Whether you’re a child, teen, or adult, everyone hates shots. I know I did when I was younger, especially when doctors surprise you with them or say it’ll only be a little pinch. But the worst thing a doctor can tell you when it comes to getting shots is, “It’s just going to sting a little,” because, then you know it’s gonna hurt a lot. Luckily, after years and years of receiving and even learning how to administer my own shots, I’ve learned a few things about making these treatments a little more tolerable and I’m gonna share them with you!

Tip One: Distractions!
If you don’t even think about it, before you know it, it’ll be over! Bring a good book you can read while you wait for your appointment. Your nurse or doctor may even let you read it, while they give you the shot — it doesn’t hurt to ask ask! Another alternative is bringing your phone or tablet with you to your appointment. There are tons of things you can do on your smartphone that can distract you. You can play games, watch movies, or listen to music! What I like to do is look at memes on Instagram while I do my lab work. That way I’m so amused that I don’t even feel or notice the needle.

Tip Two: Numb the Area!
Most hospitals have a variety of numbing medicines such as patches, creams and sprays. They can use these to numb the skin so, you don’t feel the pain of the needle. One of my favorites is cold spray, which is a can of super cold liquid and it’s so cold you don’t feel the needle at all! Just like tip #1, you may need to ask for numbing medicines.

Tip Three: Relax
If you have to get any type of shot always try to stay calm and don’t worry. The worst thing you can do is tense up during a shot or lab test. If you tense up it’ll just make it hurt more and could even interfere with the test, which could mean more pokes!

Tip Four: Bring Someone With You
Doctor trips are always better when you bring someone with you. Have a friend or family member tag along with you. It’s nice to bring someone to provide emotional support. It can make your visit a lot better!

I hope these tips help next time you visit you doctors office. Let me know in the comments if any of these tips helped or if you have other ways to get through pokes and tests!

My name is Charis "Cj" Sheppard and I'm a 17 year old heart transplant patient. I'm a friendly guy that loves animals, going on adventures and making music!