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January 21, 2011


It's the most frightening scientific invention ever. It's a robust mini-missile. With a ridiculously sharp needle in front, all set to trespass on a child’s innocent butt.

That was my opinion about injections in those days. Dating back to Rajiv Gandhi's administration.

I was 7 years old. In 2nd class. That afternoon I was hauled to the hospital for an ear infection and related pain. I didn't want to visit the hospital. More than the ear pain, my thought-focus was primarily on "Whether the doctor would prescribe tablets or injection?". This question kept reverberating in me. 

My mom, my cousin (about 9 years elder to me) and my aunt (mom's elder sister) escorted me to the hospital in an auto-rickshaw. While the cousin and aunt were waiting outside the ENT doctor's kiosk, mom and I went inside to consult him. The doctor, a middle-aged bespectacled gentleman, examined my ear with a small funnel attached to a long handle. He thought for a moment and declared that the infection calls for an immediate antibiotic dose. My 2nd-standard GK knew only four medical terms - Injection, Tablets, Capsules and Amruthanjan. While I was wondering what an 'antibiotic' actually meant, he wrote a prescription and handed it over to mom. "Pathetic infection in his ear. This injection is a must. Hope the child had food this morning" he said.

A mini tsunami erupted in my stomach. Giving me a virtual bowel movement. A sort of heat accumulated in my head. Strange waves entered me from somewhere around the foot and swept along the length and breadth of my body. Some people call it fear.

We came out and my cousin and aunt were sitting outside waiting for us. 
 "Amma, my ear is not paining now. It feels okay now, see" I said pulling my infected ear. "Shall we go home amma?" 
She is my mom. So she knew what I was actually up to.

Perceived visions of injection induced panic in me. I resorted to my ultimate weapon, which I trained myself well in, over the years. I took my standard position on the floor. Sitting down with legs spread out and leaving hands in the air. Then I started crying and screaming while rigorously swinging my arms and legs in all directions. My aunt rushed toward me, leaned on a knee and smiled. I reduced my volume to a neglibible level, but was still crying in reflex. "My dear, please don't cry. There won't be any pain at all. Did you ever feel an ant bite so painful?" I paused, mouth still open. "Yes, think of the injection as a cute little ant bite, OK?" she said pulling my cheek.

No body can trick Victor. 

I resumed with full volume. My cousin and mom exchanged glances conveying hopelessness. The cousin came closer, kneeled down and put his arm around my shoulder. "Tch. Tch. Tch..Don’t cry dear. Please don’t cry. The nurse here is a very good girl. Last time when the doctor wrote me an injection, the good-girl nurse gave me that painless injection. We'll ask her to give the same painless injection to you as well. Otherwise we'll go home. God Promise". I paused. Analyzed the offer for a while. Silence ensued. The three elders eagerly awaited my response, like a third-umpire's decision for the last wicket in a world cup final. A silent me noded affirmatively. Half-hearted and suspicious yet. Cousin picked me up and gestured at my mom and aunt to stay back, while he took me to the hospital's common injection room. It was only a few feet away. The hospital’s overall smell is relatively milder than the injection room’s. The injection room had an intense pungent smell. Like a mix of iodine and Dettol, with a tinge of urine. 

That smell was partly responsible for my phobia. 

My cousin handed over the prescription to the nurse. An evil-looking woman. Infact, all nurses seemed evil-looking to me. This one was fat, with a big face, large teeth and dark circles under her eyes. Wearing an immaculate white frock, with a white three-dimensional equilateral rhombus over her head. She gave me a dirty look suggesting a potential tragedy. And picked up a monster syringe, almost the size of a veterinary spray. She then combed through a drawer full of tiny bottles with rubber lids. Finally plucked one such bottle out. She held it inverted on top of the needle and pushed it a little through the rubber. She then pushed the plunger down with her outer thumb to enable liquid transfusion into the syringe.

She threw away the tiny bottle into the bin and held the syringe upright. She gave a little nudge to the plunger. A drop of liquid shot up from the tip of the needle, like a fountain.

She asked me to go over and lie down on the stretcher, head down. My legs quivered. My cousin was still holding my arm. "Sister, this is the painless magic injection you gave me that day right?" said my cousin while winking suggestively at her. I caught his wink red-handed, almost midway. I sensed the conspiracy. 

I gave a solid 32-teeth bite to my cousin's wrist and escaped the spot. I ran across the length of the hospital, screaming, as if I was being chased by a doberman. My cousin ran after me. People watched us, including my mom and aunt, both agape. A compounder who noticed me being chased by the cousin obstructed my way and I bumped into him. No casualties. The compounder held me tight for handing me over to the authorized owner. My cousin arrived and had a quick conversation with the compounder. They reached some consensus and the two forcibly lifted me up. I was hanging down their arms, struggling for a release. My legs swinging in the air. Like a freshly trapped gorilla. I was finally brought to the injection room, right in front of the fat nurse. By forced squeezes, muscular thrusts and trouser pull-downs by cousin and the compounder together, the most-feared needle finally made its way into the butt.

An exhausted and agonized me couldn’t even moan. For the first time, I remained silent in an injection room.


Delhizen said...

OMG! I have similar experiences when it comes to taking injections... they are such a pain ;)

zephyr said...

Give me the pain of surgery any day to that of an injection. Loved the drama of the injection episode :)

pramod said...

great inject dude, every child loathes it.

Blue Lotus said...

eheeheeeheee.."solid 32-teeth bite.."
Even I hate injections,especially the ones dentists give..You have to strain not to bite the doc..Love the humour..

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