Amy Baxter Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Dr Amy Baxter
Amy Baxter is todays guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots free podcast interview.
She is a lady who has developed something that is quite simply a wow.
Have you ever been to the Doctors or Dentist and had to have an injection, and even though you look away, the pain is still dreadful.
Is it the anticipation of having a shot that hurts? Is it the thought of it? Or is it the actual needle entering the body that does the damage?
Well, whatever it is, its without a doubt a fear that effects both children and adults.
And after training as a paediatrician Dr Amy Baxter guest realised, whilst seeing her children distressed, it was up to her to control the pain, in a harmless, friendly way.
How The Dots Joined Up For Amy
So she set to work and developed a multi faceted pain relief tool “Buzzy”, which is taking the world by storm.
So lets start discussing how Buzzy came about?
Lets find out how many variations of the product have been developed on the way to this huge success.
And has the success been something that has delighted her, or just taken her away from her original life purpose and into the world of entrepreneurial ventures?
Well let’s bring onto the show to start joining up dots, as we discuss the words of Steve Jobs in todays Free podcast, with the one and only Dr Amy Baxter.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Doctor Amy Baxter such as:
How she believes that the hardest things to do in life should be the things that you are most proud off!
How she was sure she wanted to be in the medical profession from the age of 4, when she would look out for people to help if they were hurt or scratched!
We share what the weirdest things are that she has seen in her medical life!
How in 1995 only 10% of adults had a fear of needles and now it is close to 25%, which ties into their childhood memories of getting shots!
How we discovered the three vices that she has that I’m sure the medical profession were not aware off……honestly they aren’t too bad!!
How To Connect With Amy Baxter
If you want our whole collection of shows then jump over to the podcast archives here
Audio Transcription Of Dr Amy Baxter Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David, Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Good morning, everybody. How are we? We all good? Are we ready for rocking and rolling show? Well, you’re going to get one because we have got a guest today who has developed something that is quite simply a wow. Have you ever been to the doctors or dentists and had to have an injection? That is not good news at any time? And even though you look away, the pain is still dreadful? And I suppose is it the anticipation of having a shot that hurts or is it the fault of it? Or is it the actual needle entering the body that does the damage? Well, whatever it is, without a doubt, it’s a fear that affects both children and adults. Now, after training as a paediatrician our guest realised, while seeing her children distressed, it was up to her to control the pain in a harmless friendly way. So she set to work and developed a multi faceted pain relief tool, buzzy, which has taken the world by storm. So let’s start discussing how buzzy came about. Let’s find out how many variations of the product have been developed on the way to this huge success, and has a success being something that has delighted her or just taking her away from her original life purpose and into the world of entrepreneurial ventures. Well, I have no idea but I’m going to find out as we bring on to the show to start joining up the dots of alive. And of course Busby’s the one and only Amy Baxter. How are you Amy? I’m great. Thank you so much, David, for having me. It’s lovely to have you here. And can I do I call you Dr. Amy or professor Amy? Is it just Amy? What What do I address us?
Amy Baxter [1:54]
I’m Dr. Amy is what more formal people prefer and Amy is just fine. So you decide where you live on that particular line.
David Ralph [2:01]
I might change it the conversations getting a bit edgy, I might I might change to Dr. So I see how we go on that. You’re you’re you’re in Atlanta at the moment. And as we were sort of touching base on before the show. It’s belting hot out there at the moment, I imagine.
Amy Baxter [2:17]
Um, you know, as they say, it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity, you can put your plants outside and forget to water them and the atmosphere does the job. So it’s a little swimming pool soup out in the Atlanta atmosphere right now.
David Ralph [2:29]
And have you have you always lived in Atlanta because I spent a very pleasant weekend in Atlanta. I went on a road trip a few years ago and the snow was horrendous. My listeners would have heard this storey many, many times. And we got to Atlanta and it was like it was only two days we had some. And I remember standing in our Martin Luther King’s back garden and actually feeling some heat on my head for the first time in two weeks and I bought this is heaven. Do you think it’s heaven? Is it a place that you you love living? Have you always lived there? So many question students. I’m excited about Atlanta.
Amy Baxter [3:02]
We adore living in Atlanta. I was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, and my family moved to Atlanta when I went to college. So I went as far north and far away from home as I could and then realise the error in my ways and came to medical school in Atlanta. So I’ve moved around for training, but I met my husband in Atlanta. And we came back here, just about as soon as all of our medical training was done.
David Ralph [3:28]
And what what what would appeal to people to come to Atlanta, you’ve got the world’s biggest fish tank on Remember that? You’ve got something to do with Coca Cola. I remember seeing that as well. But well, what’s the sort of main things that would drag people into Atlanta?
Amy Baxter [3:43]
You know, Atlanta, I’m glad you had such a great experience visiting because I think it’s not the best city to visit, it’s hard to get access to all the cool things. And they’re sort of spread around. But it’s a marvellous place to live. Because there are so many trees and so many pocket neighbourhoods that are nonetheless close to culture, we can go to the opera, we can go to Symphony, we can go to enormous numbers of venues to hear rock and roll and ska and crazy things. And all of it is very compact when you live inside the city. So we have a tiny grocery store we walk to and I never fail to see someone I know there. So it feels like living in a small town. Even though we’re in the middle of the biggest airport, the highest density airport in the world.
David Ralph [4:29]
Did you like being in the shop and seeing people that you know, because I don’t like it actually, I find it very uncomfortable. If I see someone that I know, I will zip around into some iRobot is quite obvious. I’m not supposed to be in there just to sort of disappear.
