I sat on the table waiting for the doctor. Minutes ticked by while I surveyed the room. Doctor instruments lay on a smaller table. I stared at them looking for the needle. I hate those long pointy things that prick skin even if the liquid injected is the antidote for my pain. Why does it require pain to relieve pain?
The hands on the clock moved slower than a traffic jam giving me time to ponder and panic. Fear gripped me as my heart began to race. All this for a stupid shot? Still, I thought perhaps I could escape, slip out of the room before anyone arrived.
I birthed three babies in sheer agony yet fear held me firm over a needle. Irrational yet real. Maybe I could handle this myself, sneak out quietly. Oh yeah, I had already tried home remedies for over a month in treating this toe infection that began with an ingrown toenail. My embarrassment over this unsightly issue kept me from seeking professional help until it became so painful, I couldn’t walk without a limp. At my first visit, the doctor suggested a shot to numb the area so she could extract some of the gunk and goo (sorry for the graphic imagery) along with a round of antibiotics. I hemmed and hawed.
“Will the shot hurt?” I asked. (Stupid question, I realize.)
“Just for a few seconds,” she lied. I’m sure she was lying because that’s what all doctors say when asked such idiotic questions about shots. She just wanted to make me feel better, kind of like the same things I say to my children.
“Uh, I’m afraid of shots,” I confessed. “I’d actually rather have a baby.”
I know that sounds insane, but I’ve also told my dentist the same thing when he’s filled a cavity. I was never afraid to birth three children, but a shot? Different story entirely.
Sensing my extreme apprehension, she reassured me that I could just take the antibiotics which would probably do the trick. Awesome, I thought. I’ll get the pills and have a new toe in a week. Lest you smirk like some of my friends and family who couldn’t believe I wouldn’t experience some pain to heal more quickly, let me remind you that fear encapsulated my being. Albeit silly to many, it was the mountain that loomed in front of me.
Yet, a week later, I sat in the doctor’s procedure room, thoughts racing, imagination whirling, fear engulfing. I sighed, prayed, sighed some more. The longer I waited, the more I fret and fidgeted. An eternity later, she entered with the intern. Too late. I’m stuck—literally.
The doctor instructed the poor, unsuspecting intern to hold my hand while she inserted a very sharp needle with pain medicine into my toe several times. I grimaced and tensed, apologizing for squeezing his hand numb like my toe. I’m not going to lie. It hurt like H-E-Double-Toothpicks, and yes, it was longer than 2 seconds. Ten minutes later, however, she had clipped and snipped, bandaged my toe, and I was set free.
By that evening, my toe felt brand new. I walked normally with no pain.
Why didn’t I do this a long time ago?
Don’t we all ask that a time or two or three?
Too often, we live with fear whether rational or irrational and never push through to the other side. Sometimes it takes a procedure and pain to knock down that mountain, but there’s freedom and new life on the other side.
Sometimes it’s fear of a silly shot that keeps us from healing. What fear keeps you stuck? No matter what it is, real or imagined, what could you be missing out on by not facing and conquering those fears? A better marriage, a new friend, a job opportunity, a physical healing, a restored relationship?
My fear of a sharp object had so overpowered me, it prevented me from receiving healing. It finally took desperation and desire for wholeness to oppress the deep dread controlling my mind. I finally had no other choice but to let go. While I’m still not a shot-lover, I realize that to receive freedom, I may need to endure some pain.
The looming question is: are you desperate enough to let go? What amazing opportunities, healing, freedom are waiting on the other side of your fear?
Take the next step in your journey!
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