From Shedding Tears to Overcoming Fears

From Shedding Tears to Overcoming Fears

When I first learned of Thimble, my childhood flashed before my eyes. The very thought of needles evoked a deeply embedded fear within me. The first memory I have of receiving a needle, I remember being terrified. As I saw the sharp and painful-looking instrument, I remember immediately crying and begging my mom to stop the doctor. My distress only seemed to frustrate the physician, who I vividly recall told my mom to let him know when I got it together.

My mom, trying to console me, explained that I had upset the doctor and so I might miss the eagerly awaited trip I had been anticipating for months. With tears streaming down my face and my arms clinging to her tightly, I reluctantly endured the needle. After a few hours, I had forgotten about it allthat was until I woke up the next morning with my arm sore, serving as a reminder of both my fear and my strong dislike of needles.

Daisy Grewal as a child receiving a hug from her mother

Fast forward 18 years, and I found myself in my third year of medical school, facing a situation that stirred up familiar feelings of panic and apprehension. During my family medicine clerkship, I was tasked with drawing blood from a patient. The realization that I would now be responsible for subjecting someone else to the same discomfort that I had once feared weighed heavily on me. Despite my unease, I understood it was for the benefit of the patient, so I channelled my fear into empathy and compassion.

I approached the procedure with the utmost gentleness, prioritizing the comfort of the patient above all else. However, despite my best efforts, I encountered unexpected challenges. The patient's veins proved to be elusive, necessitating multiple attempts to successfully draw blood. I couldn't help but wish there was a way to make this process easier for both her and me. It was a moment where I truly understood the significance of alleviating pain and discomfort, not only for the patient but also for the care provider.

Daisy Grewal as an adult smiling with her mother

If only a platform like Thimble had been available during my childhood, perhaps my own experiences would have been less traumatic. The realization that such innovations now exist fills me with hope and excitement. With Thimble's solutions, I can approach needle procedures with confidence, knowing that there is a tool at my disposal to help mitigate pain and make the process as comfortable as possible for those under my care. This brings me immense comfort.

Thank you, Dr. Dawkins and the entire team, for sharing your story and dedicating your time to the development of Thimble. Your work is a testament to the transformative power of medical innovation, and I am so grateful. 

Daisy Grewal is a daughter, sister, aunt and fourth-year medical student at St. George’s University.

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