When I was a child, probably 4 or 5 years old, Mom took me to the health clinic in Forsyth to get my vaccinations updated. I think I needed a booster of some kind for one of those vaccinations you get as a kid if your parents love you, y’know?
Anyway. I remember the Forsythe Health Department as part of a “Glenns” and “Dollar General” strip mall. Glenns was the local grocery store, Dollar General was… well, maybe it was Family Dollar, actually. Neither of them are there now, though the strip is still there.
Anyway, it was down at the far left end of the strip, a squat building that was supposed to be white, but had that kinda grey and brown film in the cracks from not being washed. The kind you see a lot around Missouri, when the Government doesn’t want to put any money into it? The kind of look that is the equivalent to loud, neon lights flashing “HEY. POOR PEOPLE USE THIS SERVICE!”
I didn’t know that at the time. But yeah, it was that kinda place.
Anyway, she took me in there, and we sit down, and a matronly looking woman comes out, talks to us, sits me down in a chair, and pops out this big. Ass. Needle.
This sucker had to be at least an inch around and four inches long. Or so my little kid brain said to me. In reality, it was your regular, very thin, inch or so long needle that you give vaccinations with. Pretty typical stuff. My mind went haywire. I started trying to escape the room. I remember ducking under my mother’s arm and bolting for the door. (She caught me and put me back in the chair.)
The nurse said to her, “If he keeps struggling, we won’t be able to give him this.”
I dunno if any of you have been a little kid before, but that was what I wanted to HEAR. I fought even harder, I wriggled, I screamed, I cried, I begged, I did everything I could think of. And the great thing about little kid bodies? They don’t wear out!
I think kids have a reactor in their left leg full of Kidnonium12 – half life of 13 years. As we’re being born, we kick that sucker on, and BOOM! Next thirteen years we’re moving like our fuse has been lit and we don’t know when it’s gonna pop!
My mother, saint that she is, put up with this for all of, maybe, one minute. Instead of trying to understand where I was coming from, (needles are SCARY and you want to jab me with a GIANT one), she pulled my pants down, put me on the table, and laid on my back. Another nurse held down my legs, and then a sharp, hot stick in the upper butt.
Then I got ice cream.
I told you that story so you’d understand: This morning I jabbed myself with three needles, one right after the other. It’s amazing what we can get used to.