When the highlight of your week is getting shots.

Due to bad allergy problems, I get three shots every week or two that help minimize my symptoms. I’ve done this for a long time. Currently, given my circumstances, I look forward to going. The highlight of my week is seeing one of the nurses, who gives me her attention for about three minutes. When they give you a shot, they typically have to hold your arm. That tiny amount of physical contact, even though it’s accompanied by a sharp object being forced into my body, makes me feel connected to another person.

There is one nurse who was there for several years. She would often carry on a conversation with me a little longer if nobody else was waiting. She retired a couple of years ago. However, earlier this year, as I was in the waiting room, I heard a voice call my name. I’d not heard it for a while, but I almost started to cry because I knew it was her. She was back! I think I was crying by the time I saw her, and she gave me a hug. I don’t remember exactly what was going on, but it’s been such a horrible year, and I told her that she had no idea how much it meant to see her.

Even though I’ve finally gotten my wife to give me proper hugs, spend time just being with me, and listening to me discuss my feelings, I still like getting my shots. It’s been part of my routine for a long time, and it has been the only time I’ve been guaranteed to feel connected to another person for many years. I don’t want a lot of physical contact, but I need a little, and I need the right kind in the right situation. More than that, I need to feel like someone cares about me, and if I have to face a sharp object or a difficult day, that person will be more than making up for it with their kindness and understanding.

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