Needle Alone

Living with arthritis, it might not occur to many that you are poked and prodded quite a bit, but that is the truth. You will be poked and prodded. I used to get anywhere from five to seven needle sticks a month between blood drawings, Methotrexate injections, and contrast for MRI's or something along those lines. Now I'm usually stuck about once a month, but it can change depending on what treatment I go on next.
Anyway, I know some people are really afraid of needles, and I can relate: I've been there before, I swear. Some people are fine with telling people they're afraid of them, such as one of my friends. Not so many boys though, because most tend to say they don't like them but aren't afraid. And some people just aren't affected by it. I'm not, and most people who have chronic illnesses aren't.
A lot of people have coping methods. Most of these involve gritting your teeth and making a fist. Some people may hold another's hand or just appreciate the company. Sometimes children will look at books or blow bubbles. And yes, people cry and show discomfort: I've gotten my blood drawn next to a woman also getting her blood drawn and she was obviously nervous and seemed as though she could cry. The nurses and I tried joking to help distract her. 

What people don't realise is if crying or making faces helps you get through it, by all means, do it. Don't go overboard; just if it helps release the stress you've built up in anticipation of the needle or if it helps relieve pain. Hey, I've been there before: I haven't cried since I was little, but I've closed my eyes and made frustrated expressions because it helped. Also, that helps the nurse know you are in discomfort and if they can help relieve it, they will usually.


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