When the anaesthesiologist put the IV into my arm a few weeks ago, he said, "I bet you're feeling like a human pin cushion."
Little did he know that I had thought about that a whole lot.
You see, pins and needles are my profession. I'm a fiber artist, after all. Not a day goes by (well, not a good day) that I don't use pins and needles to attach fabric together, either temporarily or permanently. Although I know it's supposed to be just for fabric, I have twice used the sewing machine to puncture my own finger. Chalk that up to accident.
Someone also mentioned that I must be on pins and needles waiting for the results of this round of IVF. Well, yes, especially since I'm always on pins and needles. Again, usually that's by accident. Damn gravity.
So here's what I've been thinking about in terms of being a human pin cushion. Pins are used to keep something in place. They stay in for a while. Needles are used to go in and out of something. They are usually just a medium for a binding agent, namely, a thread.
In IVF, I've been mostly a needle cushion. Since this time last year I calculate that I have had approximately 180 needles put into me, either to put medicine in or to take blood out. No thread, fortunately.
I have also had my share of pins put in me. Sure, they were called acupuncture needles, but they didn't help transfer anything from place to place. Just by virtue of their presence in certain places in my body, they encouraged my own bodily processes to do certain things. The pins stuck in the ears, for example, energize the ovaries. Go figure. I reckon I had a total of 100 acupuncture pins put in me over a few months. Note that I don't do acupuncture any more. Although acupuncture is proven to improve one's chances of success at IVF, it's too much of a full-time job just to use the real needles.
And so when the anaesthesiologist called me a human pin cushion, I had a bunch to say to him. I dare say that when he was finished putting the numbing gell and then the IV needle in place and hooking me up to some saline solution, I was still talking.
About a half an hour later, I heard the guy wheel his little cart over to my sister in the next pre-op bay, separated only by a curtain. "I bet you feel like a human pin cushion by this point." "Yeah," she said simply.
Imagine what our lives would be like if I didn't talk as much. I know, you wouldn't be reading this blog!
(Note: pictures shown are James preparing a butt-shot injection, the "pin cushion" belly shot area in its heyday, and my forehead during acupuncture).