Amy Baxter [4:44]
It depends what I’m buying. And usually this particular grocery has the best selection of IPAs. So I’m almost always going in buying beer. I feel like I’m being seen by neighbourhood children when I’m making a vice run. So fortunately, I guess beer is not the worst devices. But but it is funny. I think that my entire neighbourhood knows my my preference for beer. In fact, there was a child down the street who had a sore throat. And I’m often asked to go and do quick pop in doctor visits for the neighbourhood children. So when I looked at his throat, I was pretty sure that he had mano and not strep. And sure enough, the family got him tested. And as a thank you on my front porch. In his little six year old writing, he said Thank you, Dr. Amy for making me feel better. And he left me a six pack of beer.
David Ralph [5:35]
That is the perfect client, isn’t it?
Amy Baxter [5:39]
Yeah, so so I hopefully he didn’t purchase it himself. But but it’s not bad to be known for what you like.
David Ralph [5:47]
No, absolutely. That’s that’s what we all want in life. So So do they know you as sort of buzzy Baxter now is his passing because I want to touch on that because it is obviously the big part getting you on the show. But are you still dr. Baxter has buzzy sort of become an identity on its own?
Amy Baxter [6:02]
You know, David, there’s an interesting storey i i self identify most as a scientist and a researcher. And I’m asked often to go give lectures on pain or sedation or the medical things that I do. I went to Rochester, New York and was asked to do grand rounds, which is what they call it when you’re you’re teaching the medical staff at one big lecture in the morning. Usually they’ll have them once a week or once a month. So I was invited up and the director of paediatric stuck out his hand. And when I went to shake it, he went and he said it got to be that you get that a lot. And it was the first moment that I realised that my life as an academic was completely going to be overshadowed by a vibrating be. I I’m still not 100% comfortable with it. Although my husband and I talked about what we’re going to have on our tombstones and and I think I’m just going to have my epitaph be a an image of a beat and an image of a a throwing up face because my other big research claim to fame was making a barf scale for children with cancer who have nada. So I’m just gonna have two icons and, and no words on my tombstone
David Ralph [7:13]
that I think I would just have I told you I was sick. I saw that somewhere. And I think that’s perfect, isn’t it?
Amy Baxter [7:21]
My husband wants Lisa your pets? Yes,
David Ralph [7:24]
yeah, we this is the greatest show I’ve ever had. We could spend all day talking about gravestones. But did you really want to be an entrepreneur, as you sort of said there, it seemed to hint that the fact that buzzy has taken away from an area that you was obviously trained and passionate, is that a real positive thing? Or is there a little bit of you that thinks, Oh, you know, I’m spending a lot of time in board meetings and meetings with people that isn’t really my thing?
Amy Baxter [7:53]
You know, I was in a meeting yesterday, and they brought up the concept that what are you most proud of? Then a little later they said, What is the hardest thing for you to do? And I think that it’s not as simple as Is this the path that I meant to go on? And am I happy being here? I think the answer is that often what you’re most proud of is what is the hardest to do. So there are a number of areas where I’m outside my comfort zone on a daily basis. And while that’s hard, it is certainly stimulating. And and I feel more rounded. I it’s a perfect time to bring it up you in retrospect, when I joined up my own dots, I have always been entrepreneurial, I I sold things door to door, I did a programme called Junior Achievement when I was in high school, being a president of a company selling things door to door. And even when I was at undergraduate at Yale, I started a school supplies company. So I’ve always had this bit of entrepreneurial industry in me. But I by negate did it and I was like, you know, even though I have this, maybe it’s a backup, but medicine is where I want to be. And then after I finished medical school, I ended up working for a test prep company as their brand manager for a year, just because I felt like I was going to be better able to tell how to communicate to medical students and teach what they needed to know. So there’s been this this series of dots lyst through the medical profession. And while I didn’t intend to go here, I certainly have had times in my past where I feel like I was better trained than most doctors to do what I’m doing.
David Ralph [9:35]
So when you went into the medical profession, was that your path? Was that your passion? Or was that something that was kind of expected to you? Because a lot of the conversations that I have with people, they openly hold their hands up and go, Yeah, probably the first 1015 years, I was doing stuff that was expected of me. It wasn’t really my true passion. Are you different from that was was medical, your thing?
Amy Baxter [9:59]
Yeah, medical is my passion. And it still is? Honestly, I love being a no at all. And having a really difficult field, which is useful to everybody was very appealing, being able to go Oh, yes, you can eat that or no, don’t touch your eyes after you’ve touched that. I like that. And I so I was always drawn to that. I remember it around age four, I would get a bottle of mature Chrome, which is the red stuff that used to put on cuts Oh, yeah, and, and sit outside my front stoop, hoping somebody got hurt. So I could be the one to save the day, I think I’ve always had a really big desire to be the one who has a cool head in a crisis and save the day and come forward with the solution that’s going to make someone suffer less. So medicine was was clearly the place that I wanted to be from a very, very young age. My father is a life insurance salesperson. And so he really wanted me to go into the family business. I don’t think he’s disappointed with my path. But But I was all queued up in the family mind to to be a salesperson, and instead deviated because medicine was really where my heart life.
David Ralph [11:10]
So what was it was a firm path in medicine, because I don’t know much about medicine to me at one doctors the same as the other. And I don’t mean, that’s all rudely just kind of the way it is. Did you actually have to decide on what path in medicine you wanted to be? Or do you go into that general practitioner First of all, and then move on to different things afterwards?
