I have always followed in my older sister’s footsteps. We aren’t really anything alike in personality (she’s organised, I’m a cluttered mess; she’s an exercise person, I’m a sleep-in type; she’s kind-hearted, I’m the crotchety neighbor who hates children), but nevertheless, we do a lot of things similarly. This is mostly because I copy her. I’m a copycat.
She was two grades ahead of me in school, and she joined orchestra in the 4th grade, which I did two years later. She got glasses when she was 8 or nine, and it wasn’t long before I got a pair of my own (I may or may not have lied on the eye exam just to score a pair–I’m not confessing anything. You’ll never make me talk.). She ran for student council in seventh grade (Grade 7, Canadians!), remaining in office for the next five years of her life, and I followed suit. She tried out for the volleyball team as a Freshman, and…you get the idea.
At this rate, I am due to have my first kid in about 18 months. Which means I would have to get pregnant next February. Horrors.
Anyway, being the copycat lame-o that I am, I also adopted her queasiness around blood and needles. And the strange thing? It was absolutely, 100% a conscious decision. Honestly. I remember the exact day I decided to loathe the idea of blood–it was when my sister passed out at our high school’s blood drive. I thought it was so cool–I have no idea why. At any rate, a few weeks later I had to get Tuberculosis test for some extracurricular activity, and I got myself all worked up about it for days in advance. Sure enough, when I arrived at the clinic and watched the needle seep under my skin (and the consequential puff of protein that bubbled all the way up my arm, which nobody warned me would happen during a TB shot), I heard a ringing in my ears.
The nurse suddenly sounded light-years away, and before I knew it, I was having the most fantastical dream that I was in a fun-house at a carnival and there were crazy flashing lights all around me.
And I’ve had that same strange dream every time I’ve passed out since that day–which has been every time I’ve had to get blood work done, or immunizations completed, or plasma donated. (Okay, I didn’t pass out for the plasma, but only because the blood bank was paying me $200 for my plasma, and they told me if I passed out, they wouldn’t let me finish. [I told you: it’s totally mental.])
And evidently this mental illness of mine is only getting worse–evidently I now faint at even the thought of the sight of blood. I don’t even have to see it to drop unconscious.
Which is why I am so stressed out about the blood work I’m getting tomorrow (Tuesday) for my immunization papers. Oops! Not “immunization papers.” Does such paperwork even exist? I meant “my immigration papers.”
That’s how stressed I am.
*Photo from ethnomed.org.*