Saturday, June 13, 2009

Just do it.

Shot needles. The pharmacist had to have noticed the horrified look on my face when she handed me the bag of syringes. Swallowing a tablet or two is one thing, but I don't think my new doctor said anything about injection when he blithely wrote out the prescription. Is this for real? I actually have to give myself a shot in the stomach every night before bed?

The first night I uncapped the needle, drew out the serum, swabbed myself with alcohol. And sat there. Staring. Staring at the needle, poised millimeters from my skin, for umpteen minutes, perhaps upwards of an hour, waiting...for what? Just the right moment? Is it really going to hurt any less the longer I wait? One thing becomes obvious: I am clearly not at risk for any kind of self-harm. :)

I try to channel my mother, who had to give herself a regular schedule of morphine shots when she was dying of cancer. Still, the needle remains poised. And my skin unpierced.

I try to calculate which angle might be least painful, and at what speed. In which direction should I thrust it in, and from how far away? Like it even matters.

Intellectually I KNOW it's not going to hurt. Or if it does, that little prick will last for what, ten seconds? And yet there is such an enormous difference between 1/4 of an inch outside your skin and 1/4 of an inch inside your skin. Might as well be the Red Sea. Seems impossible to cross.

I start to cry. Just a little. Not because it hurts. Or because I am afraid. But because I can't do it. And I don't know why.

I am such a wimp. In desperation I hand the syringe off to my husband, close my eyes...Done. That was it? That seriously didn't even hurt. Why couldn't I just do that myself?

Well, the next night I did. After only about forty minutes of staring at the needle.

Then the next night I whittled it down to about seven minutes.

And now, I hardly give it a second thought. The whole process is done, painlessly, in under a minute. For some reason, the waiting, the staring, the over-analyzing...only made things worse. Agonizingly so.

Suddenly, Ffwwwccchhhtt! A new pair of synapses connect in my brain. This is feeling like a metaphor for a bigger, broader issue. (No, not my hips.)

What else am I staring at, putting off, anticipating unpleasantness, waiting for just the right moment? Making it all worse by stalling? What about that toilet in the master bedroom, begging, pleading to be scrubbed? (Done.) And that painful call to the credit card company disputing a finance charge? (Done.) Eliminating that smell coming from something that's been left soaking in the sink too long? (Done.) Attacking the pile of clutter on the back patio that's been there since we remodeled, um, a year ago? (Done.) And all relatively painless.

There are more ugly jobs waiting around the corner. Big ones. Scary ones. Ones that might hurt a little. But I have a fresh way of looking at them now.

As if I haven't seen enough Nike ads to know this already...there is value (and even a form of pain relief) in the phrase: Just do it.

22 comments:

Luisa Perkins said...

Oh, you are a better woman than I. This is just another reason you should move next door to me. Please?

sAm said...

Too true. I've found that oftentimes it is those jobs I dread the most that are actually pretty quick and painless. Yet I continue to put them off. Odd.
Hey - I just wanted to say that I spent quite a bit of time perusing your blog today - very nice! I enjoy your writing and subject matter. Thanks (ya got yourself a new follower!)

Cookie said...

Hey, I totally relate. I don't have to give myself shots, though. Thank goodness! But the dishes in the sink creating a stink, that's me for sure. I read a lot of your posts last night, and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you. We have more in common than procrastination, like having had a stillborn child, and not being a huge fan of Halloween decor and madness . . .

Beth said...

Wow, you put this so well; the whole thing was so succinctly and cleverly written. I totally hear ya -- on my list of things I spend more time worrying about than working on: giving church lessons, cleaning out the car, returning phone calls, hanging pictures (just did that one yesterday, after thinking about it for MONTHS ... took me ten minutes).

I get the heebie-jeebies thinking about giving myself shots, though. WOW.

And thanks for the kind comments on my scrapbooking blog!! Yeah -- made my day. :-)

Kristina P. said...

I am glad I have a paramedic husband!

Kimberly said...

Oh honey, ouchie about the shots (you okay?). But what a beautiful lesson you've taken from this.

