A big step made yesterday – I ordered two ‘I have OCD’ badges to pin to my coat when I leave the house at the end of this week. I have been called for the COVID vaccination, which is positive and necessary, but as I’ve not visited the doctors for many years, it is very daunting and scary.
The thought of entering a building and sitting on a chair waiting for a needle to be administered is frightening for me with contamination OCD. On the rare occasion it has been necessary to visit a doctor I’ve stood up in the waiting room, reading the posters pretending to be interested, to avoid sitting down, and perching precariously on the edge of the patients chair with at least five layers of clothing, when speaking to the doctor.
Will I be allowed to stand up waiting in line for the vaccination? Will I be able to have the jab whilst standing, because I can’t wear my usual five layers of clothing as my arm has to be accessible?
The staff there are busy doing a fantastic job, so they won’t want me to hold up the process by saying “would you mind wearing a new pair of gloves please” and “could I see the needle be taken out of a sterile sealed blister pack please” – will they? Or would they understand?
I’m hoping that wearing a badge saying ‘I have OCD’ on both the left and the right side of my clothes will forewarn the person with the needle that I am extremely anxious not obnoxious.
I am so tempted to avoid this embarrassment and forego the vaccination, but I have a duty to my family, friends, and the greater good of reducing infections, so I must attend and then do it again in 12 weeks, followed by annually it’s looking increasingly like – oh blimey.
Over the 30 years plus of having OCD I’ve been so fortunate to be able to avoid many medical preventative procedures and interventions, but on this occasion I’m all out of avoidance tactics or practical work-arounds, and no excuses can be valid when this virus causes such devastating outcomes.
Apart from the anxieties above, I will be admitting, in public for everyone to see, ‘I have OCD‘ – that is a huge step for me!! Will I be confident enough to wear these badges when I eventually feel confident enough to go shopping? Perhaps best to take the first step in this direction by gauging responses (looks and comments) whilst being vaccinated as it’s non-negotiable and it is a medical environment so people will hopefully be understanding. One thing is for sure, a large glass of wine will be waiting for me when I return to the safety of my home.