Deathly Afraid of Needles…

I went in to the hospital to get a shot for something I can’t even remember anymore and here’s what happened…

I hate needles. Hate them. I remember getting shots for things when I was a kid and actually being fascinated by them, but now I know that it was because I was a psycho. I must have been because I can’t even look at a needle now without a chill going down my spine.

I’d like to know who the first person was who figured that getting medicine into your body could best be accomplished by sticking a needle in you? Psycho…

My wife watched shows about surgery and is also a psycho. If any of my kids share my fear of needles it would probably be Neela who is also afraid of strange little items that float around in her head. My people know that Pastor Corey’s brain has ideas juggled around from clowns to unicorns to firemen, and an unearthly fear of needles is one of them that seems to have landed in the “Deathly afraid of, must avoid at all costs” pile.

So I head over to the hospital with my oldest daughter Arwen which was a huge mistake. I should have disguised  myself as a travelling shoe salesman or gypsy, whose fear of needles nobody would think odd, but I went as my normal self and took my oldest with me. Arwen looks up to me and loves me. She respects me.

Well, she used to.

I’m on edge in hospitals because I spent too much time in them as a severe asthmatic as a child. I experienced a miracle when God healed me of it overnight when I was five (don’t judge my miracle please, I really needed one), but retained my dislike of hospitals.

Our medical system is certainly something to be proud of, but if they could only make hospitals smell like the inside of my truck (which is surprisingly clean, as opposed to Erin’s vehicle which smells like when we used to light plastic on fire back in the days when we figured the planet shouldn’t be such a big pollution baby), I would be right at home. But hospitals smell like medicine and bleach and I hate both of those things.

I remember being very little and hearing mom holler out the back door “COREY!!! TIME FOR YOUR MEDICINE!!!!”. One day I had an amazing thought… what if I didn’t hear her? Could I still get in trouble? Turns out I could… mostly because I could hear her, and also I was hiding behind my neighbours house at the time and got turned in by her rat mom. If we ever land in the same prison, boy things would not be good for her mom. (Clowns to unicorns to firemen)

So Arwen and I walk into the hospital where needles happen and they make us sit down and wait. During our stay we have plenty of time to read weird propaganda about how you can apparently get sick by not “washing your hands” (who knew?) and getting a bunch of needles. The chairs were classy if by classy I mean found in a church basement in the seventies and extremely uncomfortable, which I was before anyways so maybe it wasn’t the chairs..

They call our number (waaay easier than leaning out the door to where only we were waiting) and we go in. They ask if I would object if they just gave me the needle right in the room that I now hate and my response must have had just the right amount of terror and pause mixed in that she asked some follow up questions like “Are you Ok Mr Kope? Should you be lying down Mr Kope?” which I’m sure they ask everyone.

I get nervous when things get quiet so I started babbling about the last needle I got from my buddy the doc when he yelled “Nurse get him!” because all the blood drained from my face and I nearly fainted. He did console me later by giving me a popsicle with a “Here you go you big baby!” with a tender smile that wasn’t tender, as he was enjoying his job in that moment. Great doc and a great friend.

After my awkward stammering conversation with the Needle People they led me to a room with a bed. Arwen follows behind with ever widening eyes at how bad this needle must actually be if her tough dad seems to be actually afraid of it, or possibly making a meal out of it. After strapping me into the bed so I didn’t do an Incredible Hulk and tear that place apart (they didn’t strap me down), they trotted out a needle sized for injecting elephants right in front of me and acted like they do this every day.

Passing by the room was another friend doc of mine who was wondering why we were using the room for a simple blood sample (Hey! I remembered why I was there!) and decided to stay for the show. She is another amazing doc and friend even if my doc friends seem to take a great deal of pleasure at my discomfort. Would I do the same for them? I would now?!

The lady advised me to look away which I did but I could tell that she was thinking “THIS isn’t much of a man…” but I didn’t care because of the emotional pain I was already in.

Turns out it didn’t hurt or make me weird after all.

I think the fear of the needle was way worse than the actual needle. Most hard conversations have been like that too now that I think about it. Lesson learned!

Did I score another popsicle? Yes.

I hope Arwen can deal with her own fears a little better when she thinks back to the time where invincible dad stood up to the Needle Giant and wrested two delicious popsicles from a hospital freezer!

Still waiting for my father-of-the-year award…

Corey Kope

Pastor. Father of 4 beauties. Devoted husband, Liverpool fan, and Jesus follower.

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