Sunday, 27 November 2011


Trypanophobia is the extreme fear of medical procedures involving injections or hypodermic needles. Jackie Chan, the martial art action movie star who performs all his own stunts, cannot be insured due to the almost certain guarantee of injury during filming as he is terrified of needles. Earlier this year I had asked my Year 8 students to develop some linocuts based on a self-portrait that showed them reacting to their worst fear. About 5 out of 100 students showed themselves frightened by needles. My father and brother were both terrified of them and did not handle injections well, but I seem to cope OK. As a child I went through a regime of fortnightly injections for several months to help build up my immune system and counteract allergic reactions. This happened when I was about seven, and then again when I was sixteen, with varying degrees of success.

So why bring up needles? Today I had my first Tetanus booster in about 12 years. Although needles don't worry me, Booster shots are notorious for reactions and are usually quite painful so I wasn't looking forward to getting one this evening. Working in the garden around my house, I managed to cut my left thumb quite badly, resulting to a trip to the Emergency Ward at the local hospital for stitches and booster shots. The booster it turned out was quite painless and I needn't have worried. So tonight - two extra holes in my left arm that weren't there an hour or two ago, a throbbing wound, awkwardness handling things and a reminder that I need to concentrate a little more when I'm working on the mundane.

Burn brightly, Pete

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