I've been wondering how many people want to be vaccinated, but their extreme fear of needles is preventing them from getting the shot (or two).
I'll never forget finally mustering up the courage to go see a fertility doctor after two years of trying to get pregnant without medical intervention. We met with the doctor, went over our data and history, and she recommended IVF. But, she said, we could try IUI first if we wanted. She just said our best chances would be with IVF.
Terrified, absolutely terrified of IVF, I said I wanted to try IUI first.
She said okay and began telling me about the medication I would be injecting.
Cue me losing my shit in her office.
Injecting? A shot?? I have to give myself shots?? I wasn't yelling, but the terror in my voice and the tears streaming down my face were unmistakable. And by the look on my doctor's face, I could tell she was surprised by my strong reaction.
She didn't know she needed to wade gently into the idea of a medicated IUI with injectables with me. She did not know who she was dealing with. (Have I mentioned before that I hate medical stuff and I'm a very nervous patient? Yes, yes I have. Many times. But it's worth repeating... I *hate* medical appointments, hospitals, and even the simple smell of rubbing alcohol.)
My doctor wasn't forewarned; she had no way of knowing. She quickly backtracked into comforting me before moving forward. She downplayed the whole experience, saying how small the needles were and how it wouldn't be that big of a deal. Bless her. She tried.
I knew I didn't have a choice. Well, we always have a choice. But I knew how badly I wanted to have a baby and I knew I would be giving myself shots in order to try and get pregnant. In that moment I was so angry. I was so scared.
I had no idea how I was going to get through it.
Long story short, I faced my fears and gave myself a shot. Over the next six months, I gave myself many, many, many shots. I went through five medicated cycles (3 IUIs, 2 IVFs) and I hated every second of it. But I wanted to have a baby and that's how strong that drive can be. Even my extreme needle phobia couldn't stop my pursuit to get pregnant.
It just makes me wonder about people getting vaccinated during the pandemic. No matter how badly someone wants to be vaccinated, there can still be that irrational, but very real and very huge fear of needles preventing some people from getting injected.
I know going through IVF fundamentally changed me. When the first vaccine clinic came to my county, I signed up as soon as I could. If I hadn't already been through IVF, I don't think I would have had the courage to do that. I'd like to think that I could find the courage to voluntarily get a shot, but I wonder if I could... Had I not been through what I survived.
It has just been on my mind. There are probably people who really want to be vaccinated, but their fear of needles is getting in the way. I empathize. I know what it's like to have needle phobia. I know what it's like to be angry and scared.
I'm also grateful for my hard-earned fortitude.