I have been afraid of needles since I was a little girl with brown, Shirley Temple curls and training wheels on my bike. Somethings never change. While as an adult I understand the need for shots, immunizations, blood tests, and infusions; executing any of them makes me break out in a sweat, hold my breath and brings out the child in me.
Such was the case when I was receiving daily antibiotic infusions for an infection. Although I don’t usually have veins which are difficult to tap into, the IV nurse had trouble drawing blood cultures and putting in a new line every 3-4 days. Over the three weeks of infusions my anxiety level increased as did my blood pressure. I kept telling myself I was fine – really.
Yup, I was FINE – Freaked out, insecure, neurotic and emotional.
I was out of control with constant worry. I was so busy in my own head flipping out that I could not think of anything else. How long would this line last? How long was it safe to keep it in my arm as long as it was working? What if today was the day they couldn’t tap into my veins? Where would they tap into next? I was on roll into a deep abys!
Why after the myriad of medical issues and the plethora of pain was this fear controlling so much of my heart and soul?
It was then that I remembered that I was trying to handle this all on my own, rather than relying on some tried and true practical solutions for my anxiety.
- Pray more. Equip myself with the word of the Lord. Habakkuk 3:19 (AMP) became my steadfast verse before and during my antibiotic infusions – “He is my strength, my personal bravery, my invincible army”
- Anticipate less. Change what you can and accept what you cannot. Luke 12:25 – “And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit unto the measure of his life?”
- Visualize Positive Outcomes – Big or Small. I needed to visualize the antibiotic decimating the infection. I needed to remember that this too shall pass and that in the grand scheme of things it was a short time in my life.
- Exhale (breath). Instead of holding my breath, I needed to concentrate on breathing techniques to help relax my muscles (and my veins). In addition, utilize music therapy, reading, even Facebook as distractions to what is happening.
- S 1 Peter 5:7 – “Caste all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” Have courage and believe that God is able to do what no man can. Ephesians 3:20.
Pray, Anticipate less, Visualize Positive Outcomes, Exhale & Breath, Surrender – P. A. V. E. S. – Paves the way to worry-less living.
It was a Sunday after church that I equipped myself with the above. And you know what happened? Nothing and everything. The infusion went without a hiccup, my blood pressure remained within normal limits, and I was out of there in 45 minutes flat. As I left the infusion center and waited for the elevator I realized that God had been with me all along and I busted out in tears of relief and gratitude.
With God by my side I am F.I.N.E. – Faithfilled, involved, knowledgeable, and experienced.
May you be as well.