Past Articles
This form does not yet contain any fields.



    Yesterday was blood workup day in anticipation of my annual physical exam next week. Consequently, I went to pay a visit to my cheerful phlebotomist, the person who gets paid to stab me with a needle. I had made the appointment for early in the day, because I was required to fast before the procedure. It’s no sacrifice to skip a bowl of cereal, but it’s not so easy to leave the house without my morning caffeine fix.

    I arrived on time, but in my zombie-like state, sans coffee, I had to park my car twice in order to line it up between the white lines in the parking lot. Since it was so early, none of the parking places had yet been taken, but it would have been really greedy to occupy three of them.

    Shortly after I entered the building, I was ushered into the laboratory for my test. I am not squeamish, nor do I faint at the sight of blood, however it’s never a good day when the technician can’t find a cooperative vein. That’s why I always say, “The veins in my right arm look good, but I can promise you that they will rock and roll away from you, and collapse as soon as you come anywhere near them with a needle.

    Unfortunately, last year, my regular phlebotomist was on vacation. So I was stuck with the Evil Blood Lady, who said, “Hold still while I draw you.” I was hoping she would paint my portrait, but after using my right arm for a pin cushion, the Evil Blood Lady grinned and said, “Sorry, I guess I should have listened to you.” I looked at her and said, “Not to worry, black and blue are my favorite colors. You can take the needle out of my arm now.”

    Many years ago, I experienced my most unusual encounter with a phlebotomist. When I entered the laboratory, I was confronted by a medical lab technician with no fingers. Happily, she could grasp a needle with her knuckles, and I didn’t come out with a tattoo.  It was kind of like getting your teeth cleaned by a blind dentist, who knew exactly where your nose was supposed to be.

    Happily, this year my phlebotomist had returned from her vacation just in time to come at me with a sharp object. No problems!  I took myself out for breakfast and had a pancake and three cups of coffee to celebrate. I wore my elastic bandage the rest of the day, just to be sure that the blood would stay exactly where it was supposed to be in my really cooperative left arm.

    Esther Blumenfeld

    PrintView Printer Friendly Version

    EmailEmail Article to Friend

    Reader Comments

    There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.

    My response is on my own website »
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>