I'll go do the dishes now . . .

DeNae said...

OK, I'm in love with you. In a totally non-stalker non-blesbian way, of course. Not that there's anything wrong with being a stalker blesbian.

I really enjoyed this Just Do It post, but the one that led me to confess my undying affection is the Other Mother one just before it. I won't bore you with details (nor will I write a monolithic tome as this, my first comment on your blog) but suffice to say, that post really, really spoke to me.

I'm so glad you stopped by (don't you love Melanie??) because my day just got a little sweeter.

Melanie J said...

Aaargh! I really should just do it, but I will spend days, weeks, sometimes even years (my parents' 2007 estate taxes for example) stressing about how lazy I am for ignoring something that needs to get done. And I still don't do it. There's something wrong with me.

Kazzy said...

That's me with bill paying. I wait until I know I can't really wait anymore. And a few other household things. I don't get it either. It is such a psychological puzzle, the way we talk ourselves into behaving.

And the shots are for...?

Mrs4444 said...

I suppose it could be MUCH worse, couldn't it. Way to be a big girl :)

CHERRANNE said...

Yep. Just Do It. SO true. You are a Great Lady and a Trooper(Not to mention Fabulous, Talented, etc., etc.) I will think of this entry every time something comes up that I would rather ignore or procrastinate. :-)

Sandy M. said...

Wow! I am really impressed by all of your (Done.)! Very much impressed. Well Done!
I can't believe that your doctor didn't tell you about the injections!
I had a friend years ago who called me up to tell me exaltedly that she had scrubbed out their (outside) toilet. It had needed doing when they first moved into their house 18 months previously and had been bothering her ever since. She told me, "Sandra, it took me 30 minutes!"
I needed this post. Trouble is, I needed it last week and last month too! lol But I will actually try to overcome some of my procrastinatory bent this week, in your honour. (And in the interests of my very deserving but long-suffering, wonderful family.)
You may watch out for my (Done.) in future posts..
(Perhaps this could start an international movement :)

val of the south said...

You're probably not at risk for shooting up either!

I hope all is well with you, and this is a temporary thing.

Heather of the EO said...

I love it. So true. OH, how many things I put off like this.

And um...why do you have to give yourself shots? I'm worried now.

I thought about this a lot when I had to have some tests done recently that were totally UNfun. (I'm fine) I kept thinking of the kiddos that have to go through SO much medical stuff...they pulled me through. Once I got over "the hump" it was smooth sailing.

Brillig said...

I am sitting in a house FULL of projects that I'm stewing over, rather than just doing anything...

See, the difference between you and me is that you learn a deep, meaningful lesson from such things. I, on the other hand, still sit, surrounded by projects that need to be done. My master bathroom toilet is pleading with me. NOT done.

As for the shots, I swear that that's why I went with natural birth. I'm not the least bit afraid of labor and delivery. It's the shot/IV's/epidurals that scare that heebie-jeebies out of me. I do not envy you one bit.

Eowyn said...

I'm crying. Sorry you have to do that, except that I'm sure it helps so much. And it is amazing what we can do to ourselves and become adjusted to.

Now I have to go clean my bathroom that stinks. . .

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

Perfect post to read after first day back from vacation as I stare at the pile of dirty clothes some still sandy from the beach waiting to be laundered :-) JUST DO IT! Thanks, Charette :-)

Erin said...

I have felt this way so many times! The worry about "what if" or the procrastination because I don't want to do something is ALWAYS much worse than actually doing it. Thank you!

Jessica said...

This is so true, I tend to make things far worse by dwelling on them. Face it, and it's over. Good advice.

Allison said...

Inspirational. My current roadblock: making an appointment with a new dentist. ARGH!

That Girl said...

Wow, how I needed this. On an extremely dummied-down, my-drop-in-the-bucket-to-your-ocean kind of way.

Thanks. You're my hero.

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm not afraid of shots but I would hate giving them to myself. You're all right, aren't you? I'd be devestated to know you weren't!