Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bloody, Bloody, Blood

I had to get up as early as I could this morning to get to the Quest clinic to give my blood sample: doctor's orders.
I've had blood taken many times over the years. The first time I almost passed out in the chair and since then I ALWAYS tell the technician there is a very good chance I'll be dead on the floor by the time the needle comes out. When I don't die, I usually try to make it seem like it's a big surprise, like maybe they just did a great job of only taking the minimum amount of blood necessary using the smallest needle. "Oh wow, I'm usually passed out by now! You are good at this!" They almost always smile as if they could have possibly had something to do with it. And I almost fool myself, too. "Look at you, E, not passing out even though you've never actually passed out before."

This morning was no different and when the grouchy little man came in at 6:35am and called my name (first one on the list, thank you very much) he showed me to my little stall and sat me in the big girl chair. He pulled out 3 vials. THREE. I asked him if he was going to fill all 3. "Oh yes," he said. "And then some."
And then some? What does that mean?
Oh, it means he pulls out 3 more vials.
"WOW! That's 6 vials! That's a lot of blood! Do I have that much blood?"
He didn't think I was cute. "Everyone does."
Then he pulled out 3 more vials. To spite me for being cute.
Are you counting folks? That's 9.
"Ok, arm up."
Nine vials of blood.
"Ok, well, sometimes I pass out when..."
Too late. Needle in. I sat in that chair for about 72 hours while he switched out each vial, one at a time, until each one was full. I kept taking deep breaths, and he kept chuckling. I should have brought Dave. I should have brought my mom. Then I finally felt the needle come out.
"Ok, you're all done with that one. Drink up." He handed me a small bottle of glucose water. Thank heavens it was Lemon/Lime flavor. I drank up and got my things together to try to make it to the car when he said, "You can just wait in the other room for the last 2."
"Just in the waiting room is fine. Here's your slip. Be back in this stall in 60 minutes for the glucose test."
I had to go sit in a waiting room with ugly old uncomfortable chairs with tons of people while I thought I was going to pass out or vomit or both simultaneously?? FOR 60 MINUTES? SO THEY COULD THEN TAKE MORE OF MY BLOOD AWAY?!
The 60 minutes dragged on forever and when my time came up I sort of pin balled my way down the hall. I was so tired, had the worst headache ever, and was seeing little trails behind the toucans they kept perched on the trees in the bathroom. What?
I propped myself back up in the big girl chair and allowed my other arm to be mutilated for another 2 vials of blood. The lady left the stall without even saying goodbye, so I took that to mean I was finished and could leave.
With no blood left to speak of, breakfastless and very thirsty, I finally got to my car and drove back home. I don't particularly remember the drive. But I do know that I will never again agree to give blood without Dave or a lawyer a present. The moral of the story is: the next time you take someone's blood, please say goodbye and smile. It's the least you can do.

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