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Stu Savory, Germany

You should see me, at 62, cowering and shaking in the dentist's waiting room :-(


Girl, I'm right there with you...hate those needles...and I remember the long lines for the polio shots...worse was the smallpox vaccination that left the big scab....and the kid in front of me ALWAYS passed out or threw up...oh the memories...


Joy, you reminded me of something I'd nearly forgotten. As a child, I hated shots too, and I remember asking the doctor to give me a shot somewhere other than my bum, thinking it wouldn't hurt as much. I was young enough that my arm was too small for a shot, so he gave it in my thigh. So painful. SO painful.


Hello Joy ~~ A good story very well told. We all have fear of needles from doctors and dentists. None of us enjoy having them, but I guess they are necessary. Or are they??
Thanks for your comments and I am
happy to say no problems today, all
working well today. Take care, Merle.


When I was around 7 or 8, I went through a phase where I kept getting kidney infections. Our next door neighbor was our family doctor's nurse. I loved Jean...but I used to feel sick to my stomach when I'd see her walk into the exam room with one arm tucked behind her back...because I knew it was hiding a huge needle. I used to look at my very skinny little arm and wonder how that needle wouldn't poke clear through and come out the other side. (shudders) Gives me the willies just remembering it. :)


Now THIS is a masterpiece, Joy. I loved it! I had my blood drawn (yet again) yesterday and thought about how much medical technology has improved. No more thick reusable needles and massive steel syringes. But it doesn't matter! I'm still as anxious as I was as a kid. Breathe, Lucy. Breathe.
Thanks for a super post!


I guess I was lucky growing up. I never saw a doctor other than"Dr Birdsong" who delivered me at home in the front bedroom and that does not count.

When I was 15 there was a mumps epidemic in our high school and just when I thought I had beaten the incubation limit I came down with a doozy of a mumps infection.
My mother was so worried she MADE the family doctor come to our house to examine me. He came out to see me and of course all he could recommend was rest and aspirin.

Alan G

Hi Joy...

Thought I would drop by and visit you for a spell.

Oddly enough, I really do have a story about getting shots that I can share. When I was a kid we had a family doctor and he had quite a unique way of administering shots to a child. Rumors were he was an old army doctor. would be watching him with eyes wide open getting prepared to all but kill you with that "huge" needle and then all of a sudden you would feel this tremendous pressure on one of your feet. You would look down and see that the doctor had stepped on one of your feet. You would immediately let him know that he was standing on your foot and then he would casually remove his foot and smile. See...while you were worrying about him stepping on your foot he had administered the shot and you hadn't even realized it. Now isn't that just the cleverist thing.

He was and always will be one of my most favorite doctors.


My mom would avoid letting her babies get shots if at all possible...We would often skip those shots that the nurse would come to do at school!

Luckily, we were healthy kids!! :)



I want to join your club. When I was six or so, I had Rheumatic Fever. Shots every four hours for weeks. Darn that was a horrible experience.

I hated the Doctor who treated my R.F. His name was Dr. Hozaphel, but under my breath, I called him "Dr. Oh-so-awful". I told my mother I was sure he was related to Hitler. Now that was about the meanest thing, a child of WWII could come up with.

Really enjoyed your post.

Oh Joy - thanks for sharing the memories. I too can remember lining up in the "lunch room" with our sleeves rolled up for those shots----- and yes, there always was someone who fainted and someone who threw up - I might have tried it but the teacher just revived them/cleaned them up and sent them to the front of the line --- thanks for the memories. Today? I am fine as long as I don't see the needle thingy first. :)


I am part of the club! I hate doctors, dentists and the likes! I will, one of these days blog about this. I loved the way you told your story and made it come alive!
Great post!


I think mine is the worst actually...

My grandfather was the family doctor and he gave shots for everything! This happened on a regular basis from when I was 3 until 15. The entire family would gather 'round to watch while I screamed bloody murder. If I ever got sick, I worried to death that my grandfather would be called. I begged my mother not to call him because I knew I might get a shot. This is also true for the routine injections that I got during these ages.

Once, I was at a friend’s house playing and my mother called on the phone. She asked me to come home because she had a surprise for me. When I got home, I heard someone say “Here he is.” I was very excited as I saw my mom and a few relatives in the kitchen all laughing. One of them said "Come here Timmy, we have something for you." I entered the kitchen only to find my grandfather boiling water, sterilizing a needle!!! I immediately panicked because I knew what that meant. My happiness turned to tears and I began to cry hysterically. “No please!!! I don’t want a shot! Please mommy!!!”

Several relatives grabbed me and walked me into the living room toward the couch. Laughingly, they said "Come on Timmy, it’s just a shot." They all laid me down on the couch and held me flat on my stomach. One of them started unbuttoning my pants as the others held my arms and legs. I was crying hysterically as I felt my pants and underwear being pulled down to my knees.

