The Shot Felt ‘Round the World


I don’t hate doctors, but I hate going to doctors. It may have something to do with my spending three months in the hospital when I was a small child. I still have dreams about all the shots I got, and the doctors I had and the anesthesiologist putting me to sleep before my surgeries. These days, I won’t go to a doctor unless I have no other alternative. I have worked with people who go to the doctor over the smallest thing and it drives me crazy. One girl went to the doctor two or three times a month. She took off work one entire week because she had acute sinusitis. If I took off work every time I had acute sinusitis, I would never be at work. If you want to live in Kentucky, you pretty much learn to live with allergies and sinus problems.

One of the problems I have with going to the doctor is having to wait. I am a relatively patient person, but when I leave work early to see the doctor and I have to wait more than twenty or thirty minutes, I get a bit ticked off. I don’t understand why you have to make an appointment if you have to sit there and wait anyway. But, they are nice enough to provide you with magazines to read and they usually have the television set on. Normally, I don’t touch the magazines because I figure that’s how germs are passed from one person to the other. Sometimes I watch television, but most of the time I watch the clock. Yes and each minute after my appointment time has come and gone, the more agitated and irritated I become.

Occasionally I talk to the other people in the waiting area, and you know, some of these people should be doctors themselves. Some of them can give you pretty good advice on how to treat your symptoms. I have tried a couple of tips that people have given me, and they actually worked. Maybe next time I need to see the doctor, instead of making an appointment, I could just go hang out in the waiting area and discuss my health issues with someone waiting to see the doctor. That would save me a lot of time and a lot of money.

Another reason I don’t like going to the doctor’s office is because I absolutely hate shots. I have had my share of shots, and I cringe at the thought of getting another one. I remember one time I had a terrible cough and cold that lasted over a month. I couldn’t breath and I coughed all night long and was I so tired from lack of sleep. I tried all kinds of remedies to help get rid of that cold, but I finally decided that nothing was going to work. I talked to my best friend Lynn, and she had a terrible cold too. She said she couldn’t get over it either. She told me she had made an appointment to see the doctor. She said if she got a shot, she would get over the cold quicker and she suggested that was what I should do too. I was reluctant at first, but after I thought about it for a few minutes, I decided that a shot would be better than coughing my head off all day and night and feeling so bad. I called to make an appointment, but my doctor was out of the office that day so they referred me to another doctor that was in the same office building. I knew if I didn’t go that day then it would be another week or two before I would call back to make another appointment, so I took the opening.

I arrived at the doctor’s office about 20 minutes before my appointment that afternoon, and after I signed in, I saw Lynn sitting in the waiting area. We both went to the same building to see our doctors, but I had a different doctor than her. I went over and sat down and started talking to her. She told me  her doctor was out of the office so she had to make an appointment with another doctor. I said, “Me too. I am seeing Dr. White. Who is your appointment with?” She said she would be seeing Dr. White also . I asked her what time her appointment was and she said 3:10. Since Lynn was my best friend, I didn’t mind asking, “Would you mind if I went in with you? Mine is not until 3:20 and I will be here until 4 or after. I mean, since we both have the same thing and the same doctor, I don’t think they would mind. Besides, you know how long you have to sit and wait once you finally get into the examination room. Plus, you would have someone to talk to.”  Lynn agreed and said, “That’s a good idea. Go ask them if it’s okay.” I walked up explained to the girl sitting behind the counter that my best friend was there with the same symptoms and her appointment was just a few minutes before mine, so I would like to just go in with her. I said, “That will save the doctor some time and free up a room for another patient.” She said that would be fine as long as the doctor didn’t object.

Thirty minutes later, they called me and Lynn to exam room number seven. We sat in the exam room  waiting about twenty more minutes and finally the nurse came in the room to take our temperature and check our weight and check our blood pressure. The nurse was pretty old-looking and her hands and voice were shaky. Frankly speaking, the nurse looked like she should have retired four years, six months, ten hours, twenty-nine minutes and three seconds ago. But, she was nice and she laughed at some of my comments, so that made me feel better about the situation. She asked who wanted to go first and I volunteered. After she was finished with both of us, the doctor came and examined us. He gave us both prescriptions to have filled and he said he would send the nurse back in with a shot for each of us.

The nurse came back in and I studied her carefully while she was filling up each of the two syringes with medicine. I wasn’t very comfortable with her given me a shot because she looked like she was having a hard time seeing how much medicine was going into the syringes. When she finally finished getting the shots ready, she turn around and said, “Okay, which one of you wants to go first?” Hating shots as much as I do, and dreading getting one from her, I wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible. I jumped up and said, “Me!” and I started lowering my pants to expose my hip. I put one hand on the table, lowered my head and I shifted my weight to one side to help relax the side where I was getting the shot. She said, “Alright, this will sting a little bit.” She stuck me and in a few very long seconds, it was over. I pulled up my pants and I looked at the nurse and smiled and said, “Wow! That was the best shot I have ever gotten. I didn’t feel a thing.” The nurse giggled and said, “Well good; I’m glad. Thank you.” She looked over at Lynn and said, “Okay, it’s your turn. I went over to the other side of the room and sat down.

I was so thankful that Lynn and I were best friends because I knew she didn’t mind me sitting in there with her. And to be completely honest, I wouldn’t have missed what was getting ready to happen next for the world. The nurse took the syringe that had a needle three inches long on it and she aimed for Lynn’s butt. I never blinked an eye as I watched the nurse stab that needle all the way into Lynn’s hip. Lynn’s body tensed up and she came to a complete straight, upright, vertical position and the expression on her face was pure, severe pain. It took everything I had in me not to bust out laughing, but some how I managed to hold back my laughter. When the nurse had finally removed the needle from Lynn’s butt, I said, “Now see, that didn’t hurt at all, did it Lynn?” The nurse glanced over at Lynn waiting for her to reply. Lynn had a look of pain and total confusion on her face. Lynn finally looked at me then she looked at the nurse and said, “Ahh, no. Not at all.”

After we left the office we walked to our cars together. Lynn still had a confused look on her face when she said, “You didn’t think that shot hurt?” I said, “Nope. Why did you?” Lynn said, “Yeah, my shot hurt.” Then, I died laughing and said, “Oh my God! It hurt like hell! That was the worse shot I have ever gotten in my life. And I hope she never gives me another one!” Lynn said, “Well, why in the hell didn’t you tell me it hurt instead of telling me it didn’t hurt? I would have at least prepared for it to hurt instead of being all relaxed.” Still laughing, I said, “I wanted to see how high you would jump.”   We stood in the parking lot about fifteen minutes talking about how bad that shot was and we laughed and laughed. And still to this day, I laugh just thinking about it.

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