One benefit of working where I do is that we get free flu shots every year. They set up little flu shot stations all around campus and you can just walk in, show your employee ID and walk away theoretically protected from whatever seasonal virus is out there.
At some point, they’ll have H1N1 vaccine available too, but they’re a little iffy on exactly when.
I walked across the street with two other colleagues this morning for my shot. I had even remembered to wear a top with easily rolled up sleeves. We three were the only ones there…no waiting.
Some of you may remember my fondness for needles. Actually, I’ve been poked and prodded so many times they don’t really bother me any more. That was not the case when I was younger.
Once when I was really young (so young that I don’t remember this, and it might not even be true but I think it is so I’m telling it anyhow*) my mother took me to the doctor. There was a shot involved. I took one look at the needle, started screaming and ran from the examination room back out into the waiting room. Somebody caught me and picked me up. That’s when it was discovered that I didn’t have any underwear on–I must’ve tried to dress myself and just forgot that particular item under my dress.
I also remember that the only downside to the beginning of summer meant shots–tetanus shots had to be taken before swimming, camp or any fun summer activities. I would literally dread them for days. I can still remember the horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach at the thought of getting a shot.
But now, getting a flu shot is just no big deal. And that brings us back to today.
I rolled up my sleeve and looked away while the nurse started the injection.
“Oh my,” I heard her say.
“What?” I say.
“Oh, nothing…the plunger just sort of broke off.”
“Is the needle in my arm? Like, is it STUCK in my arm?”
“Mmmmmm…no, not really” she says. “Let me just reach right over here…” as she fumbles around on the table with the one hand that’s NOT holding the needle that’s stuck in my arm.
I look over at one friend whose eyes are the size of saucers. I look at the other one who has gone a little pale and decided that she’d get her shot sitting down.
“Can you get the needle out?”
“Mmmmmm…ahhh….now the medicine is going in…” she says. She removes the previously stuck needle and gives me a Halloween bandaid.
As we’re walking back to the office, I ask my friend what had happened. He told me that the plunger part of the syringe just broke and dropped right to the floor. And that the needle was indeed stuck in my arm.
So the moral of the story is this: the nurse lied. But, in all honesty, the shot didn’t hurt a bit.
*I tried to call Mother for confirmation, but she didn’t answer. Let’s just assume it’s true. 🙂