Amy Baxter [11:31]
Right, so different countries do it differently. And the practice in the us is that you spend four years of undergraduate doing about half of it pre medical to learn the science basics. And then you go into four years of medical school, the first two years you’re learning more science and the second two years, you’re dabbling in rotations, they’re called so you try a bit of ophthalmology, you try a bit of general medicine, you try a bit of paediatrics you try emergency, you try all of these things. And at the end of those four years, you’ve either shown an aptitude in one, or you’ve decided that you hate all of them except and that’s how you make your decision. I really enjoyed surgery. And I had actually gone to meet with the head surgeon at Emory medical school, and I was ready to sign on the dotted line I was ready to work the rest of my life staying awake every fourth night I was ready to to eat bitter as they say to deliver the pain that is the training for being a surgeon and the demands that it puts on your life the rest of your life. And the guy didn’t show up. He stood me up. And so I was I was so appalled that I went home and told my my now husband what had happened. And and he said well, you know, I wasn’t going to say this before your meeting. But that sounds like a lifestyle that doesn’t fit with the the joie de vivre and the the travel and the other things you like to do? Have you thought about being a paediatrician? And I said, You’ve got to be kidding. Just playing with kids all day sitting around wiping noses, figuring out whether or not they’re they’re walking when they should be playing with kids all day. I can’t imagine doing that for medicine. And he slowly looked at me and he said, Yeah, playing with kids, what a hard life. And, and that was a real adjustment. I think that I I had never contemplated in my training, what life was going to be like doing what I trained for. I think that I had only thought about the aspects of being in training and getting to that point, but not living that life. So when he said that I I started thinking about being in paediatrics, and I still liked emergencies and I still like the urgent things and I liked fixing stuff. I liked having a cut that was wide open and scaring everyone and then being able to make it look nice and nice and tidy and sewn up. I like bridging the gap and teaching so having every parent come into the emergency room terrified and being able to talk them off the ledge and let them know the reasonable amount of fear they need or why they don’t need to be afraid at all that is really satisfying. So when I decided to go into paediatrics it was with a definite intention of then going on to emergency paediatrics which is what I did
David Ralph [14:21]
and do you look back at all at surgery and think to yourself I still got that that feeling that that it wasn’t the right decision is panned out well but or surgery get my hands inside somebody and rip things out.
Amy Baxter [14:36]
No, I’m who dodged that bullet. That would have been such a bad call. Now I’m very grateful that I was stood up on that fateful day.
David Ralph [14:46]
I’m before we start talking about buzzy and stuff. I’ve got a friend called Claire. If you’re listening Claire, then you shouldn’t be listening. You should be at work but she is. Hi Claire. she’s a she’s a nurse. And I spend all my time saying What’s the weirdest you’ve seen? What what you know what is really strange stuff because I’m kind of fascinated by the by the weird, freaky stuff. And I’m going to ask you, Amy, don’t worry. No one’s listening. You don’t have to say any names. But what What’s the weirdest kind of body thing that you’ve seen? That’s really kind of taken you by surprise.
Amy Baxter [15:16]
Oh, there’s awesome stuff. Alright, so first of all, bought flies. butterflies are a fly it lives in tropical climates. And every so often someone’s travelled to Africa to places where they’re endemic, and the butterflies plant larva in your skin. And so you’ll have a little thing that looks like it’s a zit and then it looks like it’s got to be a boil. And and when they come into the emergency department with them. We can cut them open and there’s a worm inside. That’s awesome. Boss. That’s
David Ralph [15:47]
what I call butterflies.
Amy Baxter [15:49]
Butterfly be ot fly.
David Ralph [15:51]
Oh beautiful ob Ott up. Oh, he was bu TT I bought it was
Amy Baxter [15:56]
no just one to fly.
David Ralph [15:58]
Okay, booming me up. That’s pretty weird. But there must be something better out there, Amy?
Amy Baxter [16:04]
Well, someone had a bike wreck and they accidentally that the break of their bike disconnected and they cut their leg at the same time as the bike break slid into their calf. And so on the X ray, they they had a break in their leg but the bone was fine. They just had an actual bike break stuck in their leg.
David Ralph [16:29]
That’s a great joke, isn’t it?
Amy Baxter [16:32]
Nobody thought it was funny until maybe a day or two later I’m sure but
David Ralph [16:35]
when you lift it up and say Yeah, you’ve got a breaking your leg I can see Yeah, exactly. That’s perfect. Right although I want to spend all day talking about this I’m aware that people might be listening having their breakfast so i think
Amy Baxter [16:49]
i tell one breakfast one Okay, go wrong, go for it won’t be gross. So I did my residency in Cincinnati and I did a child abuse fellowship in Cincinnati. And when I was working in the emergency department one very cold winter morning, a woman brought her five year old boy in with the complaint of lost testicles. And it turns out she said I they were there last night when I was giving him a bath. And this morning they’re gone. Couldn’t find them anywhere. So I found them for her but but that was one of the most humorous things that I’d ever had to see around the breakfast time and cold wintry Cincinnati.
David Ralph [17:29]
I know people that could build a whole career on that storey going out on that one and it would never get boring.
Amy Baxter [17:39]
Well I’m there’s the there’s flourishes and embellishments but for the sake of your breakfasting listeners,
David Ralph [17:44]
I decided I would forego those. Absolutely. So so let’s get on to buzzy because buzzy interests me so. But for people who don’t know what buzzy years is a kind of cartoon be that goes on to your skin. I’ve done a bit of research and hopefully I’ve done this real and it will vibrate and it is cold. And it does something to the nerve endings. So you don’t actually feel an injection going in. Is that about right?
Amy Baxter [18:09]
Yes. Well done. Well done. So it we have them in plain black for the adults but people tend to like to be and in South Africa we have a lady buzz because I guess killer bee in South Africa make the even a cheerful cartoon be a little bit more intimidating. The the physiology of what it’s doing is really not miraculous. It’s it’s something we all take for granted. If you burn your finger. What do you do to make the burn finger feel better running under attack? Right and does warm water work or cold? Cold? Right? So So the reason that pain disappears when you run cold water on a burn is because the pain nerves that transmit burning pain and needle pain and itching and almost every sharp pain. It’s a very thin small nerves. And it runs side by side with big fat fast nerves, that trans motion and with slower nerves that transmit cold sensations. So if you add enough cold and motion, then it overwhelms that tiny little pain nerve. And so it effectively blocks that out. And you do this all the time. If you bump your elbow, immediately you’ll start rubbing it you give those big fat vibration nerves, the stimulus, and then you don’t feel the tiny, sharp pain nerves,
David Ralph [19:24]
because it’s this sounds kind of obvious to me. Well, when you say that, I kind of think why. Why is it taking so long for somebody to create this and why for years and years and years decades? Probably. We’ve just been going right, we didn’t look the opposite way and and having rammed in us.
