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Scared stiff


Ob1one
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I have an ingrown or hangnail toe nail and I'm trying to wait it out instead of getting it operated because I AM SCARED STIFF. I saw the operation and its gross but I could handle the grossness but the gross part doesn't scare me, the beginning of the operation scares me simply when you get a shot that goes halfway through your toe.

So what I want to know is how can I get over my fear of shots because shots scare me to death, no other pain scares me, I could get a punch in the face and I couldn't care, I could get cut heck I used to cut myself and it was very painful the way I did it but it didn't faze me, I could even come to think I could take a gun shot and it wouldn't be that bad but then comes the shot and I want to run to the hills.

How can a 16 year old Asperger get over a shot, looking away doesn't help or any of those guides on how to give a little kid a shot, how can I prepare mentally for a shot to where I could get to my happy place where all the pain in the world wouldn't hurt me and my testosterone filled parts would return to me.(Saying that it the most humorous and non offensive way possible).:)

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I am not sure of your particular circumstances, but toe nails are a bit tricky because you are not supposed to cut them as far as possible. If you do cut them as far as possible, it is highly likely that the sharp edges will push into your skin and irritate you. Even worse, if you are prone to stubbing your toes, the sharp edges can cut into your skin in difficult to access locations. When people need to treat these cuts that are covered by the corners of their toe nails, some cut their nail at an angle to expose the cut, and apply iodine or some sort of antiseptic.

Of course, you may indeed have ingrown toe nails that are problematic and require surgery. But, if your toe issues usually arise after you cut your nails, as an alternative you can consider letting your big toe's nail grow longer than the others. This allows the toe nail's corner to grow past the skin rather than push into the skin.

As for getting over a shot, I am in the same boat concerning the fear. But, after experiencing a number of shots over time the fear is no longer much of a concern. The techs you may meet are sometimes so nervous their hands shake while the needle is still in you. It's best to keep an air of calm...for others as well as yourself! I am not sure if this helps you in the short term with your fear of needles though.

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Is it the actual pain you are afraid of or the sight of the needle? If it is the pain, you can ask for numbing meds first. My DS, who is 9, has had multiple surgeries, blood draws, dye tests, etc. so lots of IVs and injections and he screams bloody murder every time we find out he needs another needle stick! Then, one of his docs gave us a Rx for EMLA (http://www.astrazeneca.com/medicines/?itemId=3888018) which completely numbs the area. You apply it about 30 minutes before the injection and my DS tells me he doesn't feel a thing. Now, anytime he needs an injection or IV, we always make sure to ask for the EMLA as it truly saves a lot of heartache!

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I think I'm truly afraid of the sight of the needle because normally I have a really good pain tolerance, like I said though looking away doesn't help me because I still know the needle is coming. I have a pretty annoying imagination so I can see the whole thing running rampant in my mind.

________

Gts1000

Edited by Ob1one
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It sounds like you need some help with visualization and/or distraction techniques. I am not good at those kind of htings but remembering learning a couple of techniques- guided imagery and gradual relaxation- while inpatient once. Neither works great for me but the guided imagery works great for my DS, who has some anxiety issues due to the medical intervention he's had. Does someone go with you when a needle is anticipated? If so, could they help? What I do for DS is hold his hand and talk gently in his ear while his eyes are closed. I ask him to tell me where he would be right now if he could choose any place in the world. He usually says Disney World or the beach, etc. I start describe aspects of the place he has chosen and ask him to visualize himself there and to pay close attention to the details, including sights, scents, sounds. I continue describing the scene adding more and more details and pointing out little things for him to pay attention to. Saying things like "oh, look! Someone left a sand castle on the beach, let's go look at it. Do you see how tall it is? Look at the moat they built around it." I don't know if I'm explaining it very well but you get the picture. There are books and audio CDs that you can get. If you are going alone, perhaps using a CD player and headphones might help? I don't remember- are you in therapy? If so, I'd definitely ask him/her about some distraction or calming techniques.

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Once you explain the situation someone may want to keep you company through the operation. You can let your friend know that the procedure isn't as bad as it seems in real time!

Also, just try to soak up the atmosphere when the operation does happen. If you try too hard to be calm when you are not, you may end up even more anxious. As Proverbs suggested, try to keep your mind focused on other matters for now. I am sure watching videos of the procedure does not count.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Ob1one,

You have been given excellent advice about how to dull the fear. I want to add one more thing: I had a similar situation many years ago with my toe and I was also scared stiff. And, you know what? My fears were completely unfounded. It was a big nothing. I know you said you have seen this done. That's the problem. You are assuming your situation is the same as the one you saw and that is not a fair assumption...not fair to yoursel.

Why don't you call the doctor and ask what is involved and tell him/her of your fears? By the way, and doctor who is not sympathetic and supportive I would not go to.

Allan

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I agree with Allan. The doctor should be able to provide you with an outline of the procedure in advance. Preferably they would volunteer to give you the outline without being prompted. Also, you should feel free to defer the procedure to another doctor if the one you have now does not seem to be very empathetic or trustworthy.

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