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Hepatitis scared

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I hate needles. Always have. It's not that I'm scared of them, but since I'm not particularly a masochist, I try to avoid them when I can.

Not the case this time. As soon as I saw the 10 o'clock news last night, and realized I was exposed to Hepatitis A, I knew a big ol' fat shot was on its way. I called my doctor's office first thing this morning, and despite it being a busy Monday, I scored a 2 o'clock appointment.

You see timing is everything with this particular subject, so maybe I should backtrack a little, give the full story.

Apparently, between the days of Aug. 10 and Aug. 18, at the Cameron Village Harris Teeter, a deli worker infected with Hepatitis A, may have spread the virus to anyone who purchased deli items during that time. Yours truly, in all my innocence and bliss, bought cheese, some kind of marbled cheddar, between those dates.

Now, Wake County health officials are suggesting that we get an injection of immune globulin. They're offering it free for this entire week to anyone who shopped at the deli on any of those dates, urging us to keep in mind the incubation period of Hepatitis A ranges from two to six weeks. It's important, they say, to get it as soon as possible, lessening the chance of becoming ill.

And, would you believe that I had some of that yummy cheese just a few hours before seeing that newscast? Talk about timing.

Giving shots is about timing, too. And, gracefulness. One of my friends who is a nurse said she pays very close attention to when a patient is looking away from the needle. She tries to give the shot when they're looking in another direction to ease the initial sting of the needle entering the skin.

I've decided I'm going to give my nurse a break today. I'll just avoid looking at the needle altogether. This time, I just want the shot.

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