Monday, December 05, 2005

I call the shots

I have a keloid on my arm.

It's a raised scar formed as an after effect of the BCG vaccine administered with neglect to a 5-year-old Sayesha by a rather incompetent nurse. And the after effects of this after effect continue to haunt me 20 years later.

The scar is like a small village uprising. Every once in a while, I have to take six-seven shots on the scar to keep it flat and under control. My doc tells me the shots I take are supposedly one of the most painful shots ever. Some day in the near future, I won't have to take them anymore. That will be a welcome day for me.

The shots hurt like hell, yes. And the scar stays sore for two whole days. Even touching it hurts. Today, after the shots, I met one of my best buddies for dinner and she happened to casually (and unknowingly, may I add) whack me on the spot of the scar.

Owwww owwww owww!

"Thanks a lot, girl. I already got seven jabs from Dr Ong. But thanks for the seven that I got from you just now."

But as she said, each one of the fourteen was profusely apologised for.

It's true. Every time she administers the shots, the doctor apologises to me. She pokes the needle into the scar from one direction, winces and says, "Oh dear, sorry!" and then from another direction and then "Oh dear, sorry! I know it really hurts." and proceeds to create six such diameters in my scar with the needle. I wince and bear the excruciating pain.

And yet, soon I am back at the doc's, ready for the next round.

In university, I would always go to my favourite doctor, the elderly Dr Yeo, for the shots. He was very fond of me, and would instruct his nurses to take good care of me while he prepared the injection. "She's the brave one." He'd say. The nurses would surround me to give me moral support. One of them, the one with very round eyes, would corner me and try to give what she thought was a 'pep talk'.

"You know? There is another girl. From PRC. Same problem as yours. Same shots too. Every two months. And you know? She faints. Every single time. The shots are THAT painful. She actually faints." She would exclaim, and her eyes would become bigger and rounder.

"Gee, thanks a lot." I would mutter between clenched teeth.

"But you're so brave! You have not fainted. Not even once!" She exclaimed proudly. And they would all give me the "congrats, you have not fainted" looks.

And they would surround me and watch me wince as the doctor administered the injection. I have a feeling they had bets on the side to see when I would finally faint. But I wouldn't.

And that amazed me. Because years ago, this girl would have fainted and screamed and thrown a fit, just to escape a shot. Yes, I was absolutely terrified of shots.
Every time I had to take one, I would scream the place down. I would cry and plead till everyone else around me cried too. And I knew it was not just a childhood thing. They were one of my deepest fears when I was young.

And I worried that I would carry this fear with me all my life.

But things turned out different. I don't know what exactly happened, but one fine day I woke up and suddenly, I wasn't scared of shots anymore. I wasn't scared of a lot of things anymore.

I started doing things I used to be really scared of.

In the Bio lab, dissection of guinea pigs became easy. I could do it with a straight face, while the guys winced and looked away. In fact, when we were studying blood cells, the Bio teacher would ask, "All right, who wants to go first?" And everyone would step back, and push me to the front. I would calmly prick my finger and the dark red drop would pop out, ready to be smeared on to a glass slide. And the guys would come to me and ask me for donations. "Sayesha, since you have already pricked your finger... hehehe... see, the blood's gonna go to waste otherwise... hehehe... it's just one drop yaar! Please yaar! Friends should help each other yaar!" And I'd be forced to squeeze my finger and donate a drop to each of their slides. (Perhaps that's why I am anaemic today! Those guys better chukao the khoon ka karz man!) And these were the guys who did not have the guts to prick their own fingers but had no qualms about cutting off the tails of dead guinea pigs and pinning them all on one of the wax beds to make it look like one pig had five tails.

Sigh... guys...

But I digress.

The point of the post is this. Today, as I took the shots for the umpteenth time, I realised that even after taking them so many times, they did not hurt any less. In fact, they were still very very painful.

I have not managed to get used to them or get rid of the pain.

But what I have managed to get rid of is the fear. I am not afraid of shots anymore.

The fear of fearing something your entire life is indeed a great one. And we do harbour some fears our entire life.

I am just thankful I got over one of mine.
However small it may be.


Kaala Kavva said...

Aham prathamesh.

Kaala Kavva said...

oh man..
so sorry for you..
you really are a brave girl.

acha u no wat
things happen in my life also suddenly..

one moment im smiling and without anything actually hapenning, the next moment im in tears.. or im in lotsa pain and suddenly goes away in an instant.

though Im really scared of conciously hurting myself... i remember when i had my blood tests! oh man!

shit dude! you're brave.

Pujya said...

What the..?? how the ...??
hey this is not fair...i just checked a few minutes ago....and..arghhhhhh!!!

