I also don't like shots, needles, blood, tourniquets, or extending my arms while someone kneads the heck out of the insides of my elbows.
- Being a lab rat
Unfortunately, Meagan also hates the idea of dying cold and alone in a foreign country, so to NIMH she went, just to make sure everything was in working order. Luckily, the Institute was on 800 North and not in some arachnid-infested field, so there could have been worse ways to spend a Friday morning. (Meagan is nothing if not optimistic.)
So off I went, bracing myself as I waited outside of the lab for Mary, the new technician, to call me in.
"Meagan, come on in. This will only take a second."
"That's what they all say. I have deep veins that take issue with being poked."
"Hmmm. Well I'm pretty good, so I'm sure I'll be able to handle them."
"Yeah, that's what they all say. But my veins really hate it when they're disturbed. It takes forever to find them, and they begrudge every drop of blood. Last time it took 10 minutes and five pokes in three separate locations to get even one vial filled. You should probably just start with my hand."
"I don't like starting with hands. It is more painful and leaves a bigger bruise."
"I know. That's what they all say, but I'd rather have one bruise on my hand than a bruise on each arm AND on my hand."
"I'm sure you'll be fine."
*sigh* "Yeah, that's what they all say." (Meagan is nothing if not a bane to every phlebotomist's ego through verbal hammer blows of annoying repetition.)*
Mary tied on the tourniquet and began kneading my left arm. Three minutes later, she let out a frustrated "hmmm". Wordlessly, I held out my right arm and tried not to let her see me rolling my eyes as she made her first prick on my right arm.
I'm not sure if the sudden widening of my eyes mid-roll caused the dizziness, or if it was the veritable fountain of blood spouting from my arm into first one, then two of the waiting vials. I was so shocked I momentarily let my gaze slip from the hideous cat-themed calendar and actually watched. That was how I caught the smug look on Mary's face before she turned away to label the vials.
"Wow. You are really good. I stand corrected." (Meagan is nothing if not willing to admit she's wrong.)
"Yeah. That's what they all say."
I couldn't have said it better myself.
*I realize I sound like a total snob in this conversation, but in my defense, I'd like to point out that getting worked over for blood work is only #2 on my list of things I hate in this world. And it would be #1 but for the breadth of two extra hairy legs stuck on a bug.