Amy Baxter [19:40]
You know, I think, ironically, that the the biggest growth we’re having with buzzy is actually for aches and pains. You know, the things that you do take for granted, if you’re going to ice an injury than icing it with massage is even better, and buzzy can strap in place. So your ice pack doesn’t come off, you know, the uses that people are using it for now are certainly not why I designed it. I think it just doesn’t occur to people that you can intervene with medical procedures, we’re sort of used to going to the doctor and, and just taking it and doing whatever we need to or they do that to us. But it doesn’t occur to us that we could intervene in something like needle pain. So I think that until I had a real reason to come up with a solution for my own children. It didn’t occur to me either, that there has to be a way to make shots not hurt, because we’re just so used to taking it for granted. When when people who were born before 1983, certainly in the US, but also in the UK, we didn’t get very many shots. And so consequently, we don’t have as much of a fear of needles as do children now because children now get 36 shots. And before we would only get six shots and we got them before we were two years old. So So most of us figure we probably got as many shots as our kids, but it didn’t bother us so we don’t get why it bothers kids today. So I think the need for buzzy if if, in my own research, if people only get two injections on one day, they end up not as likely to be afraid of needles as they grow up. They do handle it. It’s It’s when you start getting 345 injections on one day. That’s what triggers the fear. That’s what tips people over into having a memory that affects whether or not they go to healthcare. So I think the the long answer to your question is nobody came up with it because we didn’t really need it before. There weren’t enough people that disliked injections to do it. And, and it was hard to imagine that we could control medical pain, because that’s not the way the medical system is usually set up.
David Ralph [21:48]
I’m thinking about myself. And I think I probably have had about six injections like I was born in 1970. And I imagine that I had some when I was little and I remember being a teenager and having one in my arm for something, which when people would go down and punch you to make sure swelled up afterwards. But yeah, I don’t think I’ve had anywhere near 36. So what’s going on in America now, but they’re sort of they’re doing that money?
Amy Baxter [22:16]
Well, and it’s actually going on in the UK and Canada as well. It’s just that, that we’re calculating the risk benefit of each individual vaccine. And there hasn’t been a good reason to look at it in context. So if you just get if you if you see that you can stop chickenpox, then you do the math and you say, Okay, well, we’ve had 12 children died this year from chicken pox and 6000 hospitalise. If we vaccinate everyone that goes down to one death and 20 hospitalizations, so even though it costs a lot to vaccinate the world, it still costs less than it does to hospitalise all those children and have 11 deaths. So with every veteran scene, and they’re getting easier to make, and they’re also such a tiny amount of immunologic load, the risks are getting very small. So in calculating the risk benefit, it’s like, well, gosh, what’s bringing kids to the emergency room? ear infections, what’s going to pneumococcal vaccine that will dramatically, dramatically decrease pneumonia and ear infections. And it does they work. I mean, the the vaccine preventable diseases have dropped 99%. Since the 60s, when we started vaccinating it, it is amazing, the public health benefit, but when I talk about in context, because when you get four shots at once, it’s very different from getting one. And when you’re little and you’re held down, it can overwhelm. And so there’s a very big qualitative difference between getting two shots at once and getting five. So I think that that we haven’t yet adequately looked at the health effects of that qualitative difference. So looking at that qualitative difference and seeing, okay, maybe we have all of these deaths that are prevented because of of an individual vaccine. But now parents are feeling like they need to pick and choose they’re saying, Yeah, for just seems like too many. So which of these Am I going to decide? Not having a medical background? By looking at the Internet? Which ones Am I going to not take? And so we’re really jeopardising some of the big killers and some of the protection unless we look at what happens with all of these injections in context? Did you still need to have injections
David Ralph [24:33]
Can you not make something that you just drink?
Amy Baxter [24:37]
Well, your stomach acid breaks down almost anything that you give, there’s some really great progress in intranasal vaccines, because you’ve got direct access to the blood flow when you sniff. So there’s a flu mist, you can get a flu injection, a flu vaccine, now that’s inhaled, there’s some wonderful progress looking at micro needles, and being able to get it under the skin. But with such tiny mosquito, like, probes that it doesn’t hurt. But unfortunately, the molecules that make up vaccines are fairly fragile. And so to get them where they need to be, so the body can recognise it and say, Oh, I, if I see this, again, I’m going to squash it immediately. That has to be something that doesn’t pass through our other senses and the stomach. And anything you take by mouth is a great defence, and breaks down some of those fragile molecules.
David Ralph [25:32]
It’s fascinating. I’m learning so much here, I mean, I’m going to be the king of pain when I go back to my house tonight with my kids. Because when my kids were little I it was always me that had to take them to the doctors for the injections, because my wife didn’t like to see them distressed, where I kind of thought, well, they need it. So I’m the one to hold them down. And I remember that I remember taking my daughter with a little fat arms and just sort of lifting up at the top and bang straight into it. And it’s not the isn’t isn’t is not pleasant for the baby or the adult she’s sitting there.
