An irrational fear of needles.
Yes. That’s it. I dint know I had it, until I got pregnant. Never before in my life had I gotten a blood test.
It was my first blood test in the first trimester of pregnancy. So, I went to the lab with my husband. The lab assistant was very sweet and told me what she would be doing.
First I was made to sit on a very comfortable chair. Next, she applied a tourniquet on my arm. Then, she wore gloves. After palpating my veins, she applied a spirit swab over the site where she intended to prick. And then, she removed the needle from the cap and asked me to close my fists tight.
As she was about to prick me, she said, “It will feel like an ant biting you. A very minimal pain. Just take deep breaths and relax.”
But the site of that one inch long steely pointy instrument approaching my skin gave me goosebumps.
And so I yelled. On top of my voice.
The lab assistant was surprised as she hadn’t even touched me.
My husband came running inside to ask what happened.
He held me and told me I would be alright.
Then, the lab assistant again asked me to relax and breathe deeply and told me it will feel like an ant biting. I shrieked again, without even being pricked. I told her, “I don’t like ants biting me. Go away.”
My husband felt really helpless, so did the lab assistant. Even I felt that way. I din’t know what was happening to me.
After about an hour of counselling by my husband and the lab assistant and after my husband promised me of multiple gifts, a vacation and what not, I reluctantly agreed. A five minute thing was stretched into an hour long ordeal. And after I thought the lab assistant would murder me (quite literally), I let her prick me! With lots of prayers going on in my mind, I finally relented.
It felt like a really big ant biting me to glory and then I saw the red liquid being collected into red, purple, yellow and grey capped bottles. It was finally over and done. Every body in the room including my husband, the lab assistant and myself were sweating.
My husband was really very shocked at this behaviour of mine. And so was I. And I also realise that the pain was indeed minimal!
The next day, we went to my obstetrician to discuss the reports. When my husband narrated the ‘bloody’ incident to him, he was rolling on the floor with laughter. Quite literally. He told me, “You yourself are a doctor. You have pricked hundreds of patients and look at you. You tell your patients ‘nothing will happen, just a small prick’, so the same applies to you too.. Don’t be so stressed dear, you will get used to these pricks.”
And yes, I did get used to these pricks. I had another test in the second trimester as my hemoglobin was low, then another one in the third trimester as I had developed pregnancy induced hpothyroidism, and now, I have blood tests every month to follow up for my thyroid problem.
Sometimes I still say, ‘please don’t prick me’, but I have overcome that fear to about 80 percent. I’m sure the remaining will also go away soon.
And the best part of the whole thing was that my husband took me to a long ‘babymoon’ and pampered me silly, so much so that I felt like creating a scene everytime I went to do a blood test. But ofcourse I din’t. Now I cannot be that cunning, can I? 😉