By 8am, I had given my phone number incorrectly once and misunderstood 3 times. The day was going well. Everything according to the usual pattern of life.
I sat in the waiting area reciting my mantra… I have plenty of blood. My veins are strong. Uh yes. My veins listened to the squalling brat further along and started getting jittery. I swear I could hear them planning their escape route. I was handed a number. Has anyone ever noticed that the 6 and the 9 are remarkably similar on a white piece of card? That predicament at least provided about 5 minutes of entertainment for my fellow sufferers. The little girl pointed out that they must have it wrong. To her, it was clearly a 6.
I eventually went in. The sweet could-be-anyone’s-grandma lady smiled encouragingly. "I can do this," I thought. She tied the rubber band on – thin government issue bands… it snapped. Oh yippee… off to a good start! She tied another one on. I wish her good luck and she gets her weapon of choice out. She says, "Don’t worry… it’s right here. I can feel it," patting the crook of my arm encouragingly. By this time, my veins are tying themselves in knots trying to get away. I can hear them, "Mummyyyyyy! Where can we hide?"
To be sure, I don’t mind needles. I take injections as bravely as the next guy, even usually joking about them, and occasionally, I’ve even successfully had blood drawn with minimal fuss. She stuck the needle in. A little to the right. No. A little to the left. No. Pull out a little. Let’s try deeper. Nope… too deep. Out again. Upper left corner behind the right hand joint. Yep… that’s the way it went. I watched her face changing expressions. She was starting to worry that I had no veins. "Ah!" she says, "It’s way over on the left hand side!" She nods at me as though to let me know to make a note of that for the next brave soul who foolishly thinks drawing blood is easy. She actually looks like she’s discovered the answer to the secrets of life. I’m happy for her. My arm is hurting. Drip, drip, drip. She nudges the uncooperative vein. Drip, drip. *sigh* By the second vial, she had nudged the vein into little squirts instead of drips.
"Does it hurt more coming out or going in?" she asked, as she waited to see if I’d freak as she removed the needle. HUH? She can’t be serious. I look at her blankly. I’d say it hurts more going in, wouldn’t you? Take it out already!
Hm… the rest of the day should go well now, right? : )