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Draplin Design Co., North America
December 30, 2010
Trypanophobic, Without A Doubt
Posted at 11:45 PM


THINGS THAT GO “POKE” IN THE ARM: Didn’t do shit today. Too woozy to work, to uncomfortable to do much else. Lot of tube time, and time to think, about all sorts of shit.

Today, I Googled up the world of “Needle Phobias,” with complete confidence. This experience of “facing the needle” was cathartic for me. I mean, sure, they aren’t that big of a deal, but shit, in my pea brain halfwit thinker, it was like a garden hose being shoved into my arm.

I’ve always had a hard time with needle pokes. All the way back to my earliest memories, at what, 6-years-old in first grade, all of us lined up in the gymnasium to get a needle pick to the finger to be tested for diabetes or something?

I was horrified and made a run for it. Mom got a call from our principal Mr. Coaster saying “Aaron isn’t cooperating with us, and he’s on the verge of passing out. Took three or four of us to hold him down, and that still isn’t working. You might want to come up here.” Something to that effect.

Here’s my side of the story: I was little. And that behemoth nurse with that poker thing looked like the scariest thing ever. I remember the smell of the alcohol and the nervous kids. I remember tears. I remember being scared shitless.

I was in a bad accident in 1986, almost dying in a car wreck. And you know what I remember the most of that whole horrifying ordeal? The weirdness of the I.V. in my hand, and how, if I flexed my wrist down, the needle would dig into the flesh of where yer hand connects to yer wrist. And the other way around, when you pushed my wrist up, the needle would lift the skin up, creating this rather unnatural looking pinnacle of skin. Gross. Nauseating. The thing hurt. I remember that more than I remember my fractured pelvis or broken ribs. Weird.

Growing up, I was skateboarder and ran with some real animals. We’d jump a set of fences each day to poach free parking at the neighboring community college. One day, with my skateboard and backpack at my side, I lost my balance atop the fence, jumped down and caught my hand on a sharp chunk of the tore up fence. Radical. My buddy Kevin McIntosh drove me to the emergency room, my hand bleeding into a pizza box, if I remember correctly. Here’s what I’m getting at: Once they had me cleaned up, I wouldn’t let the nurses administer the needle poke of the Novocaine or whatever the numbing agent was. Fuck that shit. Just sew me up. Foxhole style. I mean, shit, I was so hopped up, I couldn’t even feel my hand anymore. This was 1990.

In 1995, while carving some chain links out of wood, with an X-Acto knife mind you (dummmmmmb), I cut the fuck out the ring finger of my left hand. Well past midnight and had to wake my 88-year-old grandmother to tell her to call my mom, on the verge of passing out. I was home from Oregon, and spending a night with Gramma Josie. Mom and Dad came and got me. Six stitched to the finger. No needle poke. Just sew me up. Like Rambo.

Anyhoo, I don’t like needles. And I read up on it today.

Turns out I am a Trypanophobe. Me and 10% of the population, if I’m getting my numbers right.

It’s called “Trypanophobia.” And it’s called “Belonephobia.” And it’s called “Needlephobia.” Mouthfuls, each one.

I did as much reading as I could stomach, until things got a too weird, so, at least I can add that to my list of “professional titles.”

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WE HAD THIS, AS YOUNGSTERS: I remember being creeped out by the syringe and the blood pressure pieces. Yuck.

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