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Hypodermic needles and catheters, I hate em.



Well-known member
Dec 17, 2018
California, US
It begins with rapid breathing, then my palms start to sweat. I hear the sterile wrappers tear and I begin to squirm. The smell of the alcohol swab and the sensation of it cleaning the injection site on my skin causes my blood pressure to shoot up. A finger tapping on a vein followed by the ever-useless and disquieting instruction, "hold still".

Once I hear these words my amygdala kicks into hyperactivity, trying to convince me this is a life threatening emergency. Fight, flight, freeze response overwhelms me.

I reply to the unfortunate medical technician in a raspy voice, "My amygdala believes you want to kill me. You should know that I'm barely resisting grabbing that needle from your hand, driving it deep into your neck and running for the door!"

I'm what some nurses call a "hard stick".

This panic response I can trace to my youth. A trauma, now buried deep in the fog of memory, exists only as flashes: two nurses holding me down. A doctor stepping on the tops my feet. Everyone yelling at me to hold still. Threats vocal and physical.

I have no memory of where I was or for what purpose. Ever since that event blood draws, injections, vaccinations, IVs and skin prick tests are very lively affairs. 😬