I come from a long and distinguished line of wienies. Cowards. Quick to faint, easily grossed out. I suppose it began when I was a child and saw blood and connected it with pain. I remember covering my eyes when my mom had to re-bandage my little finger. It was just too gruesome for me. Thankfully, it healed.
Scraped knees, on the other hand, were OK. Those I could tend just fine. In fact I wanted to be the one to wash the gravel off my knees, because I knew where they hurt. I cut my knee one time on a piece of glass (likely a bicycle mishap) and that one had to be doctored by Mom. She had even mentioned the S-word: stitches. Heaven forbid.
The worst times were visits to the dentist and visits to the doctor. They involved needles. And I knew that needles hurt because I’d already drilled a finger with the sewing machine. The needle went through the end of my finger which was unprotected by a fingernail because I had them bitten down. Actually, that incident wasn’t so horrible.
Injections, however, were something to be avoided at all costs. Give me pills, give me horrible-tasting medicines; just don’t give me a shot. Going to the doctor was scary, because they always wanted a blood sample and had to try and find a vein in my arm. Pfft. It was hiding. It was scared! In fact, the last time I went to the doctor, they stabbed my finger instead and filled their vials that way. That was OK with me — stabs were no big deal. I’d grown accustomed to them during prenatal visits.
Visiting with someone in the hospital was usually just as bad as being there myself. I’d see that IV tube snaking to the patient’s skin, and I’d be out cold. I could sometimes beat the clamminess by arranging brief visits and by having someone accompany me. HighGuy knew what to look for: pale skin, a sudden need to sit down, or a sudden need to leave — immediately.
Thankfully, my children never needed stitches, never broke a bone, never needed surgery. The exception was an adrenalin shot for my then-five-year-old son when they realized he had asthma and was having trouble breathing. I called in the second string (HighGuy) for that one. When my daughter needed her wisdom teeth out, I could have used a designated driver myself.
My mom had to take me to the hospital when I was a little girl, and now I’ve returned the favor and accompanied her to the ER a couple times. Somewhere between fainting at the sight of blood and having gall bladder surgery myself, and then seeing my mother in the hospital, I’ve become inured to the sights, sounds and smells of hospitals.
Just today, I took my daughter to the hospital for a procedure that I actually sat in on. I didn’t hyperventilate when they tied the strap around her arm to start the IV; I didn’t faint when I saw blood coming out the needle; I didn’t even flinch when she turned pale. Good news! She has a gall bladder! And it will likely need removing!
And when she needs a driver for that visit, I’ll be ready. This Mom software has had an update: Mom 3.0. It took a long time to develop, but it’s solid.