Friday, July 30, 2010

Vaccinations are fun

So yesterday I stepped onto the deck to help move something and I got a very painful splinter in my left foot. I loath wearing socks, but I could have gotten a splinter wearing them (it's happened!) but the deck is one place where being barefoot isn't that big of a deal.

Unless you get a splinter of course.

I pulled it out and continued to move the object. One I was done, I inspected the area and couldn't help put notice a litle dark mark. I tried to get it out with tweezers and a needle, but couldn't. I thought maybe it was just my imagination and went on with it.

The next day my foot was still sore. I had soaked it in water, and kept a bandage on it. I had someone examine it, and it was determined that a peice of wood was still under my skin. Yuck. So I held up my foot and let my mom dig around it. When she couldn't get it out, and I couldn't take the stabbing anymore, I used the tweezers to push it out of the hole. I felt relieved.

Until I started thinking about tetnaus (Thanks to Twitter, <3 you guys haha).

I grew up with the idea that only rusty nails were the cause of lockjaw, and that you could get a tetnaus shot every ten years. But in most cases, they say any puncture wound from a dirty object should require a tetnaus shot if you haven't had one in 5 years, or can't remember your last booster.

I remember that shot. I remember the school sending a note, saying I could not return to class without getting a tetnaus shot. I remember showing my parents the note, and them calling up the doctor for me to get one that night. I remember panicking over stories about how painful the shot was. I remembe crying in the car on the way there and at the doctor's office because I was so scared. I remember it being winter, and dark outside when we got back. I remember it not being THAT bad. But I could NOT remember when I had. Was I 16? Was it January? Was it 2001? Or was it 2002? I tried counting back, and I determined it has to be 8 years. Maybe 9. But would that be enough? If you get it every 10 years, and it's been 8 is that good enough?

I have to admit, working as an embalmer for a year kind of enlightened me to mortality. I also am a bit of a hypochrondriac. My first reaction was I should get the shot tomorrow to be safe. I decided to call the Tele Health line to find out how long I had before I should get the shot. I was on hold for ten mintues and my mom was harassing me for being such a worrier over nothing. I decided that I wasn't going to wait to hear what the nurse had to say, nor would I wait until tomorrow. I would get the shot now.

I was told I was being crazy, but I stated I was an adult and I could do what I damned pleased. I knew the walk-in clinic where my doctor practices was open until 7:15. Living in the country can be a real problem when it comes to time limits. I got to the clinic to find that the walk in had closed at 6:10 PM. There was a sign on the door stating that they would be closed Saturday because it was a long weekend.

I told them my issue and asked if they thought I should get a shot and where I could go. The nurse said she would personally go get it. That was good enough for me. They told me of a clinic that was open until 8 not too far from where I was. I headed over there and was relieved that they were still open. I was the only one in the clinic. As soon as I gave my information, I was assigned a room. The doctor came in shortly and I explained what had happened. He asked me to show him my foot to make sure that everything had gotten out. He said it looked fine, and recommended antibiotic cream. I asked about the tetnaus shot but he didn't seem that concerned. He said it should be okay but he said the booster wouldn't hurt if I wanted to go ahead and get it done. I said I would feel better if I had it. He left and came back with it, and asked me how I felt about needles.

"I don't like them" I grimaced "but I'll be okay"

"Well, do you faint or anything?" he replied

I told him I didn't, and he told me to relax my arm and just make it limp. He then stuck me with it, and I did feel the pinprick, but it wasn't bad. It was over so quickly and I hardly felt a thing. I told him it wasn't as bad as I thought. He told me the trick was to keep the arm limp. When we are children, we are so nervous and tense, that the tension we hold in our arms makes the needle worse and painful. Then we learn to hate and fear needles. I thanked him and wished him a good holiday weekend. I had checked in around 6:40 and I was out by 7:00.

I left at 6:00 drove half an hour to town, and got home by 7:30. I came back and everyone was surprised how quick I was. They mocked me a little for being paranoid, but I told them the nurse agreed with me. Later I spoke to a nurse friend of mine and she also agreed it was better to be safe when it comes to something like that.

I feel silly when I get paranoid or start to worry about something as trivial as a splinter, but I feel better knowing that I've taken precautious steps that had a chance of becoming something worse. Now I gotta go slap on some more polysporn so it doesn't get infected, blah.

No comments:

Post a Comment