Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Yesterday I ventured to the city hospital to, once again, re-up my visa. I am about to enter my third year here on the island and in order to stay here you have to go through a short series of tests. These tests include vision, a chest x-ray, height/weight, and blood. I am cool with everything except the giving of my blood.

I have a pretty bad case of Trypanophobia, the fear of hypodermic needles. According to Dr. James Hamilton, a leading researcher in the subject, about 10% of American adults suffer from the irrational fear.

There are several different types of the disorder. The type that best fits me is Vaso-Vagal Trypanophobia. It's the most common type, about 50% of the folks with Trypanophobia fall under this category. The sufferers fear the sight, thought or feeling of needles and when they encounter them they experience nausea, sweating and panic attacks...that's me!

To put it simply, I am a wimp when it comes to needles.

Yesterday was a classic example of my struggle. I was cool until about 10 seconds before the nurse stuck me. I sat down and extended my arm. Almost immediately I started feeling light-headed...the sweating started. When I say sweating, I mean SWEATING! My shirt was drenched and I have to wipe the fluid from my eyes...how embarrassing. The nurse did her thing, all the while trying to coach me through it. She insisted on telling me about the teen-aged girl that went before me and did just fine, adding to my humiliation. The procedure takes place in a room packed with folks lined up like supermarket check-out lines, not exactly private. My lack of control was witnessed by a good-sized crowd...yippee!

After she finished, she placed a cotton swab and some tape on the area. A futile exercise because tape doesn't stick to a wet surface...lol.

Before I attempted to stand I told the nurse that I needed to lay down; I was spinning. She escorted me through the office and to a room with a suitable bed. I have been through this before so I knew where to go before she told me. About 5 minutes later, I stood up and was ok. I put my shoes on and proceeded to get the heck out of there.

Thank god I only have to do that once a year.

Catherine calls me a big baby...she is right on when it comes to this kind of stuff.

1 comment:

Anyesha said...

I wish I had chanced upon your blog earlier. I am leaving for Taipei in less than 12 hours and was looking for what kinds of gifts one could possibly buy for a family that might help me out in the city....last minute confusion and all that. The Lonely Planet guide was not very helpful on that topic. Anyways,the few posts I read will probably be very helpful.