Well, yeah, actually, that’s exactly what was wanted.
I had to go by my doctor’s office this morning for some lab work - continuing the saga of my annual physical. I suppose it might sound strange to some, but I can tolerate the Pap test, I can put up with the mammogram, but I hate, hate, hate having blood drawn. It doesn’t help that I have crappy veins and that I’m pretty much a wuss when it comes to blood.
I remember back in bootcamp when we all marched down to the dispensary. We had to get shots and have blood drawn - 3 tubes worth if I recall correctly. The shots were tolerable because they were given with the guns - quick and mostly painless. The blood was another story. I had to look away and try hard to think of something other than my life fluid splurting into little glass tubes. I remember staring at the sympathetic face of one of the other recruits - she was trying to be my strength. Nice try, but not too successful. I was soon sitting on the ground with my head between my knees.
When I’ve had surgery and an IV was necessary, I had to work hard to not think about the metal forced into my veins. Getting an IV is especially trying, and more often than not, they wind up putting it in the back of my hand. Just the thought of it now is making me woozy.
So, I went in this morning. Oh yeah - it had to be a fasting test, so I was hungry as well as nervous. I told the nice lab lady that she’d have to take the blood from the side of my arm as my other veins were worthless. I offered her my left arm and looked at the cartoons taped to the wall on my right. I tried not to pay attention to the sticks and the tapping and the movement. Deep breath, now, deep breath… And it was for nothing. My left arm has no good veins.
She tied the rubber strip on my right arm and gave me a squishy heart to squeeze in my right hand. Success in a matter of seconds, and the tubes were filled. I took a deep breath, looked at the bandages on both arms, gathered my stuff, and left.
But the story doesn’t end there. I got to the office and decided to take off the bandages - I knew I wouldn’t still be bleeding. And I wasn’t. In fact, on my right arm, there’s just a tiny red dot where the needle was inserted. My left arm is another thing entirely. There’s a bruise. And a huge lump. And it hurts when I touch it. (all together now: “Then don’t touch it!”) Poor poor me.
I’ll be getting a call in a few days, no doubt to tell me my cholesterol is too high. And since I haven’t suffered enough today, I’ve got an appointment this afternoon for a bone density check. And a mammogram. Neither of those should require blood, so I’m not too worried.
Right across the street from my office, the Florida-Georgia Blood Alliance is doing a blood drive. They have three bus-like vehicles parked there - and I bet they’re full of cookies and juice. I feel guilty for not donating, but I can’t let those nice people deal with me and my crappy veins, get their hopes up, only to have them dashed. Plus, I’m a wuss.