The Human Touch

It is quite phenomenal how a human touch makes all the difference. Connection. 

Yesterday, I had a procedural test done on my hip joint and my shoulder joint, sticking a long needle in to the center of both joints three times per joint, for a total of 6  long needle injections of contrast for some MRIs I had taken. I know I have a lot of tattoos, but I am so scared of needles. Especially ones that goes as deep as that. 

Before leaving my house, I took a muscle relaxer to calm my nerves. Arriving via an Uber, I get changed in to scrubs. The nurse comes in to the changing room and explains the whole procedure, tapping in to those nerves. I sign something and he leaves. The doctor comes in to explain to you the whole procedure again, once again tapping in to those nerves. She also explains the rare but possible side effects. My muscles are back to normal now, as if not taken the relaxer. I sign another something, and she leaves. Another nurse comes back in to say they're ready. She escorts me to the procedure room, where they lie me down on to a table. Now there are two doctors and a nurse. 

Explaining as they go, and prepping with paper blankets and cleaning solutions, drawing on my skin, they begin the puncture of the first needle. My world sees this experience has hectic and overwhelming. I begin to hyperventilate, thinking i was taking deep meditative breaths. They order me to calm down and breath normally. The nurse comes to me on the other side and lends me his hand. At this point, there is not much pain due to the pain medicine they've injected. There was no need to squeeze this hand that I held. Still, scared as I was of this needle hanging out through my skin, fat, meaty muscle to the connective tissue between femur bone and pelvic bone, I found this hand that I softly held incredibly comforting. 

So simply, the moment my hand was in his and his in mine, everything became calmer, slower and quieter. It was one of the most grateful reliefs I've experienced. Especially because I was about to go through it all over again for my shoulder a couple of hours later. It made me think that might've been what it was like in my incubator, when my brother would reach his hand through the glove of the enclosure. It was all I knew of touch really; that and the delivery doctor to the surgeon. That hand makes all the difference.