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November 09, 2008


beth muse

I don't like needles. So much so that when flu season comes, I always try to find an excuse to skip the vaccine. Or if I go ahead and talk myself into getting one, I always think, "What if this needle isn't clean? What if they just forgot (people forget, don't they?) and they are using a dirty needle? It could have anyone's blood on it. Anyone. Maybe I'll get HIV or hepititus or some such as that. What if...don't junkies use needles? Well, most of them do. What if I get a needle a junkie used and there's a drug in it instead of the medicine I'm supposed to get. The nurse could be evil. She looks a little evil. WHY DID I DO THIS?"

That's why I avoid it. It's not the pain. Well, OK, I don't miss the pain. And I have this tendency to anticipate it hurting much worse than it actually does. But this just isn't an issue at all if I skip it. That's been the solution for several years now.

But that being the solution, I'm then led to wonder, constantly, if I've come into contact with the flu. I work in a gym where people are always sweating and then touching the weights. One after another, they put their sweaty hands on the cool metal and their germs just stay there, festering, waiting. For me. Some people sneeze into their hands and then touch the weights. Keeping ahead of the germs is a full time occupation. In the winter, it can also be a painful one.

Cracked hands, over-dried from soap and very hot water are not cured with regular lotion. It takes the high powered cremes, the ones you get in the little squat jars. After a few uses, you have to wonder what's living in there. So you only use it three, maybe four times. Then you have to buy it new.

Once, I got tired of paying for a new jar every couple of days, so I microwaved the contents of it. You know, trying to kill off whatever might be lurking in the oily ingredients of the creme. I'll give you some advice right now. Don't microwave it. It separates and it looks like somebody's coagulated innards. I nearly panicked.

I'm thinking of getting the shot this year. It can't really guard against everything, but at least I won't be worrying constantly about flu germs. I have a friend who is a nurse and I can trust her to get a clean needle. It's silly, after all. All of that worry. She'd have no motive to stick me with a dirty needle or give me the wrong medicine. Then again, we did argue over that last movie I hated and she loved...

beth muse

Out of curiosity, is there a way to edit what you've already written? I noticed in the very first paragraph, I left out what I was referring to. "It" is a flu shot. But I can't go back and correct. Which is driving me nuts.

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