My Husband Needles Me

A few months back Mike and I had a rare night without kids. We did what most red-blooded-married-for-almost-twelve-years-American couple would do in that kind of situation…

He pulled out a movie and headed to the new TV in the living room and I headed to bed… to sleep.

Except I didn’t get to go to bed. I ended up having to watch the movie that I wasn’t interested in at all. Why? Because our bedroom floor hated me that night. Maybe it was mad at me for tossing my shoes a little too roughly… or maybe it was upset that I hadn’t given it a good mopping in awhile. I dunno. For whatever reason, as soon as I stepped into the bedroom, the floor stabbed me!

It did! A huge, gigantic LOG of the floor lodged itself in the bottom of my foot. (Probably because lodging itself in the top of my foot would’ve been too difficult for it… the stupid log!)

I gasped and hopped into the bathroom to find the tweezers whose usual job it is to keep the hair off my chinny-chin-chin. I flopped back over to the bed and pulled my leg up to inspect the carnage bestowed upon me by the evil wood floor. Yup, sure enough a GIANT log of a splinter that was starting to sting like crazy. Burn, really. Something about the fact that these floors are close to 100 years old…

So there I was with an antique telephone pole stuck in the bottom of my foot, but no worries! I had my trusty chin-hair-plucking tweezers! Alas, the bit of the redwood-sized piece of flooring that was sticking OUT of my foot trembled in fear of the mighty tweezers and promptly broke and fell off. Victory!

Or not… now there was nothing left to grab… or at least, not much. Yikes! I knew that if there was any hope of grabbing the teensy bit still on the outside of my skin it was going to take a steadier hand and eye than mine, so I hopped in to the living room and handed Mike the tweezers. He tortured me tried unsuccessfully to grab at the splinter with the tweezers, so I decided to soak my foot. The idea was for the splinter tree to kinda be drawn out and when I took my foot out of the warm, salty water…wahla! No more foreign object.

So I sat down to watch the totally boring movie (actually it was You’ve Got Mail, which is actually not-so-boring, it’s just I’d already seen it 5,392 times and so sleep sounded WAY more appealing) and soak my stinging, burning, ouching foot.

Notice I said the idea was for the splinter to be drawn out. The reality ended up being that all the warm, salty water did was soften the skin a tiny bit and wrinkle my toes. My foot was still impaled by the bedroom floor’s weapon of fierce owie-ness.

Now I have to stop this suspenseful (haha-hoho) tale for a moment and make a note that in the days just prior to being attacked by the floor, I had been worrying about my health and more specifically about what would happen if I got sicker before I got better and who would take care of me, because Mike was obviously not going to. After all he was all disinterested and seemingly unmoved any time I mentioned feeling achy or what-have-you. Any time anything medical or remotely so came up with the kids it was always left to me to handle… so obviously this translated into “I will be on my own and no one will take care of me”. Because my brain likes to put random conclusions on things that really make no sense.

Then Mike asked for a needle. He was going to have to perform surgery dig it out. OY VEY!!!

I have always hated splinters. Even just the real simple, little-bitty, out-on-the-first-try-with-tweezers kind. Once, as a kid, I got a splinter of GLASS (can you imagine the horror??) in my foot and I carried on so and screamed so much, that my mom was petrified the new neighbors would call the cops for child abuse. Splinters always seemed to mysteriously disappear anytime Mom even mentioned a needle. Not once did she manage to get near me with one. Come to think of it, there are probably some splinters still in my feet or hands that I didn’t let her get out with the needle and so the skin eventually grew over it. Yeah, I probably should not have let my thoughts wander in that direction… now I’ll forever be wondering just how much wood I’m carrying around under my skin…

Anyway. So Mike asked for a needle because the floor had done a doozy on my poor, size 7.5W (so not so little) foot and the chunk of wood was completely under the skin, inaccessible by tweezers. Great… not! Somewhere between the thoughts “AAAAAAHHHHHHH!” and “No, no, no, no, NO! NO NEEDLE!” I had the thought “there is even a reason for getting splinters and this time it might be an opportunity to show you that you can trust Mike to take care of you”.

