I’ve never been great with needles. Back in kindergarten, I was the kid who needed three nurses to hold me down as I squirmed and kicked. Over the years, I realized I could no longer act that way, but still the nervous anticipation always sets me off. I know how it looks… a nineteen year old, sweating with a slight nervous tapping of my feet as I sit and wait. It’s ridiculous! Thankfully, I’m fine with shots now. It’s no big deal. Getting blood drawn? A whole different story. While my recent experiences have been better, I will always remember the two very bad ones. One happened when I was four. I had weird shooting pains through my abdomen in the middle of the night and was taken to the ER. We still don’t know why that happened, all I know is that was the first time I remember having my blood drawn. Not fun. I kicked and screamed and carried on. This was the only memory I had when I had to get it done again in sixth grade. There I was, a ball of nerves, freaking out as I waited. Fortunately for me, I got to hear my then four-year old brother bawling his eyes out from outside the lab. By the time I was in, I was mess. I sat down, and nervously glanced around. No moral support from my mom because she had to tend to my brother. Finally, the nurse turns to me and starts off. The needle is in my skin a full thirty seconds before she goes, “Oh wait… you have a deep vein.” WTF?! Then she proceeded to stab it further into my skin. Then vial after vial after vial was taken from me. Ugh. Not a fan.
Well, see that fear made me very nervous about getting my ears pierced the first time. But I was fine. Due to a story to long to fit in here, I had to get them re-pierced later on. My anxiety set in again. I had been fine in elementary school, yet here I was in middle school thinking it would be something horrific. It wasn’t. I even made it through one of my friends piercing second holes in each in high school. Then a year and a half ago, the edgier side of me wanted to come out by getting a very mainstream and tame cartilage piercing. That thing hurt like a mother. I had barely eaten that day, first mistake. And I had no idea what to expect. I sat there, holding my moms hand, as the lady said, “Okay, now this is the worst part”. Not sure what she was doing, I’m assuming putting the captive ball in, because then right after she said that and sent shooting pain through my ear, I’d hear a faint bouncing shortly followed by, “Ohmygosh, I’m so sorry….” then, “Okay, now this really is the hardest part”. The dropping of the ball, literally, happened at least three times. I started feeling nauseous and light-headed. I swear, had she not gotten it in the fourth time, I would have been gone, knocked out on the floor. My cartilage has been a major bitch this past year, always tender and sore. But apparently, I’m almost in the clear now.
Once I graduated from my super conservative Christian school, I decided I wanted to fulfill my life long dream of getting a nose ring. Haha. Just kidding, but I really did want one. Out of respect for my great-grandparents, I waited until after my annual summer visit to see them. Due to the timing, I eventually manned up after getting my epidural cortisone injection. I didn’t know what to expect other than my eyes would water. Oh lordy, did they water. It was a momentary pinch, and voila water works followed by gushing blood! The look on Rae’s face as the needle rested inside was a bit unsettling, but okay. I was done. Later, I watched Judy get her nose pierced. The needle was a tad large. Ick. At least I wouldn’t have to do that again, but wait…
Thanks to my surgery, my nose closed up on me. So this past Friday, I went in with my friend, Georgia, and her boyfriend to get hers done for the first time and mine re-done. The piercer instructed me not to watch Georgia getting hers done, just to be safe. Then when it was my turn, Georgia grabbed my hand with her still sweaty palms, told me it’d be okay, and watched me get mine done. Though I had been nervous about scar tissue left over, the piercer reassured me I would be fine. Still, I was nervous. I was really glad Georgia didn’t choose to stand with her boyfriend and instead sat with me. Slight pinch, and I was done. However, I’d forgotten just how much my eyes had watered last time. It was like I had just finished Steel Magnolias. I was a mess. The ever so kind piercer reassured me that I was looking like her typical costumer, nothing unusual. She cleaned me up and I was ready to go back to the dorm to await the arrival of Paul, my boyfriend.
Hours and hours passed and finally Paul showed up. Right before we went to bed, he turned to me and said, “I want to get my lip pierced”. You don’t realize how shocking this was to me. Yes, he had adopted much more of the skater look after we had begun dated. Yes, he had considered a tattoo down the line. But every time I mentioned my love of small gages on guys, he shot me down. He even told me not to get my nose pierced, though he liked it afterwards. While not entirely clean cut, he was a virgin to the piercing needle. I dismissed it as just late night thoughts, and was again shocked as he asked me about where I got my nose re-done. He was serious. And not just a stud either, he wanted a lip ring. I was unsure of how I’d like the result and ever so kindly told him so. Yet, he pressed on. Next thing I knew, it was five and we were again where I had been the day before. After much deliberation, he handed the piercer his ID and then we walked back to the room. I could see the fear and nervousness in his eyes, he had absolutely nothing to compare it to. I decided now was time to be the supportive girlfriend he deserved, grabbed his hand, and told him it’d be no big deal. Real quick and painless. He took it like a champ. Yes, afterwards he looked around like, “What did I just do?” But he was fine overall. Last night he felt some pain, and this morning again, he’s started to fear why he has pain. An infection in such a prominent piercing would be horrific. To be completely honest, I thought it’d look stupid. I never could picture him with anything but maybe some small gages. He just didn’t seem like the type. And I mean, I’ve never liked lip rings. But you know what? It’s growing on me. I think the main reason I like it is because he did it all for him. Not anyone else. I can’t wait to see what his parents say when they find out. Six weeks of recovery either means a shock for them or a long time without going home.
Lesson for the Day: Even if you don’t always agree, be supportive. Unless it’s a crime or something intense like that.