Amy Baxter [26:05]
Well, if you think about it, there is no other situation in medicine where we systematically cause pain. There, there isn’t any situation where a physician intentionally causes pain, and we’re spending all of our energy as parents protecting these tiny little defenceless babies. It’s, of course, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s unpleasant. Now, unfortunately, in the research we did, the objections that you get, and the number before age two weren’t correlated with fear later on. Again, you’re a little too little to remember it in a way that it’s going to affect your future decisions. But when you’re older, when you’re four to six years old, that’s actually the age that most phobias start because you’re old enough to remember, but you’re too young to do anything about it. So the control feeling is gone.
David Ralph [26:53]
So has it surprised you? How many adults have freaked out because I, I did research on you. And it surprised me because I just bought a once you an adult, you did put up with it. And that’s it. But it’s a big problem for adults as well, isn’t it?
Amy Baxter [27:08]
What’s really interesting to me is that it’s changed that in 1995, it was only about 10% of adults that had enough of a fear of needles, that they wouldn’t go to the doctor. Now even then 10% is enormous. I 10% is more people that are afflicted by insomnia, it’s dramatically more people than get affected by cancer every year. So it’s a huge number of people. And yet, I think that we don’t pay attention to it as physicians because if you’re afraid of needles, you don’t go to a physician. So it’s not something we see a lot. But since 95, the the incidence of this fear has increased to almost a quarter of adults. In fact, there was a study looking at flu vaccines that found that the the adults who did not get a flu vaccine, seen a quarter of them didn’t do it because they were afraid of the needle. So I think that it’s there’s so much shame involved. You know, it’s like everyone punching your arm. You’re supposed to man up and take it and there is a pride in being able to handle pain well. And so there has to be the other side of the coin, which is a shame. If you don’t handle pain well. And for many people, 5% of people who are afraid of needles, they get lightheaded, they get nauseous, and that’s actually genetic. It’s a it’s a physiologic response. That’s hardwired, you tend to grow out of it around age 50. The the thought is that this it’s called vasovagal. But the thought is that that that thinking urge happens, in case you’re attacked by a sword or some other Neanderthal and then you don’t want to lose blood. So your body passes out quickly, so that you’re flat so that you don’t lose as much blood in your brain keeps as much blood flow. Again, sorry for the breakfasting people, but but they think that that’s probably why that response tends to get better after people were past childbearing age after four 50 that response goes away but but a full 5% of people who are afraid of needles, sorry, 5% of the population, they, they have this genetic response. So it’s not a weakness, or something to be ashamed of. It’s actually just inborn.
David Ralph [29:17]
Still going to man,
Amy Baxter [29:20]
you know, this was really cool, actually. Because I get so often people say, you know, life is pain, and you just need to deal with it. It turns out that when the children in our study who went multiple times for injections, but got no more than two at a time, they actually had lower fear than the people who just want once but they got for the same time. So so there’s a concept called adverse childhood events. And it’s it’s stressors that cause what they called toxic shock. It’s something that’s so stressful, that it overwhelms you. And that leaves an emotional memory that affects future decisions. It affects health, Google it, adverse events, it’s it’s totally a thing now, what I think may be happening is that a little pain over and over again, does give you the resources to cope. And it does make you better able to deal with pain. And you go forward and you’re fine with it. You know, almost anyone who is diagnosed young with diabetes, they may be afraid of needles event initially, but but almost everybody by a year, they’ve gotten to the place where it’s not a big deal to them. I think that when you only have a few exposures to the doctor and you have a an overwhelming event, that that’s very different than having a small bit of pain multiple times, it’s like if you got stung by one wasp in your garden, you’re not going to not go in the garden. But if you’re a small child and you get stung by five wasps, you may be less likely to be a gardener when you get older.
David Ralph [30:54]
Because I discovered that I got some kind of immunity to wasps, and I found out in Graceland Elvis’s house, and it was really I’d never up to my, my knowledge. I had never been standing in my life. But now I think maybe I had been stung, but I just kind of blanked it out. And I was going into Graceland. And I took my sunglasses off because it was so sunny outside and dark inside. And the crooked my arm as I bent it, there was a hornet there. And it stung me. And my whole arm went up like Popeye within about five minutes. And by the time I came out, it totally gone. So so do some people have like an immunity to injections? Did they not actually feel the pain?
Amy Baxter [31:35]
You know, it’s a great question. We’re finding out that that there are definitely different levels of sensitivity, redheads are more likely to feel pain, people with ADHD are more likely to be really sensitive to light cutaneous touches. So I think that it’s one area where there’s a great opportunity for more research because there do seem to be very, very different sensitivities. African American kids are much less likely to feel as to feel needles as intensely. And so I think it’s a thicker skin, it’s a less the stratum cornea is what it’s called, but that layer is a little thicker. So certainly, there are different sensitivities to, to pain. I think that most of what happens with with fear of needles, though, is that it’s an event, you may be predisposed, because you have very thin skin or you’re sensitive to light touch or your red headed, but it’s how you deal with it. Because there there are lots of great studies that show that if a child or an adult has a scary experience, but the parent reassures them, distracts them, lets them know that all as well. And they don’t get overwhelmed that that’s an empowering experience. So I think pain control is a part of it. But it’s not the end all and Beall. But to your question, yeah, there’s definitely different sensitivities. Some people just, they don’t get lightheaded, they don’t get nauseous, and they don’t even really feel it.
David Ralph [33:04]
So in the introduction, I said, Is it the anticipation of having a shopper hurts? Is it the fault of it? Or is it the actual needle entering the body that does the damage? And it seems to me, it’s more mental than anything, then is it?
