Ouch! That hurts. But not as much as it used to . . .

It’s said that time heals or that painful memories grow less painful. 46 years ago, doctors were scratching their heads for five weeks as I was jabbed, x-rayed and subjected to all manner of medical tests, because they couldn’t find out what was wrong with me. (Some of those close to me say they still don’t know!)

It turned out that as a 12-year-old I was suffering from Crohn’s disease, but this was uncommon in children at the time and it was only when my paeditrician passed my files to the then UK’s leading expert on bowel disorders that he immediately identified the cause.

Fast forward 46 years and my vitamin B12 injection was due today. After a successful operation when I was 13, I have been relatively well, except I no longer absorb B12 from my food and need regular injections. All these years later, I still don’t like needles and don’t even look at them.

During my original stay in hospital, there was a very gentle South African doctor on the ward, who was very good at treating children. I was a good patient because I understood that they were trying to help me and stayed calm, but this didn’t stop the discomfort. The memory of this doctor has come back to me today, because of my injection, but I can’t remember his name. What he did suggest was gritting my teeth when having an injection or having blood drawn, because this focused my attention away from the needle and any pain. I have done this for years and it seemed to work.

I think I do this unconsciously now, although I’m not sure if the pain of injections is as great or whether I am getting used to them at last.

It’s strange how something brings back memories as though they took place yesterday and how our perspective changes. Do we change or do our memories? Is time playing with us?

7 thoughts on “Ouch! That hurts. But not as much as it used to . . .”

  1. What a gentle, caring post, you’ve written. I can feel all the compassion for that young, brave little Robert. Where the memories are concerned… I don’t know. We as humans certainly change. The memories may or may not, the context in which we view them does, I believe.

  2. I am so sorry as a child you had to deal with that and having to deal with Needles. Although there are times I wonder if something like this is wrong with my son as he has problems with his Stomach and the doctor can’t figure out what.

  3. It felt like I was there with you. What an aweful and painful way to experience childhood. Strange how memories stick with us. There must be a reason for that… so that we can affirm how much we’ve lived and how far we’ve gone; but also, to realize that we can change our past. I’m glad that your first doctor left you a with valuable tip on how to deal with your injections and that you’ve come along really well!

    • Thanks, Maria. It’s funny that although this change the course of my life, I wouldn’t choose to change it as I’ve also had many marvellous experiences.


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