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Date Posted: Friday, October 02, 2009, 07:09: am
I was wondering if your experience left you a bit scared all year 'round, or at certain times of the year; For you had a 3 times greater chance of getting a shot then other kids because if any of your 2 sisters needed a shot, you might get one also.
I didn't go to doctor's offices as a kid. My grandfather was the family doctor and he lived next door!!!! When I was a kid, he was about 65. We had 3 families in my house since my grandparents, aunt and uncle, and their kids, all hung in our house. They all lived on the same block. This was between 1964 and 1970. I didn't get regular checkups. I had 3 brothers, but I never saw them get a shot. However, everyone saw me get one. I was the youngest of the 4 of us. I remember this happening from when I was 4 until about 12.
It would go like this if I were sick.....
My mom would call my grandfather in to give me a quick checkup. At that point, I didn't think much of it because I didn't feel that sick. Maybe a slight sore throat.
After I said "ahhhh," my grandfather would ask the question, "Can he take pills?" Since I was afraid of pills, I would yell No!!!!!.
My grandfather would then say," I'm going to have to give him a shot."
At that point, instant terror came over me and I started yelling and screaming that I didn't want a shot! There mere mention of that word sent me hysterically crying. It was too late. The decision was made. My entire family would be there and they would all go into the kitchen and watched as my grandfather boiled the needle. This usually took 30 minutes. No one seemed to care that I was in the living room crying and screaming. Some of my brothers or my cousin would come in the house and ask why I was crying. My mom would tell them, "Grandpa is giving him a shot." I would hear them laugh and they would stay in the kitchen with everyone else. I could smell alcohol all through the house. That smell became an evil smell when I grew up because it always meant a shot.
So I sat alone in the living room crying away pleading not to get the shot. But not only did it fall on deaf ears, I could hear everyone laughing. The only thought in my head was how bad the last shot hurt and how much time was left before this one. I was in complete terror as the minutes went by. It always went the same way. At a certain point, everyone in the kitchen came into the living room. This panicked me even more. The next thing I knew, I had many hands unfastening my pants and they maneuvered my body so I was now on my stomach on the couch. There wasn't even a chance of resisting because there were too many hands on me. My grandfather was always the last to come into the living room. At first I would kick like crazy as they pulled my pants and underwear down. Then I was held by even more hands which stopped me from kicking. I was now completely helpless with my pants down and my butt exposed. At this point I was crying even harder and louder.
I would then see my grandfather come into the living room, through the corner of my eye. I knew I was getting the needle soon and kept crying and begging not to get it. The next thing I knew, I felt my grandfather wiping a part of my butt with alcohol and no matter how hard I tried, I couldnt move. My mother, aunt, grandmother, and brother and cousin were all holding me and laughing.
The final part always went like this. After I felt the alcohol being rubbed, my entire family would slowly count to 3. I WAS getting it on 3 and by now I was in total panic. So, all together, they started counting. As hard as I tried, I couldn't move. When they got to 3, I felt that needle go into my butt like a huge nail. The needle itself hurt like crazy. It truly felt like a long nail was inside me. I could feel the coldness of the steel deep inside. After the needle was in, my grandfather would say to everyone, "Now hold him still." Then I would feel the medicine going in and it felt like a fire was being injected deep inside me. It burned and burned and he always injected it slowly. I would be screaming even louder and everyone would hold me tighter.
I dont know exactly how the long it took to inject the medicine but it was NOT fast. I cried and pleaded with them to stop but he just kept injecting. As if this wasn't bad enough, it stung like crazy when he pulled the needle out! That part was as bad as when he stuck it in.
When it was finally over, I would lay there in a puddle of water crying like crazy with my butt on fire. My mother would stay with me while I continued crying, for about 10 minutes. When I finally could, I limped up the stairs to my room and layed in my bed under the covers. I didn't want to move. Any movement made my butt hurt. It woukd hurt for days and it constantly reminded me of the shot. The pain of the whole thing overshadowed any embarrassment. I didn't get teased or anything but I did feel funny around my brothers and cousins who I knew held me down.
This scene would happen anytime I was sick with more then a simple cold. One thing I know, the needles used back then were reusable and always had to be boiled. I saw the needle once and it was very long and thick. I dont think they are that big today.
But back then, if you were getting Penicillin, it was a serious shot. I'm sure it was even worse when they gave kids gamma globulin the in the 50's. Thank God I wasn't a kid then!!!!
The possibility of getting a shot worried me all year 'round. There were other shots in the butt and they were usually given before the summer since they covered camp and school that way.
I got shots like this until I was 12. After that, there was no way they had the strength to hold me down. I think I also finally got over my fear of pills by 12.
One thing was for sure, I was going to go through this whole experience at least once a year. But I never knew just when.....
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