Thursday, May 28, 2015

Five not-so-easy pieces

I'm not going to lie. Those baby shots were brutal, man, brutal.

There were five of them in all and each had its own needle. For some reason, I thought multiple shots these days were given by one those Star Trek-type needless; you know... multiple needles on one head, requiring only one actual shot. I mean, I knew it wasn't going to duplicate the show's pain-free process , but I still thought medicine had taken a few steps forward since the first time I got these shots, mostly back in the 1950s. The 1950s, people, Everything was black and white and I had to wear a shirt and tie to go to the doctor, who wore his own shirt and tie and, more often than not, smoked at least one unfiltered, British cigarette during each visit.

I'll give you this... the size and shape of the needles have changed. First off, back in the day, the needles were metal and big. I've already written about the needles being reused after a quick swipe with alcohol. If I continue to bitch about it it could damage my reputation for being a brave little scout. So, let's just say the size and shape of the needles now in use are a big plus.

As I said I would, I looked around for post-inoculation lollipops as soon as I hit the clinic. None. Well, okay, maybe they're in the room where you get the actual shots, I thought. Makes sense- BAM! Pain BAM! Lollipop. 1-2, done, and out the door.

Still, I have learned during my journey with cancer, that irritating anyone who is about to perform any procedure on your person was not a good idea. Let's look back a bit. I've had things shoved up my butt, down my throat. I've had blood whizzed out of my system, and whizzed back in. I've been given enough chemo to kill me, twice. Not to mention two bones biopsies, which I seriously don't want to mention, but just think about it and I'm sure you realize you don't want someone sticking a needle in your spine whose feelings you may have hurt in a lame attempt at making yourself feel more relaxed.

So, I was very nice to the ladies who were doing the sticking, although I don't think I should be calling it sticking. But, inoculating seems like a pretty serious medical term to me and I generally avoid using serious medical terms. Besides, sticking seemed more like what it was. Stick... ing.

As the nice ladies got ready to do their part, I realized there was going to be more to this than I'd thought. First of all, there was the fact that I was going to be stuck five times with five different needles containing five different things that generated five different sensations, though pain seemed to be a constant. And don't go calling me a baby about this. I was all by myself and I couldn't see a post-shot treat anywhere on the horizon.

“How do you want these?” asked the nice lady who seemed to be the ringleader.

I had no idea what she meant and hoped not to sound too stupid when I answered, in all seriousness, “Painlessly.”

Well, the stupid boat had sailed with me on it and when the nice lady smiled like I had been joking, I smiled too. “Good one, huh nurse? Heh heh.”

“Heh heh. Yeah. Cute, but I meant how many shots do you want in each arm?”

With that, the chances of my getting through this without being a complete big baby took a big hit. How do you answer a question like that? I couldn't. I didn't, So she tried to help.

“You can have five in one arm, or we can split them up. Maybe two and three.”

I meant to say “Fine,” but it came out kinda like “Flgmyphm.” But that was good enough for her. Up went the sleeves on each arm, the area was swabbed, and stick, stick, stick, stick, stick. And they hurt, people. I may have cried “Ow” more than once, and maybe a little louder with each succeeding shot.

Fine. Lollipop time. Prior to the actual experience, I had just wanted one because... Because I wanted one. Now, though, I knew I had earned one. And the nice ladies offered me... nothing. Nothing. Not one thing to say to the world, “How brave you were,” or “Good job. We'll tell your wife what a good job you did.” Nothing. I was going to take names, as I'd promised I would last week, should this be the situation I encountered, but then I remembered about being nice. I have to have another round of baby shots in about three months; most likely from the same people. So, nice I was.

Besides, within a few minutes, I was unable to lift either of my arms very far from my side, bringing to mind one more reason for not liking shots in the first place.

Oh, I know you're probably getting all pissy because of my being a big baby about this. “Little babies get these all the time, you know, and they don't take on so.”

Really? Well, let's just take a moment to review that situation. Those babies are coddled by their mothers, kept feeling secure and safe, probably wrapped in a blanket. They've had all their nutrition needs delivered right to their intake area, and they've had the waste created taken away, while having a nice soft cloth wipe their bottom and some nice cool powder patted on them. I, on the other hand, got no hugs; no food delivered to my intake system; and, I don't even want to talk about waste disposal.

And when it's all over... they get to take a nap. Right where they feel like it. Boom, a couple of verses of “Mockingbird” and they're out.

Yeah. Babies are brave. We get it. But... I mean... Couldn't a fella just get a lollipop?

There are a variety of versions of the story that gives this blog its name. The pony is the constant in all of them. A man is on his way to a party when he comes across a young boy shoveling ass over tea kettle at an enormous mountain of manure. The man asks the child if he wouldn't rather go with him to the party than shovel all that poop. The kid says, “No way man. With all that poop... there must be a pony in there somewhere