Bloody hell

This morning I went and had a blood test. Although I am pretty used to them these days, I still always mention that I am bad with needles. It’s just safer that way. The nurses usually then distract me with ridiculous small talk.

It’s actually not the needle as such that is the problem. It’s more the blood. Well, the whole medical experience I guess. I have always fainted at the sight of blood and puked in hospitals. When I get injured I go into shock and try and rip all my clothes off. I’m not sure why, but I can’t help it. Saying “I’m bad with needles” just seems like a fairly obvious sign that they need to be generally discreet.

This morning the nurse was named Ruza and she had a fascinating hairstyle. That alone ought to have distracted me. I gave my needle spiel. She nodded but apparently she thought that was my attempt at small talk because I may as well have told her I was wearing pink underwear. She gave me two tubes to sqeeze, put the tourniquet on and started tapping my veins. Then for some reason that escapes me, she put the little kidney container with the needle and tubes in it onto the cushion that my arm was resting on, right at the edge of my line of vision (my eyes were fixed firmly on the wall).

After scrubbing my entire arm with the alcohol wipe, Ruza announced that she was “going to start the bleeding now.” Holy what? Jay-sus! It was around that time that my hyperventilating started. I heard all the clicking noises which I assume are her attaching the tube to the needle and then I heard the blood squirting out and hitting the back of the tube. I tried not to think about it, but that’s like trying not to think of an elephant when someone tells you not to.

The lovely Ruza then announced that the bleeding was almost over. She removed the needle and put it in the dish on my knee. I was just holding it together by this stage. I was staving off the main warning sign of a faint – pins and needles in my face. Danger. She clearly didn’t notice my distress because she told me that I needed to confirm my name and DOB. They usually get me to do that off the card. Not Ruza. She wanted me to check the label on the tube of blood. She must be some kind of blood test devil.

I spent the next several minutes sitting in the room with my head between my knees. She’s lucky I hadn’t eaten or I would have emptied my stomach in her blood test hell.


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