One of them yelled to my grandfather "Are you almost ready? We have him on the couch" He yelled back "Just keep him there. The needle’s just about done." I was crying like crazy as I laid there helplessly, begging them not to give me the shot. They all kind of laughed and said "It'll be okay Timmy. It'll be over real soon. You have to get this shot." I remember laying there crying hysterically for at least 10 minutes, knowing my grandfather would come in any moment.

Suddenly, my grandfather would walk in holding a tray and set it down on the end table. My mother, aunt, grandmother, and cousin were holding me down with my pants pulled all the way to my knees, as I continued to cry, Tears were flying everywhere. All I could feel where many hands holding every part of my body as I laid there with my butt exposed, terrified of what was about to happen.

From the corner of my eye I saw my grandfather walk into the living room holding a tray. He placed it down on the end table. I'll never forget the pungent smell of the alcohol. That smell alone made me cringe.

I knew I was very close to feeling that dreadful needle. As I continued to freak out, I felt a cold, wet swabbing of alcohol on my butt. I knew it was getting closer and I struggled even harder. But the harder I struggled, the harder they all held me. Everybody was laughing and cracking jokes as I laid there in panic.

From the corner of my eye, I saw my grandfather pick up the needle. All I could think about was how much it was going to hurt when he jabbed that long thick needle into me; the sting of the needle, followed by that cold burning pain as he pushed it deeply into my muscle. I knew the needle itself would hurt and then my muscle would be on fire as the medicine went in.

My grandfather was now out of view and I was shrieking and begging not to get the shot. I knew it was coming any moment. I had been through this before and they always did it the same way. My mother started rubbing my head and said "I'm sorry honey. I know it's gonna hurt but you must have it"

Together, my mother, aunt, grandmother, and cousin all started counting to three - very slowly. Now I was in total panic because I knew at three, I would feel the jab. So very slowly, they all joined together and started…… one……… .Two………. and at three, I felt the entire 2 inch needle go deep into my muscle and I will NEVER forget it. It burned like crazy and kept getting worse with each passing second.

As he slowly injected the medicine, I screamed and cried even harder, begging them to stop. They all just kept smiling and laughing as the medicine burned away. I heard someone say “I bet that hurts.” I felt every bit of the medicine burn as it went into me. My butt was on fire and I was helpless to move. On and on I could feel the ugly stinging of the medicine as it entered me. It was always a large dose back then and it took a long time to inject. My butt just kept burning and burning and I became hoarse from screaming. “You’re doing very well Timmy. Just a little bit more,” I would hear someone say. Suddenly, he would yank the needle out and I’d scream real hard, for even that hurt! The whole thing was horrible and it lasted a long time. I laid there crying for like 15 minutes afterwards as my mother comforted me.

I was hysterical and all they did was laugh and make fun of me! My butt continued to hurt even after the shot was finished. I’d walk away crying and limp to my room. I didn’t talk to anyone after that. I remember laying on my bed with my butt hurting real bad. I once looked at the injection site and it was a big red inflamed mark where the needle went in. Even that scared me to death!

Another bad part was waking up in the morning and still having a sore butt. Not only was it painful but embarrassing. I had to face all these people the next day and listen to them goof about it. What made it even worse was, a few days later, when I met my friend again, he said he heard I got a shot when I left his house. It seems that my brother told all of my friends what happened. It was embarrassing to know that they all knew what happened.

I got shots, one way or another, a few times each year. All of them were in my butt because that's what my grandfather insisted. He used a large glass syringe and a needle that had to be boiled in water. That is all they had back in the 60’s. It wasn’t a secret that those needles hurt. I may be wrong but, I think they were longer and thicker back them. And with everyone’s fear of death and disease, they figured the pain was worth it.

All the shots I got back then hurt like hell but no one seemed to care. It didn't really matter how much I screamed or resisted. I was getting it no matter what. It wasn't until I was in my late teens where I finally saw a different doctor. He wasn't so shot crazy and I didn’t get any in the butt. I spent much of my childhood in fear of shots. I never knew when I would come home and find a needle waiting. This may be wrong to do to a kid but this is the way it was. Many times I see it as child abuse. Trust me; you NEVER want your relative being your doctor. I never saw him as my grandfather. I saw him as someone to fear if he felt I needed a shot.

As an extra favor to the group, I am including a picture of me at 8. I was a cute kid but you can certainly see I was skinny and had a small butt. Way too small for the size of those needles!

If you had any similar experiences I would love to hear about it. Most of my childhood, was in terror over possibly getting a shot without warning. It has affected me to this day.

I'm curious to know if anyone else has had anything similar happen? Please email me at, if you'd like.

Jenna Schrock

I remember one experience of mine in the dentist's office when I was a teenager. I was really afraid of dentists then. I shouted at my dentist when I felt pain during a tooth extraction treatment. It was really painful. But now that I'm a mother of three, I trained my children to behave during dental visits. Also, we only trust our dentist in LA to provide us with dental services.

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