sensitive teeth and needs far more anaesthetic than the average person? Yup – again, that’s me.  The last time I got a needle in my mouth, I felt like my entire head was frozen. The good news is that I didn’t feel a thing and my teeth are in pretty good condition because I’m faithful to keep up with these dreaded semi – annual appointments. My dentist knows that when I sit in his chair, he’s doing double duty freezing before his hands go anywhere near my mouth.

I’ve learned how important it is to keep the big picture (the wise choice) in mind because the “here and now” picture is often very unappealing.

I can think of a number of situations in life where the same dynamics are true.  Short term pain for long term gain.

“Good” happens quickly. “Better” means waiting. “Best” always takes time.


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