I'm Not A Doctor, But I Play One In This House
So last night I have my hand in Bucky's ear canal up to my wrist -- yes, I know, there are far worse canals my hand could be up -- as I'm flushing, swabbing and administering drops to a dog that at least THIS time is wagging his tail at me. When we first started this, I got growling and teethbaring. Not the Look of Love he now bestows upon me.
And today, as I do once every two weeks, I found myself preparing Jim's injection. This is the part of my quasi-physicianship around here that I'm kind of proud of.
Any child who was sent to the tropics at age five, as I was in the mid-'50s, who was forced to have what must have been twenty injections from some amateur corpsman in some military hospital, is bound to come out of it with traumatic association with hypodermics. I mean, those HURT.
I'm over it by now, but I didn't embrace the idea of inflicting the same kind of pain on someone very close to me.
Six months ago, though, there I was in a doctor's office with a nurse giving me lessons in giving shots. I knew I had to do it but I really didn't want to. And I couldn't admit how much I didn't want to, because that would have been letting the side down.
So here we are. I pick up the hypodermic barrel. I take the 18-gauge needle and tightly twist it onto the barrel.
I then take the medication vial out of the box and use an alcohol swab to swipe the permeable rubber seal on top.
I draw back the cartridge to the one cc measure and plunge the needle through the seal. Push the cartridge down to expel the air into the medication and then slowly draw the viscous fluid into the hypodermic barrel. Slowly, slowly. Being careful not to draw air into the cartridge. Because horrible things can happen if you're sloppy with air and injections.
Fill the barrel. Pull the needle out of the vial.
Top the needle with its cap, twist off the needle and replace it with the thinner 22-gauge needle. Tap loose any remaining air bubbles. Remove the cap. Push the cartridge a tiny bit to make sure fluid is at the needle end.
Now the horrifying part:
A vulnerable portion of a person you care a great deal for is exposed to you. Briskly rub a two inch section of flesh with an alcohol swab for about thirty seconds. Pinch a section of the vulnerable portion so that you have a little mound of flesh.
Quickly push the needle one inch deep into that human being who makes you coffee every morning. Pull the barrel out, drawing air into the needle to make sure there's no blood; you haven't hit a blood vessel, thank God.
Now you're almost home. Slowly, carefully push the barrel down, pushing the medication through the needle into the muscle. Almost there, almost there.
Quickly pull the needle out, brightly announce, "You're done!" and start briskly rubbing the injection site with another alcohol swab to disperse the medication into the muscle.
Honestly, I thought I'd throw up the first time I did it. But I'm good at it now. He says he doesn't feel it at all.
He's a liar but I appreciate the vote of confidence.
Today's fragrance: Sage Machado Amber, elegant wood; sweet resin set in stone.