The f Unny page:
Way back in 1980 something …
by Mary Kathleen Hall
The phone rings and I am surprised to hear my neurologist’s voice. She has called to explain
that there is a new drug for MS currently undergoing trials and would I be interested in trying it?
I told her sure, why not?
My husband was thrilled. But I had learned not
to get my hopes up too high. Then one morning
I received the materials about the new drug. I sat
down and began to read.
We weren’t talking pills here. It was all needles,
injections, diluents, saline solution, needles, injection sites and more needles. The nurse from my
MS clinic called to arrange a training appointment. The drive that day seemed endless. You may
have guessed at this point that I am one of those
people who are downright phobic about shoving a
piece of long skinny metal deep into a part of my
body for my own good.
My husband and I entered what
I called the “Injection Training
Cave.” The strong smell of alcohol
brought me right back to when I
had to line up in school for polio
shots. Nurse Ratchet walked in
with her hand extended. She obviously sensed my apprehension and
tried to reassure me. I let her think
it worked. The three of us watched
a video on how to administer the
injection. It was short and to the
point (no pun intended). But I
closed my eyes during the part
when the woman slammed the
needle into her thigh.
Then it came time for us to
practice. My husband drew the
saline solution from the vial and
injected it into my thigh. The nurse applauded his
technique, while I applauded myself for not burst-
ing into tears.
The Big Day
Two weeks later, the drug arrived. Our kitchen
table looked like an operating room: clean towels,
syringes, alcohol wipes and an open instruction
book with pictures to follow. My staring as my
husband mixed the drug made him nervous, so
I read the soda can in front of me instead. He
finally asked, “Are you ready?” I replied, “No, I
don’t want to die.” After a little prodding, he disinfected my thigh with the wipes.
With needle in hand, my husband suddenly
took on the appearance of a warrior with a spear.
He started to count, “One, two…” I closed my
eyes. “Three!” I was injected! The next thing I
remember is him asking if I was all right. I also