Bloodletting

You would think that since I have decided to get a tattoo I would be over the fear of getting blood drawn. But alas, this is not the case. Besides, there is a difference between needles penetrating the skin’s surface to place ink into the epidermis and a huge needle digging down past the 4-5 layers of epidermis and 2 layers of dermis, trying to find an illusive vein to suck out large tubes of blood for tests.

I am preparing for another “procedure” in the very near future and my surgeon ordered all kinds of labs to be done before hand. My least favorite is the blood draws and of course he wanted a full panel.

The first inconvenience of this daunting task was the almost 2 hour wait to see the blood sucker. It wasn’t her fault. She was only one person with a sea of victims waiting in line for her handiwork. When I finally get my turn, I sit down in the chair with those funky arm rests and I tell her, “I am a really hard stick.”

Her reply…” I can get blood out of a turnip!”

“I hope so“, I prayed!

Because of past medical issues I can’t have any blood draws or blood pressure readings taken on my right arm. Every phlebotomist that ever lays eyes on my right arm drools with lust over those lovely restricted veins. Then they glance at what they have to work with on the other side and let out a long sad sigh.

While she was getting all of her vampire tools ready I told her about my worst blood draw letting ever.

photo via wikipedia

It was in preparation for a different procedure way back in 2006. You would think with the passing of time I would have forgotten the painful memory. But no, I am like a bulldog and hold onto certain events in my life with a death grip. My daughter Aliesha was with me and I still remember the size of her eyes. Like golf balls full of fear. Mine probably looked the same I just couldn’t see them.

The intern phlebotomist stuck me 7 times with no luck. Digging, twisting and turning to secure a willing vein.

Finally. I. Said.

“You need to get somebody in here that can do this!”

Eventually the intern blood letter calls some other weakling blood sucker to poke me some more and she is finally successful after 2 more tries. But…. then she hands the tube of precious hemoglobin to the inapt intern who then clumsily drops the golden vile to the floor!

It was a total slow motion event.

Noooooooooo! I could see the shattered tube all over the floor! Covering my feet with my own blood!

But…..

The collection tube was plastic! Yes! There is a God who loves me!

I seriously thought I was going to have to go through that whole scenario again. It was as if my life flashed before my eyes.

I cried. Aliesha cried.

Never again…I learned my lesson, if they can’t get it in 2 tries, I tell them, “Get a better vampire in here quick!

Ancient Greek painting in a vase, showing a physician (iatros) bleeding a patient. Photo via wikipedia

By the time I finished my horror story the Angel of Phlebotomy had stuck me once, without pain, drawn 3 large sample tubes, capped them properly with the rubber stoppers and carefully placed the priceless cargo in a tray without any spillage or breakage. I was amazed. I asked her, “Where have you been all my life?”

I wonder if you can hire your own personal phlebotomist?

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11 thoughts on “Bloodletting

  1. I love your way of bringing us all into the dungeon of horrors as you get suctioned clean!
    I empathize with you though the process does not frighten me at all. I have lovely smoochy veins and they have served me well thus far. Lol.
    All the best with your “procedure” and be brave!
    Let us know that you came out fine please!

    • I am still waiting for a “date”. The scheduling nurse assured me it will not be more than a month out.I am always brave when it comes to procedures, except for the IV placement! Here we go again!

  2. Lori, you poor brave soul! My heart goes out to you, I seriously have no fear of blood being drawn either. I know, I feel guilty to admit it. Also, living in this small town area I have been blessed with the best phlebotomists. I will be praying for the procedure to go well and no suffering involved with the IV placement. Maybe you really can hire the Angel of Phlebotomy! Do bribe her or just whatever it takes! I have heard some horror stories but yours is the worst, I am serious but I will be praying!

  3. Hi,
    I do wish you all the best and hope that your next visit to the vampires will be painless. I just can’t imagine what you have to go through, my thoughts are with you.

  4. Oh, how those phlebos can stand their job is what amazes me Lori. All day sticking and hurting people . . .
    May your procedure go well and we will be waiting what funny things you discover on your adventure 🙂

  5. Poor Lori! I say, adopt this wonderful sucker of blood! Take her with you, EVERYWHERE you meet the needle of doom! Take her to lunch afterwards! I’m so Blessed not to be able to “see” what they actually do to my arm! Never hurts, just leaves horrid bruises Have to wear long sleeves for a few weeks until it fades! Love you!
    Mom

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