Vaccine Advice from a Needlephobic
Tomorrow I go in for my 2nd Covid-19 vaccine. I never thought I would be excited for a shot. I've suffered from debilitating needle/doctor/dentist phobia my entire life. That's more than 3 decades! What a difference having a compassionate medical team makes.
Are you scared of needles too? Here's how I got through it!:
- I purchased this stuff called Aspercreme 4% Lidocaine No Mess Applicator from my local Walgreens. I started rubbing it on my entire upper arm about 2-3 hours before my appointment. I applied more in the car on the way there.
- I communicated with the staff that I had a phobia. They were very understanding. If you are having a hard time, bring someone you trust with you to help support you. My facility was very accomodating and I didn't have to speak to them myself until it was time for my vitals.
- The nurses had a product called Cold Spray that they used on me. I did not get a look at which brand it was because I had my eyes shut and turned away. It works to numb the area. Between this and my previous product, I did not feel a thing.
- I brought my music player and headphones as a distraction. I played my favorite band Waterparks and their song "Numb".
Here are some other tips I've learned from being in needle phobia groups the last few weeks:
- If you have a doctor that you see regularly, try asking for a prescription for some EMLA Cream. This is stronger than the cream you can buy in the store. All of the phobics I saw online swore by it. You need to put it a generous amount on your arm hours before & cover it with plastic wrap to heat activate it.
- Depending on how much time you have before your appointment, you can look into getting some TKTX shipped to your house. I have not used this, but it looks to include the same stuff as EMLA cream + some other stuff.
- This cute little bee on the side is called a "buzzy". It uses an ice pack and vibrating sensations to numb and distract you during a shot process.
- Talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for some kind of anti-anxiety medication. This can take a lot of trial and error finding a drug and dosage that works best for you. Please do not do this without doctor recommendations. These drugs can be addictive and deadly!
- If you are prone to fainting, this is called a vasovagal syncope response. I have read that to help your body counter that, you can squeeze and tense the other muscles in your body that are not getting an injection.
Please please PLEASE get vaccinated, convince your friends and family to get vaccinated! It truly saves lives! You don't want your entire family to die! It happened to my little brothers friend :( Wear your masks, social distance, be smart and responsible! We can get through this, but only if we all work together!