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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Rabies and Me

In cruising the internet I came across this news article.

This brought back a very unpleasant memory for me. A really hairy dust bunny. Back in the "olden days" the treatment for rabies was a series of very painful shots in the abdomen every day for 23 days. Today it is 6 shots in the arm over the period of a month.

When I was three years old we lived in Houston, where my brother was born, and I was bitten in the face by a dog. The dog hadn't had its inoculations so the doctor said I should have the rabies series of shots. I don't remember the incident myself as I was so young, but for years I would literally scream hysterically, vomit or pass out at the sight of anyone in a white coat until I was 6 years old. I was deathly afraid of needles and refused to have novocaine at the dentists office until I was 12. You should have seen the hissy fit I threw when they tried to inoculate me for Smallpox and Polio. I remember my relief when they went to the sugar cube treatment for Polio.

Even today I break out into a cold sweat when confronted with needles in the form of blood tests or at the dentist.

My parents said it was a horrendous experience for them too. They tried to change the route to the Hospital so that I wouldn't suspect where we were going but I guess I figured it out after a few trips. They had to drag my three year old self, screaming and crying, from under the bed or back of the closet. The guilt they felt was terrible, but the consequence....death.... was worse.

After half of the treatments, about 14 days of torture, the dog turned out to not be rabid.

Thank God for the advancements in medical science. You young wippersnappers have it too good. Want to hear about my two way trek uphill in the snow to school? Just kidding.

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