#54 Getting a needle

It’s the battle of the bugs.

When I was a kid I was deathly afraid of needles. Nothing was scarier than getting jabbed by some lady in blue smocks. And I mean nothing, too: not crackly furnace noises through bedroom vents, walking around unfinished basements in the dark, or even hearing dentist tools firing up before some cavity drilling.

Yes, I always thought needles were worst of all … until I began to understand them.

As I grew up I learned that needles were just little guns firing tiny bugs into the war trenches of my bloodstream. These bugs were crippled and weak and helped my Blood Cell Warriors learn the tricky ways of Bloodstream Battle. After I got a needle, and while my six-year-old self cried and sat on the toilet, my Blood Cell Warriors were busy tearing apart the remains of evil Tetanus Knights and Polio Savages — drawing up detailed battle plans, creating Antibody Weapons, and training for the day when they were called on to fight.

Getting needles helps our bloodstream save the day in the future.

Yes, needles don’t seem scary when we imagine ourselves Human Warrior 3000s, sitting steely-eyed on the tissue paper in the doctor’s office, rolling up our sleeves for the next big battle.

So next time you get a needle make sure you walk out of there with tough words for any disease planning a future attack. Feel that sting under the Care Bears band-aid on your shoulder and just tough it up and say…

Just try it, Tetanus. Watch your back, Whooping Cough. And don’t even think about it, Diphtheria.

AWESOME!

Thank you! The Book of Awesome is an international bestseller for the 22nd month in a row!

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36 Comments

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36 responses to “#54 Getting a needle

  1. prairiegrl

    How about giving blood/platelets which could save lives? Now that is awesome!

  2. Now here’s something I never would’ve thought to be awesome. I kinda liked the whole “Needles are heroes!” bit. [Insert name of easily preventable disease] won’t dare mess with me! :P

  3. I’m giving blood today actually! Always awesome to save lives

  4. I like the part when you realise it’s over and it’s not as bad as you thought it was… After gallbladder removal surgery I had to have this needle that the nurse said was going to be more painful than usual, so I braced myself and even watched her do it. The injection hurt, but it wasn’t awful. She was surprised I didn’t yelp or react like the other patients she’d seen. I was, too!

    … Maybe… Maybe I’m a mutant 0.O

  5. wendy

    Thank goodness I’m not afraid cuz they have been a hero in saving and sustain my life still! If I’m not mistaken I’d say this is about the only one I haven’t had and hope I never do, besides in jewelry:)
    http://www.mos.org/sln/sem/quill.html

  6. With all due respect, are you high?
    Needles are TERRIBLE! – not AWESOME!!

  7. Kathy

    Shots that combat flu nausea=Yea!
    My big bro gives himself a shot daily for chronic illness and it really helps him maintain his life=Yea!

  8. dianne

    Hi! I’m from the Philippines and I follow your blog. It was really nice to read an article in the newspaper mentioning your book:
    http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=774665&publicationSubCategoryId=82
    Godspeed!

  9. JC Warren

    I’m passing this one onto my needle phobic daughter! Maybe it will help just a little bit!

  10. Well…acupuncture needles are awesome!

    • wendy

      YES! That is if the acupunturist is qualified and good…I’m all for the porcupine look, every 6 weeks as a matter of fact as part of my holistic health and well-being regime=D

      • Florence

        I too LOVE traditional acupuncture and have it regularly for chronic pain due to vascular inflammation! I’d have very little quality of life without it! It’s too bad so many people are so afraid of it; if only they knew the truth of all its good! And when I have it done, I feel as though there’s a Carribbean breeze blowing through and opening up all Qi…so calming and comforting…awesome!

  11. jen325

    NEEDLES ARE NOT AWESOME! The benefits of them are awesome, I just wish there were a better alternative for needle-phobic people like me! This is timely as I spent a day in the hospital last week with an IV. :'( Don’t worry, I’m okay!

  12. Beth

    I’ve had to have an ultrasound guided aspiration biopsy of my thyroid, done with needles. I was more scared of the thought of the 8 needles that were going to be jabbed into the most vulnerable spot of my throat than I was at the thought of having a surgical biopsy. At least I knew that with that, I’d be knocked out! With the needles, I was as awake as can be. But you know what? It really didn’t hurt, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. And in the end, I have a totally benign condition. Those 8 little needles made the difference for me of knowing whether or not I had cancer.
    I’d do it over again in a heartbeat just to know that I’m ok. In fact, I will most likely have to do it again someday. But that’s ok with me now….

    • Florence

      Bless you for sharing this Beth! I’ve a friend who’s been dealing with the “same” thing. She was told to increase kelp and iodine in her diet and her’s are shrinking away:)

    • Aamir Saud

      I got strong erection after reading this. Need to see urologist…

  13. Olivia

    About to be hospitalized for some emergency IV type stuff tomorrow, how relevant is this! You must be psychic by now Neil :)

    • Gabriel

      Trust me…say you need the area wrapped in a warm wet towel and the IV goes in far easier! Best wishes for a speedy recovery:)

  14. Layz

    I can’t agree this time. Yes, I feel like proud and powerful after I survive a needle, but I still hate them and I’ll be anxious (in a really bad way) for the next and the next time. No matter what you say. Seriously.

  15. Nicholas

    Love this post, so imaginative, yet true! And even though my kids aren’t getting vaccinated, I guess the same analogy could apply for blood tests…

  16. Is it a little sad that at the age of 24 I had to take my dad with to get a blood test for my insurance! Yes – I squealed – he told me to man up (I’m a girl!). Still traumatised by needles – but for no apparent reason! I shall investigate why!! :)

  17. Michelle

    Awesome thing: hearing words and phrases used in different countries in new ways!

    I had never heard the phrase “getting a needle” before reading this post. In the U.S. I’ve only ever referred to it as “getting a shot.”

  18. I have a crazy phobia of syringes.. So this really isn’t too awesome for me! :P

  19. Marina

    Needles will never be awesome for me. And they are never ‘not as bad as you thought’. They always hurt and my sympathetic nervous system never fails to let me know that it doesn’t enjoy the process… dizzy, impaired hearing, want to vomit, sweating. Getting a needle is only awesome when it is acupuncture and I am not looking. Even the thought of injections or blood letting now gets me icky.

  20. I like the sound psychological idea behind it. If it works with only 25% – you helped a lot of people.

  21. パーカー 万年筆 デュオフォールド

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