Editor’s note: For this week’s blog post, please enjoy a guest post, written by my boyfriend, Adam Goldfarb.
As I found myself in the waiting room at Lurie Children’s Hospital to take a routine blood test (why my doctor sent me to a children’s hospital, I will never understand, but I will always appreciate) only two thoughts were crossing my mind: First, why is this waiting room so much cooler than the waiting rooms at adult hospitals, and second, how is it possible that I am decades older than the next oldest patient in the room, yet, likely equally as terrified of the needles in the room next door? This is how I spent my time yesterday between 8:48 a.m. and 9:12 a.m.
Imagine a world (or more literally, a room) of colorful walls, Dora the Explorer on repeat, an Xbox game console, and a miniature of the bronze lions outside of the Art Institute of Chicago. Does that not sound like a place that could hold your attention for hours?
This waiting room is light-years ahead of the entertainment options of the normal, boring waiting room, where the primary act is the man passed out in the corner who looks like he has been there for days, followed by the secondary act of counting down the minutes until they refill the empty Culligan machine. Seriously, people, why is the Culligan machine so frequently empty in waiting rooms? Is it because people are so nervous waiting for their name to be called that they develop dry mouth and require constant hydration? Or perhaps is it a ploy to force those fasting before their blood is drawn to not be tempted by the oh-so-delicious Culligan water? One day I will discover the answer to this mystery, but I have digressed, so back to the story.
Likely due to my fear of needles, during my wait in the waiting room I began to develop the aforementioned dry mouth. As I hunted for the nearest water cooler, I heard my name called.
A steady sweat beaded down my forehead and I told the nurse that I, too, am scared of needles. She laughed and said, “Don’t you think we know better than any hospital how to harmlessly take blood?” From my nervous look she could tell that I did not consider this a laughing matter, and she followed up with: “Would you like me to numb the area where I will take blood?”
Hallelujah, the nervousness lifted! Was this truly an option? After 30 years of complaining about needles why has this never been offered to me and those that suffer from needle phobia?
I know this blog has avid readers in the medical profession, so I beg of you, our doctor friends, please start offering this service to all of us who suffer from needle phobia. In the meantime, I will be bringing a bottle of this magical numbing spray with me to all future doctor visits.