Amy Baxter [33:18]
Yeah, it’s very multifactorial, and it depends on whether or not you’re someone who is sensitive to fainting or not. But what they found is that the people who get lightheaded or nauseous, their anxiety goes up so high, their blood pressure goes up, and then the needle makes the blood pressure drop. So it’s that it’s that changes the difference between the high and the low, that causes them to feel sick. But after a couple times of that, then the anxiety and the fear going into it is what becomes worse. And that’s part of why what we found with buzzy is that it works better when the families are bringing it with them. Because the kids know they have something they can trust, the adults know that they’re less likely to passed out. And that kind of empowerment, and that kind of secret weapon makes them less anxious. Because you’re absolutely right. The the fear that goes into it is at least a third. There’s there’s three parts to the experience of pain, there’s the actual physical pain, there’s how afraid of it you are, and then there’s how much attention you’re paying to it. So So while buzzy is great at blocking out the sensations of the needle going in, if you’re already anxious, you’re going to feel that light touch, we have kids who scream when you clean off their their arm with the the alcohol swab. So for those guys, it’s really important to also bring their attention to something else. So that their their fear is lessened. And they’re concentrating on counting or finding or looking or doing something that’s not that’s not involved with the needle. And that’s true for any pain. If you’re at the dentist, it’s much better to be counting ceiling talk or to be looking away or to stimulate, you know, pinch your finger so that you’re paying attention to that sensation, and not paying attention to the place where the pain is going on.
David Ralph [35:09]
Because I can’t look at it going in my arm, I’ll be honest, I’m kind of fascinated to see how much blood on producing or something like that. But actually, I always look away and it seems to do me, but some other people just need more and more. So there’s buzzy coming different sizes Is it is it one size fits all.
Amy Baxter [35:28]
So the the strength of the motor is the same in all of them. But we made a mini that is easier to put in your hand for the people who are doing arthritis shots or or Lovenox or something where they have to give themselves shots and a bunch of their stomach or their thigh. The Mini is small enough to fit in the heel of the palm so that they can have the buzzy in place at the same time as they’re using their fingers to bunch up the skin while they give the injection for the other for people that are using it for for Ivy’s for blood draws or for aches and pains, we have one that has a slot through it and that you can put a velcro strap or a tourniquet in a hospital and it’ll stay on the area as long as you need it. So for if you’re putting it on for for an overuse injury, a tennis elbow or carpal tunnel, then you can just strap the vibration and cold right on where it hurts and leave it on for 10 minutes just the same way you would ice something, it’s just you can add the massage to the icing. So there are those two different units so the the tourniquet slot or the tourniquet ready. And then the many people that are using buzzy for Botox or that are injecting doctors can use the mini because again, it fits well enough into the heel of the hand that you can still use your other hand to inject whatever needs to be injected but the Mini is in the right spot. But if it needs to be for for a blood draw and it needs a tourniquet than the tourniquet ready and we have three different designs like I said, we’ve got the plain black one if you’re too cool for a be we have the striped be and then we have the the lady but
David Ralph [37:05]
and what’s that, like the old pac man he’s got a bow in her hair was I mean, is it
Amy Baxter [37:10]
she just looks like a ladybug. We we had for a while a very limited edition of 50 polar bears we call them Stephen cold bear. But the the comedian said that under no circumstances could we sell it as Stephen cold bear. So we just we had a little shivering polar bear for a while and now we just are sticking to Our Lady buzz or be in our buzz black.
David Ralph [37:34]
I just think this is a genius idea. And I just keep on coming back to that first statement I made. It’s amazing that no one did this years and years and years ago.
Amy Baxter [37:45]
Well, I really have my dream I was actually interviewed earlier this morning by my alma mater. And they asked what what is my dream and my dream is that that everybody has some version of buzzy in their medicine cabinet. Because it’s such obvious physiology and just just using it for splinters using it for an ache using it for I pulled a muscle this morning and put it on the muscle for 10 minutes. I think that that once we understand that this is an obvious way to combat pain, it ought to be something that’s just an easy go to without having to take medications without having to take drugs and it’s reusable. I am hopeful that this is something that really changes the way people feel like they can approach pain that we really feel like we can take pain control in our own hands.
David Ralph [38:29]
What was it instantly, you know, right? Did you just go right? We needed to be cold, we needed to buzz or did you try sort of loads of other things on its development?
Amy Baxter [38:39]
Well, the first ones were made in my basement. So I had I took apart a lot of cell phones to see how they vibrated. I actually went to an adult toy shop to take apart some of their their massagers. Because you said that very nicely. Thank you, thank you. Because I I was a doctor I didn’t know how to make a electrical device that that vibrated I didn’t even know. So it turns out that a an eccentric flywheel on a motor, so you just have a lump of metal that’s off centre. And so it spins from the centre of a motor, but because it’s not, because it’s all concentrated on one side, it makes the vibration. I didn’t even know that. So so the first prototypes I had, we went through about 16, maybe different prototypes of various types. And so at first, I also didn’t know the best way to get vibration to the skin. You know, one of the things that people asked me as well, why can’t I just go use a massager and an ice pack. And I tell him to go for it, there’s really, it has to be a really fast vibration. But But otherwise, there’s really nothing magical about this. It’s just compact, and it’s a little bit more effective. Because what we found was the concave shape is better for nerves. Nerves aren’t like a string or a straw. They’re really like a fake. And so to get the best blocking of pain, you need to block as many of these tiny little fanned out pieces as you can. So so the buzzy is curved, and the ice pack fits underneath it and it curves to so that it’s touching more of the skin. But when I started I have one version that had these three little prongs because I was trying to concentrate the vibration through these prongs. It also happened to buzz like a bus on scared the cat. But I did go through a lot of different versions, there was a design company in Atlanta called formation. And I took them my little electrical tape soldered thing that I’d made in my basement. And they were the ones who really took it and said, You know, that’s great, but this this needs to be cute. And they were the ones who came up with the beautiful, adorable design of buzzy. if I do say so myself, he’s quite cute. And the lady buzz and they have been the ones who made it more attractive and also sit in the hand part of the the top of us He is curved, so that it will fit easily into the palm of your hand while you’re pressing it on the skin.
