Fish and Hypodermic Needles


Trout I caught in Lake Manitou, Colorado

Today I had to give myself a pep talk while at the doctor’s office learning how to give myself injections of B12 with a long needle in the thigh muscle.  A fishing story came to mind.

I didn’t fish this summer. I worked during tourist season and I didn’t have any energy after work to drive up the pass to fish. I was THAT sick.  So this picture is of summer/2008. I’m standing in my friend Jack’s driveway.

Well, I’ve never had to clean my own fish until the summer of 2008. I begged Jack, please??? I always had my dad, brother, brothers in law, Erin my niece and other friends do the dirty task. I’m surprised I got by for 45 yrs. Jack put his foot down. He said, “you can use my kitchen sink, but I ain’t guttin no fish!” My eyelashes were just not long enough to blink and get my way. By the way, Jack’s kitchen sink has a view of Pikes Peak that people would die for.  Jack handed me a long sharp knife and said, “you can do it!” I called my Dad. “Daddy, how do you clean trout, Jack won’t do it.” He gave me the instructions. I picked up the knife again and held it over the trout’s neck. Yeah trouts have necks; at least mine do. I started to gag. ” I can’t do it I screamed, jumping up and down, holding my stomach, I just can’t do it!” Jack said, “Nancy, you reeled in those suckers faster than anyone at the lake (I used a Pistol Pete lure by the way), now clean those fish and throw them in the freezer!”  He was standing behind me as I was frowning at the trout’s neck I was to start with, according to Daddy. Jack’s pep talk continued. He said, “picture yourself lost in the middle of the woods by a lake. All that you have to eat is the fish you catch. This means survival, Nancy. Now visualize this and cut that sucker’s head off NOW!” I gagged again and whack. I did it. Then while continuing to gag I finished the task according to Daddy’s instructions. Jack was cheering behind me, “See I knew you could do it.”

Now let’s get back to the pep talk in the doctor’s office. I was sitting on the examining table after taking lessons from the nurse, getting ready to jab an inch and a half needle in to the muscle of my thigh. I didn’t gag but I almost cried. The nurse is cheering me on. “You can do it.” I think of my trout with the neck and Jack cheering me on. I picture myself continuing to feel the crappy way I have felt for several months. I take that needle and JAB at a 90 degree angle smack in the top of my big ole thigh.  It didn’t hurt! Not at all. Then I looked up at the nurse asking what now. I pushed the red liquid through the syringe in to the needle in to my thigh in to my muscle, thinking, I’m not going to die and by next summer I will feel much better….better enough to fish again and gag again while chopping those trout  in the neck! Thank you, Daddy, Thank you, doctor, Thank you, Jack.


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