Monday, December 17, 2012

Maybe I Could be a Martyr After All

I had to get some routine blood work done today. I call it "routine" because there's nothing wrong with me, not because I'm in the routine of doing it all the time.

As I turned the key in my car to head to the lab, I mentally reviewed the last time I had blood drawn. They couldn't find a vein, poked me a half-dozen times, used three different "fail proof" needles, and tied that blue stretchy thing tighter and tighter around my arm before they started menacingly eyeing my jugular.

Wanting to avoid an encore presentation of that dramatic saga, I'd looked up some free advice on Google. "Drink lots of water, keep your hands warm, move your arms..."

Quart of water chugged: check.

Hands warm? I blasted the heater in my car, but only frigid air swirled round my blue fingers. I started to panic as I got nearer my destination and my hands were frozen in an icy grip around the steering wheel.

"Move your arms!" I was driving! So I started flapping my elbows, hoping it would have the same effect.

I arrived at my destination at last. Once inside, I commenced blowing hot air into my hands, flapping my elbows, and doing the, "I just guzzled a quart of water" dance. It was quite a sight, and quite a workout, let me tell you.

The nurse looked up, utterly unfazed. I'm sure she sees this sort of thing all the time.

Within two minutes I was sitting in the sterile room. A nurse was sterilizing my hand. I'd already warned her that my veins were impossible to find. She gave me a sterile smile and said, "Don't think about it. Think of puppies and Christmas."

I almost fainted at the thought of the cold steel about to be plunged into my frozen flesh. I closed my eyes and prayed for courage. I'd offer my acute suffering, meritoriously, for those suffering worse than I. I would be...

"All done."

"Wait, what? You already did it?"


What do you know? My heater was toasty warm on the drive home.


Rachel Caron said...

Glad it went smoothly... I'll keep praying ;)

Kelly Summers said...

I have had to have blood drawn six times in the past week. And I am told that I have very small veins, so I can totally relate to your anticipatory fears! Both of my arms have so many scabs and bruises right now, it's awful. Thank God for the nurses who are gentle with that needle!   One nurse told me his secret for helping patients who have a tendency to faint (like me): bend your hand backward at the wrist and spread your fingers wide apart. If you hold your hand in that uncomfortable position for ten minutes, your arm goes numb and you will barely feel even the not-so-gentle attempts to find a vein! I've tried it and it does seem to work. :)

Love your writing style!

Colleen Martin said...

Ha!  You are so funny!  This is one of the reasons I give blood - because it doesn't bother me at all, and I know some people just

Post a Comment