David Ralph [41:07]
Did you realise we started off this conversation and talking about your drink habit. And over beer and then we’ve gone into adult toys, you’re going to be known as bad doctor on you from now on, you know, Doctor walks around with beer and adult toys all the time.
Amy Baxter [41:25]
It’s definitely hasn’t affected my paediatric practice yet, but I’m sure that day is coming.
David Ralph [41:29]
Yeah, you’ll be fine, you’ll be fine. What I want to do, I’ve been grappling whether this fits into this show or not. But I’m fascinated to know your point of view on it. Anyway, I’m going to play this speech by Steve Jobs because we normally do that. And I just want to see whether you think it is relevant to your life because your life seems to be quiet on a path that is designed by yourself. I’m gonna play these words. And then I’m going to ask you afterwards, this is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [41:55]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [42:30]
So is that true for you, Dr. Amy? Or has your life been designed, as I say,
Amy Baxter [42:36]
Oh, it’s unquestionably a, a, a retrospective connecting of dots. But I think that that one of the things that Steve Jobs says, is, is a very attitudinal thing. You can only connect the dots if you decide to embrace them, and to accept them and not to regret the places where you went or the decisions that you made. When when you look at your life and you you are open to everything you’ve done and you don’t regret it, you accept that that’s part of your path, that’s part of what brought you to where you are, then it’s much easier to claim the dots and to connect them. I think that the the part that derails some people is is looking at a situation or a relationship, or a, an opportunity that they missed and feeling like it’s wasted time, feeling like it’s something that was lost, when in fact, every thing that you do becomes a dot that propels you to your future success. If you embrace it for what you got out of it. It’s a very attitudinal distinction. But if if Steve Jobs had regretted that he took graphic arts and calligraphy classes, then he never would have embraced taking that into the importance of design when he made his products. So so I think part of connecting the dots is not regretting that the decision that you made or the job you’ve done for the last two years was wasted time. In no way even if I end up not practising medicine, in no way do I regret at all, what I learned and what I did, because the discipline, the insight, the the point of view that I got from that was integral to what I’m doing. Now, it’s critical to me to not waste that training, there are so few slots, and they’re not very many people trained to do that. So it’s a moral imperative to use that training and whatever I do going forward, so it’s not last time, it’s not a derailment, really, you’ve got to cherish all of those experiences that you did, because if you hadn’t, you wouldn’t be who you are now,
David Ralph [44:51]
nothing is wasted in your life, if you choose to make sure that that experience either is a positive, and you take it with you. Or if it’s a negative, you learn and not do it again.
Amy Baxter [45:02]
Right? I think that, by definition, regretting means that you would do differently now. And so if you hadn’t had that experience, there’s no way that you could appreciate at the time, why you shouldn’t have done something, you know, you can’t have the sensation of regret or realising that something was a mistake until you’ve actually done that experience. So it’s sort of tautological and and i think it’s it’s regret is a waste of emotion. Because taking what you learned, you’re a different person.
David Ralph [45:34]
So one of the things we talk about is the big.in. Most people’s life, there is a big door, it’s that that Crossroads is that point in their life that actually takes them on the path that leads to success, fulfilment, or just a better place. When you look back over your life. What was it that time that the surgeon stood you up? Would that be your big dog? Or is there other ones that you would go? No, really, when I think about it, is the moment that the the Amy Baxter, who I am now really started to move on?
Amy Baxter [46:05]
Hmm, there’s so many dots. I think that that given where I am now I’ve been doing buzzy for seven years. And and the big came when I had the solution, I had made a prototype and I knew that it worked for our children. And I was I was so filled with anxiety when I was in the emergency department. And I would hear a child crying because they were getting an IV, I would I would see the staff laughing because the kid was freaking out. And it happens. Because staff feel like they’re freaking out because of a tiny little needle, who cares about a needle, but to the kid it was worth freaking out about. And and I was very conflicted because I knew I had a solution. And I also knew there was no way to run in with my little electrical tape gadget and go Here you go. I’ll save the day. So my husband said, in the middle of all of this existential angst, he said, Look, how hard can this be? How many people will you help? How much time will it take to do it? And how much is it going to bother you? Every time someone cries if you don’t try, and maybe it won’t work, and maybe you’ll do the research and it only works on your kids because they’re under your cult of personality. But if it’s going to bother you this much not to know there’s an opportunity cost of not pursuing this emotionally and and mentally. And so that really clarified the decision of whether or not to risk my academic career to risk. My my practice to risk the income of not making the money I was making, being a full time doctor. All of those risks were balanced off by the need to know and the need to be able to make a difference. So I think that was really the big dot because at that point, I decided I had to veer in a different direction. And it made it a clear any decision rather than one that was complicated.
David Ralph [48:04]
What was it a leap of faith, but you knew that you could back out or it wasn’t something that was just one directional?
Amy Baxter [48:13]
Yeah, it was total blind ignorance. It was it was complete naivete about how overwhelming deciding to be an entrepreneur is. I have not seen any of the James Bond movies with Daniel Craig, I have not had social currency in in reading a new novel in five years. I didn’t realise how, how tough it was going to be. And I didn’t take into consideration that I’m so stubborn that I wouldn’t give up. So I think some of it was, as you say, I didn’t realise that it was in some ways a one way trip. I really thought that this could be a deviant and that I wasn’t going to end up with a be on my tombstone.
David Ralph [49:03]
I think this is a big tombstone you should have because he is something that should be in everyone’s medicine cabinet. And and I will ask at the end of the show how people can connect with you. But I’m very interested in how people can connect with buzzy. So people out there thinking business for me, I’m going to get this. I don’t care if it’s the black one, the lady one or buzzy itself? How do they buy this? Or is it sold online is in sort of shops or how do I get it.