And so, I gritted my teeth and tried with all my might to hold still while Mike dug at my foot with a needle equally as big as the log he was trying to dig out. (Or at least it felt that way.) My might wasn’t enough to keep me completely still or quiet, though. I did squirm and squeal, or at least Mike claims I did. (I think maybe he’s just foolin’…)

The thing is… Mike did get the splinter out… and he was VERY gentle in doing so. Yes, I said gentle in reference to a needle. I don’t know how he did it, but he did. I immediately declared him the World’s Best Splinter-Taker-Outer and have since referred the kids to Daddy at least twice with rave reviews of his splinter-removal skills.

Better than that though, I saw the whole episode for what it was… an opportunity to see that I could trust Mike to take care of me. I know that sounds hooky, but it’s totally true. It was hard for me to trust him with that needle, but I knew I needed to and I knew God wanted me to. So I closed my eyes and ‘handed’ over my foot instead of declaring the splinter miraculously gone and running and locking myself in the bathroom like I used to do as a kid. I’m glad I did, because I learned so much. Like how gentle my husband’s great big hands can be and how careful he is in trying not to hurt me BUT also totally capable of ‘doing what needs to be done’.

It’s a lesson that immediately came to mind a few weeks ago when my doctor told me I’d need IM (intramuscular…as in IN THE MUSCLE and so therefore very LONG and FAT needle) shots of B12 every day for awhile.

Somewhere between the thoughts of “AAAAAAHHHHHHH!” and “No, no, no, no, NO! NO NEEDLE!” I had the thought “It’s ok. Mike can do it and he’ll be good at it. It’ll be ok with him doing it.

And truly… as much as I squirmed and squealed for the couple of weeks between hearing this news and actually getting everything in place (medicine, syringes, training) to start the daily injections… deep down I really wasn’t worried about it. That’s not to say I was looking forward to them or that I wasn’t a little curious as to just how it would feel, but I really wasn’t worried about the shots… as long as Mike was giving them.

I knew I could never give them to myself, which was actually the dr’s first suggestion. Needles are sized according to ‘gauge’. Kind of like wire. So the bigger the number gauge, the thinner the needle. Then they also have a length. The needles that Meagan uses for her growth hormone are super-thin and short. They barely go under the skin and they are just barely thicker than a hair. Seriously. They are 5/8″ long and 31 gauge.

I have a SUPER hard time poking those needles through skin… basically? I can’t bring myself to do it at all… which is why we use the Injectease. We put the syringe/needle in the Injectease, put the Injectease on Meagan’s skin and push the button. The Injectease pops the needle in her skin using spring-action and then I just push the plunger to deliver the meds. I don’t do any poking, though.

I use a big, fat 20 gauge to mix her meds. It’s almost as thick as the innards of a ballpoint pen. The needles I was going to be using? 1 1/2″, yes that is ONE AND ONE HALF inches, and 22 gauge!! You’ll notice 22 is closer to 20 than 31. There is a reason. They are THICK! Then the stupid pharmacy didn’t have 22 gauge and so Mike came home with a week’s supply of 21 gauge! Also, because they are so long and so big they won’t fit in the Injectease. Yeah… NO way I was going to be able to stick that in anyone, let alone myself.

Mike can, though. And very well, I might add. These are monster sized needles (in my opinion and since it’s my backside getting poked, it’s my opinion that counts), but the shots really, truly don’t hurt. He is THAT good! From the very first poke!! You’d think he’s been giving IM injections for years. I kid you not, his technique is better than the technique of most of the so-called professionals whom I can remember giving me injections.

Then today… oh my man is so good to me! He volunteered to take Meagan to her orthodontist appointment and then to go get the groceries…while I stayed home. How sweet, right? When he got back from the pharmacy (his 3rd trip out) he declared that “No one can say I don’t take care of my baby” and handed me a new pretty for my kitchen (a metal Coca-Cola tray) and a box of 22 gauge needles!!

Oh the romance that was in the air! Ok, maybe it wasn’t very romantic but it did make me remember the whole splinter/trust thing and prompt me to get on here and brag about how my hubby is taking good care of me despite my worries that he wouldn’t or couldn’t.

I am so thankful for my hubby and his gentleness!


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