It’s flu season, and that means getting the dreaded flu shot. Now I don’t have a problem with needles but I know a lot of people who do. My two young granddaughters, aged 3 and 5 had to be bribed to go to the doctor for the flu shot, and even then it was a major ordeal but you can make allowances for children. It’s a little harder to accept excessive drama from an adult.

My husband, like many people, has an aversion to the sight of blood. He literally gets weak in the knees and has on occasion passed out (although that hasn’t happened since his younger days) I can handle blood, not huge amounts of course (that’s why I couldn’t go into medicine, that and the whole enema thing….ok, and also I didn’t have the marks) but I can certainly manage cuts, scrapes and needles.

Some thirty years ago I was at work and my husband was home with the children. We’d been having trouble with our automatic garage door opener and despite warnings from EVERYONE to leave the repair to a professional, my husband, handyman that he isn’t, decided to tackle the task himself. Needless to say the garage door came slamming down causing quite a loud noise throughout the neighbourhood, and taking a small chunk of my husbands thumb with it. (He was lucky he didn’t lose more,,,,you don’t mess with 200 lb doors that have lost their tension)  He was then seen running into the house. When he didn’t emerge in a reasonable period of time, a neighbor who’d witnessed the scene went inside only to find my husband slumped on the floor in the bathroom. She managed to wrap the finger enough to staunch the bleeding and by the time she was done my husband had ‘recovered’ sufficiently enough to remain conscious. (To this day he still refers to that accident as his brush with death, and he claims parts of that thumb are still without feeling providing a ready excuse to avoid most household tasks)

On another occasion around the same period our two year old son was playing with a lawn chair and caught his thumb in the joint while closing it (what is it with the men in my family and thumbs?) causing a nice slice around his whole finger. My husband grabbed him and ran inside calling for me (I was in the basement doing laundry) By the time I could make it to the kitchen my son was happily rinsing his bloodied finger in the sink while my hero leaned unsteadily against the wall. I cleaned up the wound, propped my husband up and took our son to emergency for stitches. Now I would’ve thought an aversion to the sight of blood would be over ridden by necessity, but apparently not.  I’m not sure what would’ve happened had I not been home but I’m guessing my two year old would’ve ended up nursing his father until I returned.

A number of years later, the same son, who was 15 by then, (and clearly a klutz) cut his finger while halving a bagel. The cut was significant enough to warrant a trip to emergency as it clearly would need stitches. My husband insisted on going with us – ‘he could do this’. While I sat in emergency with our son, he was out cold in the back of our car (I just left him there) Suffice it to say his aversion to the sight of blood was, and remains, significant.

This past Friday we went in for our annual flu shots. (He played a round of golf in the morning preceding our appointment because he knew he wouldn’t be able to play after,,,,, you know,,,,, the procedure). He took it like a trooper; rolled up his sleeve, held his breath and turned away, and I was pleased to see he kept the moaning to a minimum. After we got home, I went out to rake leaves (we have a TON) and my husband went to lie down. He was ‘stressed’ by the ordeal. Later he would move downstairs to his lazy-boy where he indulged in a rye and ginger to help dull the memory of the traumatic experience.  Today I asked him to vacuum and he held up his arm limply and said he couldn’t,,,,his arm was still weak.

You know,,,,,I think we’d both be less stressed if he just got the flu.

3 thoughts on “The Flu Shot

  1. I agree. You have a brilliant funny-because-it’s-true style that comes off perfectly every time. A gift. And this morning your gift gave me a few much needed chuckles. Sending P a virtual get-well fruit basket… (:


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