Edited at bottom:
I have this low brick wall about the first injections. It's easy enough to scale--I know I'll get over it with a little shimmy and maybe some skinned knees--but it's there, an obstacle between myself, needle-free, and myself, injected, that needs to be overcome. I am a needlephobe. I remember one time that I had to have a TB test and my mother didn't tell me where we were going until the car was barreling full-speed towards the doctor's office with me gripping the child-safety-locked door handle in terror. I am the sort to bolt from the car and run willy nilly away at a traffic light. I mean, when I'm a passenger. Not as a driver. That would be crazy.
Needles were the worst part of treatments the first time around (beyond all the negatives. Oh, and the night of the exploding follicle) and I knew needles would be my biggest challenge this time around. I've never been the sort who can casually give myself a shot of Follistim as I chat on the phone. I'm more of the gasping-my-way-through-the-injection sort. And I'm not ashamed to admit it. It doesn't matter how many I do--I never get casual about it. Because I am a big wuss.
My clinic makes you take an injections class if you've been away from treatments for a while (or if it's your first time through). Josh has to come along too and if he choose to forgo the class, he needs to get a notarized document admitting his decision to leave me high-and-dry in needleland as well as his promise not to inject me with any of the substances we are picking up from the pharmacy. We've used a notary before--wills, important government documents; he works at our bank. We couldn't really wrap our minds around the idea of sauntering into the bank in our little town and saying to Bill, "hey, sweetie, let me tell you a little bit about my wonky hoohaahooterus so you can notarize this paper for us." So Josh is coming too.
I received a phone call from my clinic reminding me about said class with a few instructions including the advice to eat a light lunch because I would be injecting myself with saline solution and this makes "some women queasy." Suddenly, it felt like the bricklayers had added a dozen new layers to my wall. I was going to have to start injections--even if they're just saline solution, they still involve a needle--earlier than I thought AND I was going to have to give said injection in front of all the other couples. Therefore, I won't be able to do my usual ten minute song and dance with an ice cube, eye closing, and gasping. I'm going to have to suck it up. And pretend I'm normal.
I don't know--giving myself an injection in front of an audience (even an audience who are all self-injecting at the same time) is sort of like asking me to take a dump with the door open. While smiling.
Speaking of taking a dump, can I share the thing I think about every single time I do an injection? There are a plethora of chiasms in the Bible. A chiasm is an inverted story and the term comes from the Greek letter, chi, which looks like an X. Get it? The story is going one way, there's a turning point, and the rest of the story continues as an inverse of the first part. Do you remember the bomb episodes in season two of Grey's Anatomy? It starts out with George having a dream where he sees all three girls in the shower and it's really sexy and then it ends with George actually seeing all three girls in the shower, washing the blood off Meredith after the bomb goes off and it's decidedly not sexy. Well, if you went through those two episodes, with the turning point being the moment Meredith placed her hand in the body, you'd see the story move as an inverse on itself.
The literary term is only important because it is the reason I wrote a paper in graduate school on the chiasm that exists in Judges 3. The chiasm occurs during the murder of Eglon by Ehud. Eglon, the king, is this fat man, sitting upstairs in a room that could also serve as a bathroom. Ehud asks for a private audience with the king because he has a secret message (apparently, in Biblical times, you could say you had a secret message and everyone just cleared out of the room). Why he asks for this audience where the king defecates or why it is granted sort of seems beside the point to the modern reader. We just accept on face-value that the king's messengers believed that the king liked a chit chat while he shat.
Ehud's secret message turned out to be a dagger in the stomach. The king, who wasn't shitting beforehand was certainly covered in excrement as the dagger disappeared into all of his rolls of fat (apparently--and I'm not making this up because I delivered a lecture on this at university and everyone discussed this with a straight face--if you push a knife far enough into the belly, the anal sphincter will explode). The king's men have no clue that a murder has taken place and don't try to open the door because they smell the excrement and see the locked door and assume that the king is holding an audience for one in the bathroom (talk about multi-tasking). Ehud gets away and rallies the troops before the Moabites realize their leader is dead. And beyond that, the dagger is buried deeply in the body so they can't figure out how their leader died (the enormous amount of blood pouring from his stomach would have been a tip-off for me, but I've watched many crime shows).
There is a point to all of this. That dagger entering Eglon's stomach and the explosive shitting runs through my mind every single time I have that needle in my stomach up to the hilt. I don't think about this as I have blood drawn, but there's something about a sharp object and my stomach that makes me think about poor Eglon and wonder how far is "far enough."
Not because I believe that a sub-cue needle has the ability to make my sphincter explode, but because grad school ruined me and my ability to give myself injections in peace. Or, perhaps, it's just the potty-humourous image I need in order to scale that wall.
On a totally unrelated to feces or needles side note, I am starting to write an infertility column for BlogHer that will run every Thursday starting tomorrow. It will be somewhat similar to the Friday Blog Roundup (which I'll still write every Friday here--there will just be two separate roundups now--more bloggy goodness) without my incessant ramblings yet with discussion of current articles and issues thrown into the mix. And sometimes I'll just talk about some aspect of infertility or pregnancy loss. I see this not only as an opportunity to introduce the greater BlogHer community to infertility and loss blogs but also as a chance to use Microsoft Paint yet again so I can have a linky icon on my sidebar that takes you directly to the column each Thursday. So mark your calendars and check it out tomorrow. And hopefully you won't mind if I tell the world how great you all are.
It's up...the first BlogHer post, that is...I also created an icon for the sidebar (glance to the right and maybe scroll up or down a bit) that is linked to the current post. Every Thursday, I'll change the link so it goes to the current column. Hope you enjoy the new column and that I do well by our community. Thank you for all of the well-wishes. Now I have to go read blogs--double the roundups means that I get to read double the posts!