Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Blood Demons

(Photo by Dorsia via Flickr.)

Verbs mean everything. Do-gooders are always pleading for us to "give blood" which I realize is important. But when you are unwilling, the blood is definitely "taken."

I definitely had my blood taken today and it didn't go so well. Some historical insight:

During my first 21 years on Earth, I spent a good chunk in hospitals, at least in the regular annual sense. There was one time I contracted some weird disease (undiagnosed) when all my limbs became paralyzed and my skin flaked off like peeling after a sunburn. Freaky. (My second-grade classmates even made get well cards for me, including one that said: "If you die, can I have your eraser collection?")

Anyway, I got my blood "taken" more times than I care to remember. I always dreaded it to begin with but then there was an Incident which I cannot bring myself to fully revisit here. However, I will say there was much screaming and crying, some blood on the walls and at least one nurse who left the profession after said Incident. My best friend, Cindy, was in the other room and she started crying just listening to it.

Instead of being toughened by all this experience, it has reduced me to a sniveling crybaby who will actually cross the street to avoid walking near a parked Bloodmobile. This phobia also disallows me from seeing films like, "Kill Bill" and "Sweeney Todd."

So, today I met a new doctor and told him of my many mysterious biological developments. Like some grown up woman I'd never met before, I uttered the responsible words: "I really think I should have some blood tested. It's been many, many years and we might get some answers." I did mention my fears but insisted that I could handle it. The kind doctor assured me that they had a great gal who could do this procedure in her sleep with no problems.

But that gal wasn't around. Instead, I got a sweet-but-less-competent woman named Erin, who poked me once, twice and three times before she realized she was in over her head. Wisely, I'd insisted on being horizontal since I planned on fainting but after two arms and the third vein, I began to shake with some deeply rooted primitive fear; my life-giving fluids were being extracted and I was intrinsically against it. As my pal, Lynn, said of blood-drawing, "I hate seeing things leave."

It was when she started apologizing, that my dormant emotions were fully released. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," she said, with genuine sincerity, "I don't normally have these problems. Are you okay? Do you need a cold cloth?"

Now I was full-on crying. Even though I was horribly embarrassed, I could not stop. It's so strange how you think you are over something and then it just rises up and says, "Ha! Think again."

Finally, another nurse (the "expert" the doc mentioned earlier) had arrived and did some magical things with my hand and something called a "butterfly." Ultimately, they got the blood they needed and then kindly entertained me with stories of big, burly men who start crying before they are even stuck. I hugged them both and then got the fuck outta there, still shaking.

Then, I went home and watched Season 1 of "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer" and felt better. ("Fucking bloodsuckers! Get 'em, Buff!")

Maybe tomorrow I'll try to be grown up about something else but I think this is one childhood trauma that I am ... er, stuck with.


hotdrwife said...

The next time you have to have that stupid junk done, you call me and I will sit and hold your hand. That's just silly to go at something like that alone. After watching the Bug have a bad blood draw a few months ago at the pediatrician's office, I have new found respect for those that can make it happen quickly and without much trauma.

Poor you. Seriously, call me next time. I'm a good hand holder.

ClizBiz said...

I'll take you up on that, sister. I could have used a sympathetic maternal figure.

hotdrwife said...

And then it would be followed up by a trip to the bar for a shot of something so strong it'd take the paint off the walls, even if it was 10 a.m. Good GOD.

NMfirechic said...

hotdrwife took the words out of my mouth. I wish I could have been there with you. The butterfly needles are ususally used on kids, and people with what are called "roley-poley veins", that would be you. Next time take up hotdrwife offer, and insist on the expert of butterfly "sticks".


ClizBiz said...

BLECH!!!! I have to go lie down now.

Fang Bastardson said...

Hey season one of "Buffy" wasn't bad at all! Sarah Michele still had boobs, Riley hadn't been introduced yet, Willow looks like she's about 16... Shit, where's my copy of season one...?

It's too bad you couldn't have had you there for you when the chips were down. It's always worked for me.

Hope you're feeling better.