So I don’t like needles and I’d worry for the sanity of anyone that really does.
That said I have always carried off an air of bravado at moments when needles have been necessary. I’m sure you all remember your BCGs at school – this, for the boys at least, is a perfect opportunity to show that you are both brave in the face of danger and stoic in the company of pain; “Look at me girls, I didn’t feint or cry”. However, the fact my face had gone white as a sheet was more difficult to conceal than my fear or the fact that my arm was on fire!
So I walked into my doctors surgery fully prepped for an experience that would wound me both physically and financially. Never-the-less I presented myself at the reception desk full of that old bravado and confidently announced my arrival only to be met with the news that the nurse was off ill and I would have to return another day!
So after a further 48 hours agonising over the thought of being turned into a walking pin-cushion I finally got in to see the nurse. She was exceptionally helpful showing me maps of all the places that had risk of malaria, cholera and a host of other nastiness. I was pleasantly surprised to find that all the jabs I needed were free. As I wasn’t going to South America or other areas with Yellow Fever I managed to dodge that particular bullet and I also decided to opt out of the Hepatitis B inoculation. The nurse was pretty down to earth and said, “pack a big box of condoms and don’t get any dodgy tattoos and you can save yourself £140 and 3 separate injections” – thank you very much that’s about 2 weeks in India! At one point she mentioned a vaccine that I would only need if I intended to go walking through paddy-fields at night, unlike the nefarious tattoo parlours of Bangkok’s downtown I felt confident that I could avoid this particular hazard.
On leaving she made a throw away comment about my arms being a little sore for a couple of days; what she didn’t mention was that I would barely be able to lift them for 48 hours…I had the jabs last Wednesday and the rugby game I played on Saturday was not a pleasant experience at all, especially when you add the fact we played in Richmond Park in the driving rain…right, time to get back to the panicking planning.