A needle-phobic gets the jab

Receiving your COVID vaccine can be a daunting experience when you are needle-phobic. (Shutterstock) 253386_01

Star Weekly reporter Michaela Meade has never been a fan of needles. She shares her experience of getting the COVID jab.

I’m one of those people who has always dreaded needles. Despised them, even.

Get that sharp, pointy thing away from me, please.

Logically, I understand that what’s in them is helping me to stay healthy and safe.

But emotionally speaking, it’s a really sharp thing being poked into my arm. No, thank you.

That’s why I was very surprised to find myself excited when they announced all the developments for a new vaccine last year. The COVID-19 vaccine.

This new virus has upheaved a lot of people’s lives over the past 22-plus months.

And sadly, it’s taken people’s lives.

I count myself as very lucky to have not lost a loved one due to COVID-19.

But I read all the stories. I sat in front of my laptop every day last year listening to Premier Daniel Andrews report the amount of cases we had that day, and how many people lost their fight.

I isolated myself from friends and family, which was made even harder this year when I moved out of home. I obeyed all the rules, did all the hand washing, and wore the mask required.

I still do, because Victoria is still getting this thing under control. And unfortunately, it’s not over.

It’s a nasty virus, and being an asthmatic, I don’t want to risk contracting it.

So I also waited patiently for the chance to book in for my jab. The pointy needle. That dreaded thing.

I’ll have you know that no amount of logic can outweigh the anxiety a needle-phobic person feels when they’re waiting for their name to be called to receive an injection.

But I distracted myself with some social media scrolling, took some deep breaths to calm myself, and focused on what I was going to gain from this little sting.

When I’m fully vaccinated, I’ll be able to see my grandparents again, for the first time in so many months.

I’ll be able to see more than one friend at once, including those outside a 15-kilometre radius I had never pondered before 2020.

I’ll be able to have my mum over for dinner to meet my kitten.

I’ll be able to see my dad when he can come down from Sydney, so we can finally celebrate both of our birthdays, plus Father’s Day.

But it’s only possible if I get the vaccine.

If you’re also needle-phobic, it helps a lot to tell the person that you’re petrified.

My nurse, Jane, was very lovely about it. Talked to me throughout, made me laugh, and told me to take a deep breath in – “a little sting here” – and a deep breath out.

And that was it. She gave me a lollipop and I was on my way.

I understand being hesitant to get an injection. I also know the frustration of having an appointment snapped out from under you. But please persist.

To my fellow needle-phobics: it’s a small, two-second sting, but I promise it’s worth it.

Bring on the second dose.