Skip to main content

Needle Phobia

As a kid, I was convinced that glass thermometers, like needles, hurt. I lost my shit when the doctor busted out with a big honking needle.

I've only fainted once, in college, after a blood draw. It wasn't my fault, though, because I'd looked away, and when I looked back, the nurse was wiping up a puddle of bright red blood she'd spilled all over my medical form.

20% of the general population experience a fear of needles, according to Healthline.com. Needle phobia is a thing. It comes with its own terminology:

Belonephobia: an abnormal fear of sharp pointed objects, especially needles

Trypanophobia: a fear of injections

Vaccinophobia: a fear of vaccines and vaccinations

This fear actually makes sense in terms of evolution. Heavy-handed symbolism aside, if, like Aurora on her sixteenth birthday, one sees a sharp, pointy thing and thinks, MUST TOUCH, one might not live to pass on one's genes.

I have no problem popping the blueberry-like, bulbous body of a large black widow under my thin flip-flops, but watching a medical personnel squeeze one drop of liquid out of the tip of a syringe activates my fight or flight (mostly flight) response.

Unfortunately, I've already signed the paperwork consenting to my nursing program classmates and I sticking one another for practice. I'll have to warn them that I might be crying the whole time.

Advice for overcoming phobias include gradual exposure to the object feared, looking at pictures/videos of it, talking about it, writing about it, and handling it (if possible, and safely). We'll see if any of that helps.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Week 6. EtOh = Alcohol

In honor of the weekend (and no invisible planet hitting us today), here's a really-quite-serious, "How drunk are you?" quiz based on how pickled your brain feels (loosely adapted from Table 38-1 in Lehne's Pharmacology for Nursing Care, 9th ed.)


1. Increased confidence? Euphoria, decreased inhibitions? Congratulations, the alcohol has reached your frontal lobe. Blood alcohol approximately 0.05%.

2. Loquacious? Judgement altered? Your frontal lobe continues to be affected, and you are now at or past the legal limit of intoxication, 0.08%.

3. Tremors? Involuntary body movements? Reduced attention? Your parietal lobe's been breached. 0.15%.

4. Reduced motor skills? Slurred speech? Parietal lobe conquered at 0.2%.

5. Altered perception? Double vision? The occipital lobe's getting pickled, 0.25%.

6. Altered equilibrium? There goes your cerebellum. 0.3%.

7. Feeling apathetic? Inert? In a stupor? Really shouldn't continue, because you're down to the diencep…

DNA

DNA, Deoxyribonucleic Acid, blueprint molecules for everything that makes you you. Race/ethnicity isn't a biological thing present in your DNA, however.

There's a lot we don't know about the estimated 20,000 or so genes present on our 23 chromosomes and the simple and complex traits they govern. We do know that genes coding for superficial traits such as skin, hair, and eye color, are just that--superficial. Scientists argue that race (e.g. African, Asian) is a social construct because there aren't genes only present in Africans or only present in Asians and not present in other "races," and there aren't genes present in all members of a particular "race," either. Two people from the same perceived race can be as genetically different as two people from different races.

So there's something insidious about these ancestry sites that analyze your DNA and tell you what percentage you are of which ancestry. What these sites are calling Irish, Eu…

Week 9. HF = heart failure

Starling's Law: the healthy heart can handle precisely the volume of blood brought to it by veins. The greater the volume and fiber length, the more Romeo-and-Juliet-like actin and myosin behave, and the heart pulses as hard and fast as necessary to pump all of one's blood through the body once in one minute.

In the failing heart, Starling's law breaks down. In 40 minutes, death from pulmonary congestion can occur. (Some online instructor, long ago, thought it funny to include a picture of a tombstone in green grass on this particular PowerPoint slide. Incidentally, the Chinese call marriage the dirt grave of love.)

Do people still believe in love? Surely, some do, because there's such a thing as broken heart syndrome. Sadness -> stress hormones -> vascular constriction -> chest pain, shortness of breath, hypotension, arrhythmia, possible heart failure. It is literally possible to feel one's heart break, over and over, years apart, especially since humans …