March 26, 2005


A Monument in Poor Taste (Khaled Al-Awadh, 26 March 2005, Arab News)

It seemed like a good idea to somebody. Marking the way to the health center with a giant sculpture of a hypodermic syringe certainly is thematic, but some parents and medical professional think the artists missed the point.

Blocking the negative thoughts of needles among children seems impossible at Al-Shmasiah Primary Health Care Center as a giant statue of a hypodermic needle greets every child and adult at the center’s entrance.

Al-Shmasiah is a town located 45 km east of Buraidah.

Municipal efforts to beautify the town by erecting this giant sculpture on the way to the dispensary contravene the simplest medical principles of reducing anxiety among children at the time of immunizations and health-related injections.

“Municipal workers misread the situation,” said one visitor of the center who was accompanying his 6-year-old son.

When I was a kid I passed a kidney stone--an experience I do not recommend--but was so young that the doctors figured it must ha e been something else so kept me in the hospital for a bit while they probed orifi a 5-year-old barely knows exist. Ever after I've had a stark terror of the medical profession (and a rather heightened homphobia). At any rate, a couple years later I'd come down with some kind of virulent strep throat for which the treatment was not just penicillin but penicillin delivered through three buttockular injections spaced over several days. For the first the Mother Judd and the doctor were able to hold me down, but for the second they needed reinforcements from the nursing staff. On the way to get the third--a trip for which I was bound, but unfortunately not blind-folded--we were passed by the delivery car for a local pharmacy. It was a silver Volkswagen Beetle with a six-foot hypodermic needle mounted on the roof as an advertisement. With every health care professional in Bay Shore, Long Island holding me down, I actually bit all the way through a tongue depressor (back when they were thick as yardsticks) as they adminstered the third shot.

Whoever had the bright idea to bring back the giant needle should be horsewhipped.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 26, 2005 6:36 AM

So, you've lived in "stark terror of the medical profession", eh? OJ, you are richer than the best Sacher Torte.

Here's another experience: The medical profession very nearly killed me, then saved my young life, all in the space of less than 4 days. And the saving part was far, far the more painful of the two.

Posted by: at March 26, 2005 1:24 PM

"Ever after I've had a stark terror of the medical profession"

Have you disscused these issues with the Wife?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 26, 2005 1:36 PM

They're a bunch of drug-addled quacks, just ask her.

Posted by: oj at March 26, 2005 1:51 PM

As a child, I somehow managed to get strep throat about once a year, and the cure was the dreaded shots. I celebrated my 10th birthday on April 3, 1960, and the next day had the dreaded sore throat and fever that meant it was torture time again. The day after the first shot, I woke up with a rash all over. Mother took me to the doctor, and she sadly informed her that I would never be able to take penicillin again. Now, every April 3, I remember April 5.

Posted by: Dan at March 26, 2005 1:52 PM

Smashed a thumbnail when I was five or six and it eventually had to be pulled. Dear old half-blind Doctor DeLuca, may he rest in peace, ran the novocaine needle into my thumb at the base of the nail and then out the other side, squirted a good dollop on the floor, clamped the hemostats on and yanked, while I sat there with my mouth open and no sound coming out.

Posted by: joe shropshire at March 26, 2005 3:43 PM