Hit Me With Your Best Shot

My left deltoid is killing me. I can hardly lift my arm up. I got a flu shot last night. Needles don’t bother me. I took the PPD like a pro. The little tuberculin syringe into the right forearm. I hardly felt it. Then the nurse pulled out the flu shot needle. I wasn’t even thinking about it at the time, but I guess it was a 3 cc syringe with maybe a 21 needle(actually it was a smaller 25 needle). I’ve had the shot lots of times and it never bothered me, but this time it was uncomfortable. It didn’t take long for my arm to start aching. Last night I couldn’t sleep on my left side.

Sometimes I think we should have to personally undergo every procedure we do on a patient on ourselves. Some services make their employees ride on the stretcher, looking up at the ceiling to see just how unpleasant the ride can be not to mention how dirty the ceiling might be. But I’m talking about much more than that. Within reason of course.

In our medic class we did IVs on each other. But never gave each other IM or SC injections. We spinally immobilized each other and put on traction splints in EMT school, but we never shoved nasal airways up each other’s nostrils.

I’ve heard of pranksters putting nitro paste on door handles to make their coworkers dizzy, but I’ve never pulled that prank or fallen victim to it. I’ve taken baby aspirin. I’ve had benadryl in pill form, and of course, lots of glucose in a variety of oral forms. I’ve produced natural epinephrine, but never had a shot of it. I had versed IV when I had a cyst removed from my scalp. I had fentanyl for pain then, which we don’t carry, not morphine which we do. I have had an albuterol breathing treatment. But not atrovent. I’ve had phenergan and reglan, but I’ve never popped a nitro, never had cardizem or amiodarone or procainimide. And, no I’ve never had pitocin, which we no longer carry. I’ll admit I have had curiosity about what it would feel like to hook myself up to a monitor and inject myself with adenosine — to watch as my heart stops, and then hopefully restarts in not too long a time. But I am not without common sense.

I’ve never had valium or ativan or haldol. No atropine, dopamine, or vasopressin. No solumedrol. No Sodium Bicarb(although I have had a lot of diet soda). Never put tetracaine in my eyes. I have had lidociane as a local anesthetic, but never for V-tack.

I’ve know what it feels like to have electrodes ripped off hairy skin. Painful. But I’ve never been paced, cardioverted or defibrillated. I might have been intubated when I had a bone spur taken off my knee when I was ten, but I’m not certain. Nothing since then. I’ve gotten a few IVs. Once in college I had food poisoning and had been vomiting every hour for six hours. They gave me a bag of IV fluid and it was very cold and unpleasant to feel that slow drip drip of ice cold fluid into my arm. Subsequently I have had IVs of saline when I had the flu and felt much better afterwards. Its a miracle what a 1000 cc bag will do for you. I’ve never had an EJ in my neck or an IO drilled in my bone.

Like everyone I’ve had blood drawn and had to sit there while the tech roots around to hit the vein, even though I have ropes. I’ve wanted to say, give me that needle — just let me do it.

Tonight when I go to have my PPD read (no swelling yet) by the nurse who stuck the flu shot needle in my shoulder, I probably won’t say anything to her about how much it hurt.

I do think there is some merit in knowing what you will be dishing out feels like on the other end.

To anyone I have hurt with my shots, sorry.


  • Anonymous says:

    We did TB test injections, IMs, SQs, and IVs in class. I had some horrible classmates with the IVs. Digging so deep I could feel the flesh tear in my arm as they flopped around like a fisherman trying to rip a barbed hook from a gill. In surgery, I cut a patients lip during our surgery rotation. I tried to stick an LMA in, and failed. I did a 12 lead on myself and felt the weight of the wires hang and the patches rip hair off. I started an IV on myself, kind of. It hurt too much so I gave up when I got flash.I put a big piece of transpore on my arm and ripped it off to see if pulling it off fast or slow hurt less. Somethings, like a conscious synchronized cardioversion, I hope never happen to me. Or an NPA. But I do like that neosynephrine. Man that does a nice job at clearing the nose. I was tempted to see how bad of a headache I get with a SL nitro. But I didn’t. I drank a bag of D5W once. Tasted horrible. Like plastic. I can’t imagine that’s good for the body. All that plastic flavoring.The thing I see that I think would be the worst would be a needle decomp or a chest tube. Maybe it feels good to burp the chest like that. But I really doubt it.

  • Anonymous says:

    the swelling post my PPD gave me one of my latest experences in being the patient…

  • Anonymous says:

    We did IV’s on each other in class. It didn’t go well for me.http://tinypic.com/2efrwir.jpg

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