A pointy nightmare

The wait was long as usual. I sat in a freezing room filled with children of all ages and sizes, sneezing and coughing everywhere. The walls were painted a disgusting green. It was my least favorite place.

My mom sat next to me, leaning over and pleading that I “get over it.” She explained to me that I was older now, and this fear I had was unjustified.

My eyes were glued to the clock – I watched each tick and tock. I dreaded hearing my first and last name yelled out by a nurse that was unsure of how to even find a vein.

I’m not quite sure what did it. Maybe it was how the cold metal felt against my lukewarm skin, or the way its point marked its way into my bloodstream. Perhaps it was just the way the syllables combined together to create the word.


It started when I was merely an 8 year old following the requirements that allowed me to participate in a school field trip.

I vividly remember every detail. The first time I felt the change in my heart beat. The first time I felt my hands turn into maracas. The first time I felt the pressure in my back accumulate.

The whole process happened unexpectedly one day during school. A tall man walked over with the longest needle I had ever seen. He tightened a band around my arm and I watched carefully as the band hugged my soft skin and made that light blue vein pop out.

We made eye contact and he noticed the shortness in my breath. Ignoring it, he went on to the next step. The needle made its way through my skin, drawing the blood that was required. My body tensed up, and I looked over and saw the yellow lamp quickly turn into three yellow lamps.

Before I knew it, I was unconscious and unaware of the events going on around me.

I rose up feeling dizzy, but strong enough to sit up on the bed. There were unrecognizable eyes staring back at me all over the room. With clenched fists I pleaded for my mom.

Since my first experience with needles, the mere mention of them makes my stomach turn. When I hear someone say the word, I start feeling like my whole state of mind is out of my hands and in ones that cause me psychological distress.

I snapped back to reality and looked over at the clock. I should’ve been attended to 45 minutes ago. The yellow door to the right opened and the nurse yelled, “Cedeno, Fabiola?”

The hairs on my arms heightened and my mom motioned me to get up and followed. I shut my eyes while we walked down the aisle and wished to be anywhere but there. Opening them, I saw one needle and three tubes sitting on the table.

It was starting all over again.

Irrational fears are a funny thing. We become weak at the thought of just having to face them. Living a life in fear of something that can’t harm you is not living a life at all. Having the courage to face them can be hard, but at the end of the day it’s worth it.