Pujya said...

my god..i m shit scared of injections..u r Brave!
those needles just freak me out!!

virdi said...


when I was around 15 years, I developed some problem in my blood and because of that the Rheumatic factor in the blood came down... some shit like that happened don't know properly..

now to increase that Rheumatic factor in the blood, I had to take Penicillin injections every 2nd week in my bum, for 4 years... the nurses used to give smiles when ever I came in the clinic... its like "wow aa gaya bakra, aab isko hallal karne mein bahut maza aayega"

my bum used to hurt lots... it was like someone had put a huge brick on the right bum and left bum is ok... my god it was painful... but I was "COMPLAN BOY" and had lots of "CHAVANPRASH", I never fainted unlike some people...

now I am fit and fine... Sayesha hats off to the strong people like me... ok you are also not bad... ;-)


sorry about the loooong comment.. :E

Shobana said...

woah! i hope u get rid of those injections soon!
i am shit scared of injections or anything to do with piercing.. though i am tryin to get over it..
bravo girl!

ritzkini said...

ek dum goondi hai !
brave one girl..hats off..

Thanu said...

Shots don't scar me since I was little kid. I was a fav at Dr's offices I wud walk in and out with a smile


PS: but there are few irrational tings I'm scared of.

Anonymous said...

are u talking abt the scar thing on the shoulder... even i have asha bhosle's tika sized one on my shoulder....

but why do u want to get rid of that?.

Leon said...


I had this long-standing fear for injections too.. In fact I hadn't had a shot right from age 5 until last year when I had to take a couple of vaccinations. Suprisingly they were painless. That's when I lost my fear.

Your talk of all these painful injections have revived my fears though.. brrrr..

inhas said...

geesh ...shots.. what i noticed was you were thankful to yourself for conquering your fears ... keep it going.. hope the shots end soon but not you calling the shots in your life

Rays Of Sun said...

// am just thankful I got over one of mine.However small it may be//

Well said:D

Sayesha said...

#Ze Exaggerator,
Twam paagalesh too! :P

Actually, I'm still very scared of a lot of things, so when I conquer small fears, it gives me a greal pleasure to tick them off my list! :P

//What the..?? how the ...??
Hahahaa! That was hilarious! :D
ps: I am shit scared of lizards! :(

#Bakra, errr... I mean Virdi,
Wow, every two weeks for four years!! :O Shaabash mere complan boy! :)

//sorry about the loooong comment.. :E

Don't be silly now, there are no restrictions on comment length, man! :P

Yeah, I'm hoping that after next year, I won't have to take them anymore.

Gundagardi toh apun ke rag rag mein basela hai, kya? :P

Lucky you! :)

Mine is a raised scar, so I need the shots to keep it flat... :(

//That's when I lost my fear.

Good for you man!
ps: Brrr tooo! :P

Thanks! :)

Sayesha said...

We posted at the same time! Missed your comment, babe. Thanks! :)

Anonymous said...


Inspite of your problems you have managed to live your life beautifully!

Thoda serious ho gaya tera post padh ke!


Raj said...

That is shockingly terrible. You should hunt down that nurse and give her the same shots that you have to take.

You really are brave.
I hope you don't have to take these shots for too long.

Aj said...

Sayesha dear
you remind me of my own great for injections
As a child i was hospitalised for around 6 months once. That time doc administered 2-3 injections a day to me...
I went on taking the pain at d back :)
But But But
I still fear.
I cant even see anyone getting an injection, its that much horrible.

Yar got "chakkar" (fits) when last time ( around a month back ) i took my sis to a doc for an injection...i tried to control but it was automatic

Pata ni mera dar kab nikalega :)

Sayesha said...

Thanks yaar! :)

Hmmm... the thing is I don't think the nurse (it was a male) knew that he was administering it wrongly... so no point cursing him :(

I just hope I don't have to take the shots after next year! :)

2-3 injections a day?? Whoa! :O

I guess some things continue to haunt us for life, eh? :(

Hope you get over your fear some day soon.

Jay said...

"And we do harbour some fears our entire life."

Sometimes these "fears" .. are just a figment of our imagination?

Unknown said...

OMG..your vaccination was fucked up so you have to take shots regularly to keep the scar down? Is it like an infection? I've never heard about this before.

Am i reading this right? Thats so aweful!! Isn't there a more permanent solution?

But hey, we women have a better pain quotient than men any damn day!

Sayesha said...

Does it matter whether the fears are part of reality or our imagination? The important thing is that they are fears. And that we should try to stop them from bothering us. Some we can, and others, we can't.

Yeah, the shots are just to keep the scar flat. No infection or anything. Once it's totally flattened, I can stop taking the shots (some time end of next year).

