December 1st, 2006

Summer Hat

I'm holding a loaded syringe...

One of my less nice traits is my tendancy to be insensitive towards other people's phobias. That is, phobias that they have and that I do not share. Poor psychohist usually bears the brunt of this. He is, quite sensibly, not so keen on heights. I am not at all bothered by heights to the point where you might consider me broken in that respect. I swear I must have taken years off my mother's life when we crossed the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and I leaned out over the side of the boat (and the aqueduct, which has no railing on that side) to get a better look. Now it is my husband who gets to watch as I obliviously step right up to whatever sheer drop is available and lean over to get a better view. I don't mean to worry people, its just that I forget, and there is something to see over there. I did it to him again this past weekend. There was this balcony overlooking this rather nice indoor courtyard, and I though it would be nice stand on the balcony right at the very edge with my arm around him and look out at the courtyard, quite forgetting that standing three floors up over a stone courtyard was not his idea of a relaxing, romantic moment. If I ever fall to my death, its probably a safe bet that I had only myself to blame.

Then there are the needles, which have become such a part of my life. I've never had a problem with needles. Even as a kid I understood that shots were a necessary evil. When someone tries to get blood out of my arm I'm fine with watching while they try to get the needle in. Sure, I'll complain if they do a bad job and cause a lot of unnecessary bruising, but the idea of being punctured by a needle does not especially bother me. I used to give blood regularly (back before the red cross got paranoid about mad cow and would take my blood) and never had a problem with it, even when my veins were veing elusive. One of the things that makes IVF not so bad for me is that once I knew how to give myself the shots, the act of doing so doesn't cause me much concern. I double check the dosages and take care to do it correctly, but I don't worry about the needle. I was explaining to my Mom about the various IVF drugs when I suddenly discovered that she has a needle phobia. Oops. She did not want to see the syringes, or even the sharps container. My gut reaction was that she was being silly, but then again, I have some pretty silly fears myself. So, while Mom was around I attempted some slight level of discretion about the shots, not that I was very good at it...

And then there was Tuesday night. Tuesday is gaming night. From 7:15 until 10:30ish I have the gamers over and attempt to run my roleplaying game, with varying degrees of success. My shots need to happen at 8:30, give or take 15 minutes. That had me shooting up during the run. I've done it before, but only ever one shot. They would never have noticed the first time had not one of them decided to use the bathroom (the one with the sharps container in it) while I went downstairs to fetch the syringe out of the fridge. Last night was different. The Lupron does not come pre-filled, and at 400 units of Follistim, it was clear I was going to have to change cartridges in the pen, so there were three seperate sticks involved, with a fairly high amount of fiddling around involved between each one. I had tried to get them talking to each other in character so I could slip off to the bathroom and shoot up, but that didn't work out. Instead, I ended up doing a lot of the prep work on the shots whilst attempting to act as GM at the same time. That meant I was distractely anwering questions and trying to play the NPCs whilst loading the lupron syringe, then I'd disappear to the bathroom to bare my belly and do the shot, then I'd reappear and attempt to pick up the GMing whilst putting the needle on the Follistim pen. Iterate for two shots of Follistim with a cartridge change in the middle. I was trying (and failing) to be a good GM. Tuesday's run was not one of my more brillant nights as a GM. I was also, I realized later, doing it again. What if one of my gamers hates needles? What if those BD microfine needles were making someone's skin crawl, and they did not appreciate seeing that which I was about to plunge into my soft underbelly? There's nothing like the belated realization that perhaps one should have been a bit more thoughtful. Ugh.

So, to my gamers: Sorry about the naked needles, I'll try not to do it again.
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