The changing paradigm of the poke

Done??! I asked, quite bewildered as I had felt nothing.

Yes, it is, and congratulations, Ma’m, for completing this milestone, she said.

I thanked her and breathed a sigh of relief.

A milestone indeed!

I shook my head in disbelief at what a change it has been on how we have moved from utmost horrifying terror to that of reverence.

The world was waiting impatiently for this to happen. This has been the headline for many months now. Sometimes depicted in graphs and charts as to how many have reached their milestones. Then there are pictures of long serpentine queues waiting to reach theirs. And then there are news about how states and counties are fighting for their shares. Everyone, just everyone, or almost everyone, wants to cross their milestone.

Yes, the fear has been transformed. The fear has been replaced by a want. A want to live and survive!

Such a respect for the needle now which for generations had inflicted fear.

I remember as a kid, how the power of the needle was wielded upon us by the elders. It seemed to be applicable to any situation!

Eat your greens, bitter ones, sour ones, any kinds, or else the doctor will give you an injection.

Finish your milk or you will have to be given an injection.

Don’t eat chocolates, you will get caries, and the doctor will have to poke the needle into your gums.

Don’t run amok in the house, amongst the furniture. You will fall and bruise yourself, you will need an injection.

Fever, injection!

Tummy upset, injection!

Don’t want to go to school today, injection it is!

I believe many a generation of kids decided to feel better and go to school than risk the chance of getting an injection.

Visits to the doctors were filled with utmost anxiety. Clinging on to the arms of the chair, tightly, I used to stare in horror, as the doctor would poise his pen, after hearing a version from me and my guardian, as to which body part it is today that is bothering me.

I always felt these doctors enjoyed the suspense of “whether or not”.  I even felt sometimes that I would see a twinkle in their eyes, as they would look at me, and create a mental upheaval, which I felt was totally unhealthy and counterproductive to the purpose of visiting them.

Sometimes, I would get away with just medicines. Oh, the tastes of which are a story for another day.

But the days when those dreaded words were penned …. !!! oh horror! horror!

The walls of the clinic would echo and shake with the howls which emanated from me. And as if in cue, the other babies and kids would join in too!

Dragging me from the doctor’s room to the other room was a task which Hercules would have liked but was left to my guardians, who didn’t. I would cling to the curtains, doors, furniture, anything I could lay my hands on and bawl my head off. I don’t know why even then the doctor would still not change his mind. If I had the strength to yell so much, certainly I didn’t need the needle.

In the other room, stood another man, this time definitely with a glee on his face. The sinister laugh at my plight, the sound of snap as he would put on his gloves, and all the while nodding his head, was beyond tolerance for me.

But I would now be under the strong grips of elders, not one, but several, and had no chance of escaping.

I would whimper on the coldness of the anti-septic rub and give in to the fate to be jabbed by the inevitable needle.

Well, that was not all. The jab also meant an honour roll for me. Reaching home, I would proudly display to my siblings and friends, the now invisible mark on my hand, and let them know that I took it without even an ouch!

Well, this time too, my milestone was an honour roll and I did show the tiny red spot on my arm on reaching home.

I had indeed crossed a milestone, not only to be jabbed once, but twice; nor was I held tightly to get the jabs, I willingly queued up for them.

A milestone it is … a paradigm shift it is indeed!

#I got vaccinated. Did you?

3 thoughts on “The changing paradigm of the poke

  1. Done! That’s the expression that I liked the most. Yes, nowadays it is done even before you realise what’s going to happen next. But it wasn’t always so. I tell you for most part of my life not only the pain of the prick real it was real and it would last several days. I don’t know what has changed the technique or technology but the horror of the pain is past.


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