//But hey, we women have a better pain quotient than men any damn day!

Well said, my girl, well said! :)

Anonymous said...

im curious to know abt these 'shots' .... what do they do with the injection...they pullout some stuff from ur body or pump in something?

and why do they have to do it multiple times? why cant once..


Sayesha said...

Naah, they can't pull out scar tissue with just a needle. They just inject cortisone into different parts of the scar (which makes it more painful, cos the same scar is being jabbed seven times with the needle but from different directions). This helps to flatten it. Once it's completely flat, I can stop taking the shots.

Ravi said...

I never feared the injections, so I could not "overcome" my fear. Now I feel small for having not overcome fear. I need a fear to overcome. I have to think about this.

Unknown said...

Oh! so from the time you were a kid to now, that's how long its taken to tame this bad-ass scar eh?

Tough break!

Anonymous said...

Oh, sorry Sash, you have to keep taking those ugly and painful injections. To keep paying like this for someone else's mistake, for the rest of our life, is terrible. Injections 'are' painful. Whoever invented them? Grrrr. With me, I hear them say I make a good patient. I dont let out a single sound. (I think I will let myself GO next time, and see what happens. Maybe I will feel much better :-)) I guess I don't want them to think I am weak :-). Clenching the teeth helps :-). And then, I cringe looking at the pouch being filled with my blood. I don't want to look, yet I look. I keep a very straight face, but I cringe inside.

Nothing like conquering a fear. Way to go Sash. And I know, however small it looks to others, for us, it is Major.

Darth Midnightmare said...

Hmmm...I wasn't too scared of injections to start with. Then I had to get some...and the fear became real :-(.

Not pleasant when you have needles stuck into your wrists 24*7 and the nurses come every couple of hours and stick something into the thingies saying, "Don't worry, this will pain only a leeeeetle bit". Yeah rrrright!!!!

As for dissections, damn, I dropped Biology after my tenth to avoid those...Long live Economics!!!

PuNeEt said...

brave girl Sayesha...

Those guys better chukao the khoon ka karz man

good to read ur post n c ur confidence...
mez not scared... ;-)


Sayesha said...

//I need a fear to overcome.
Hahahahaa! What a statement, Ravi! Awesome! :)

No, that's how long the bad-ass scar took to raise its ugly head. The shots started about six years ago.

Actually I wouldn't mind them if it could be guaranteed that after next year, I won't have to take them anymore! :(

Hey, welcome to Sayeshaz! :)
24*7??? Eeeeeks!!
Achha Econs guy huh? :) For some reason, dissections seem to be more traumatising for guys!

Hey, thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

Hmm... how abt sharing a fear of getting all 'charged up' in winters and trying hard not to touch any metal surface. Its probably nothing compared to injekshun pain, but anyways, is irritating enuff!

Do I see some hands going up?


PS: Get away from Blogger .. its been acting crazy for the past week or so

Jackal said...

hmmm nice one...finnaly met some one brave...i know how lot of ppl react even to those injections.....i fear nothing nothing..however lot of ppl either dont believe tht or think i am crazy.....

Abhi said...

I have slept an hour over the last 48 hours.I slept at 7 this morning only to wake up at 8 by a call from mom who asked "slept soundly , bete ?" and then I wrote two exams today and have another exam in 6 hours and was planning to catch a couple of hours of sleep when I read your post.And now i cant sleep imagining of all those needles.I faint at the sight of blood.I felt dizzy reading of your "donate-a-drop" campaign fr the guys in ur lab.You are so brave sayesha.You continue to amaze me.

Abhi said...

Saayesha !!! Aage se disclaimer daalne ka -post and comments not for the 'kamzor dil' organisms.Right after pasting my comment , I read all the comments above it.Scars.Tissues.Needles.Infection.Mommy !!! I feel like I cant sleep for the next one week now !

Sayesha said...

Ooh, my boss mentioned it a few days ago. He's quite terrified of it!

You fear nothing?? Are you sure?? Maybe you have not yet seen what you fear! ;)

Oooops! :P
Hope you're okay now! C'mon now, be a man!

Anonymous said...

I hope so too Sash. I was thinking about it....gosh, that must really be very painful. Not the usual type of one injection, but so many in the same area? Oh God. Hope you get done with it once and for all.

Sayesha said...

Yeah, it's freakin' painful man! :O

Next year... woohoo!! :D

Unknown said...

WOW Sash..

Glad you could overcome your fear.. you really are a brave brave girl..
I feel I've learnt a lot from you already :-)

Hopefully one day.. I'l overcome my fears too!

Take care,

PS: You're scared of lizards? I jump on the sight of cockroaches.. eeewww!!!

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