Amy Baxter [49:29]
So depends on where you are in the world. You can go to buzzy for shots, calm either the word for or the number four and and look up international and see where buzzy is there is a buzzy for shots.co.uk that supplies buzzy in the UK. We’re on Amazon and the US we’re really anywhere in the world, you can get a buzzy except for Canada,
David Ralph [49:53]
what’s my with Canada,
Amy Baxter [49:54]
it’s very complicated. They they consider buzzy to be a class two medical device, which means that we would have to have a sterile room in our shop, even though it’s not a sterile product, but we’d have to have a lot of different certifications, or manufacturers had those certifications. But my premises actually does not have a sterile room in it. So it’s complicated. But at this point, we can’t sell in Canada.
David Ralph [50:20]
So in Canada, you might get black market buzzy.
Amy Baxter [50:25]
You know, we send cease and desist every week because they’re popping up on eBay. And and people are taking them over the border. But but we try to tamp down on that and play the game by the rules.
David Ralph [50:38]
That’s really strange, isn’t it? Because you could imagine something like that would happen in you know, like a third world country or something. So our country is so different from America, but just across the border, you would think it’s almost exactly the same.
Amy Baxter [50:52]
It’s been an amazing education about what countries have different rules and how classifications work. And something that is exactly the testing and the research that you need in Brazil is irrelevant in Singapore.
David Ralph [51:10]
Just before I put you on the Sermon on the mic, and send you back in time to have a word with your younger self, what what’s the major thing that you’ve learned when you’re lying in your bed at night? And you look back over the last seven years of data me, buzzy? what’s what’s the big learning but anybody who has got an idea of a product? And they’re sort of grappling with how to actually bring it to sort of fruition? What What’s that one bit of advice you could give them.
Amy Baxter [51:36]
Don’t be motivated by the payoff. I think that ideas take between seven to nine years to come to fruition. Whether that’s acquisition or being independently functioning without having to take all of your life. One of the things that we talked about in one of my entrepreneur groups is is the day of other since the day that you’re actually irrelevant to your company’s functioning. That’s the day of success. And so that day takes seven to nine years and unless you’re really passionate about what you’re making, not just for the money, but because you’re doing something that you really care about. I don’t think that that debriefing Your life is worth it. I think that’s the biggest lesson is knowing that when it when it’s gotten hard when it’s gotten tough when it’s gotten frustrating when it’s gotten confusing. And when I’ve had to make decisions that I haven’t been trained to make. That’s when someone will send a testimonial saying that they’ve been able to start taking insulin now and they’ve lost 20 pounds and they were too afraid to do it before buzzy. That’s when someone will say that their child’s allergy shots have gone from a one hour crying, screaming ordeal to five minutes of laughing because buzzy tickles those things keep me going. And if I were selling something or making something that didn’t mean as much to me, then it wouldn’t have been worth all of the the effort and and going off the path that I started
David Ralph [53:06]
marvellous answer. Right. Okay, let’s send you back in time. And I’m going to play the music now. And this is the Sermon on the mic. And this allows you to be transported back to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the younger Amy sitting on your step waiting for somebody to hurt themselves, or the one being dumped by the by the surgeon. What would you say to them, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [53:38]
We go with the best bit of the show.
Amy Baxter [53:44]
younger self, you’re no doubt very surprised to be hearing from me, since podcasts haven’t been invited yet. And maybe a little creepy. There are a couple things that I have learned that I would love it for you to know. Now. The first thing is do what you’re going to do. Don’t be put off or worried about getting distracted or going in a direction. That’s not one clear goal. I know that in medicine, people are going to tell you that you’re not going to make a contribution to society unless you keep pushing in one direction and focus. But complex problems don’t respect disciplinary boundaries. If you’re going to solve really complicated problems, you need to be okay with following what interests you. If something’s boring you if something is is feeling like it’s not something you care about, or if people are just making you unhappy, then don’t work with them. Spend more time with the people that make you happy and spend less time with the people that make you unhappy. If you find that you’re unhappy, you can change something and don’t be afraid to do that. The other thing younger self is that even if you go in a direction, that’s not where people expect you to stay true to what feels right in your gut. If you feel like something is the right decision, stick with it, people are going to tell you that you can’t be a success unless you make something disposable or unless you change the way buzzes working so that it falls apart so that people have to buy more and more. Blow them off. You’ll make it anyway it’s It will be fine. But unless you can go to bed at the end of the day feeling like you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing and you’re making a difference in people’s lives, then change your path be really be really empowered not to be influenced too much by any one day, or any one person or any one event. Keep moving forward and pay attention to what feels like the right thing for you to do. younger self you might also consider getting some sort of a receptacle so that you can play podcasts while you exercise because exercise is also something you should be doing a little bit more of.
David Ralph [56:13]
I agree with that. Totally. I absolutely. I think to myself, I should listen to more podcasts, but I’m so busy churning them out. I don’t actually get a chance anymore. But um, yeah, it’s all right when when she grows up and she can drive she can play on Stitcher in a car, she’ll be fine. She’ll be able to listen to you. Well, how do people actually connect with yourself? Dr. Amy
Amy Baxter [56:33]
unlinked in. I have a Twitter account that’s just with at buzzy for shots, you can write to info at MMJ labs. com. I named it for my children, Max miles and Jill but MMJ in the States has gotten on a medical marijuana overtones, so don’t be afraid. info at MMJ labs will actually get you to buzzy and not some that is cannabinoid?
David Ralph [57:02]
There we go. The last one of your vice come up in that show. No, no, no. We’ve done a lot. We’ve done drugs. We’ve done beer. Who knows? Well, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots of your life. And please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining the dots, and connecting our past is the very best way to build our futures. Dr. Amy Baxter. Thank you so much,
Amy Baxter [57:27]
David, thank you.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up Dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.