I just need to tell this to someone, and seeing as how I just tried to tell my husband and he was like OH GOD I CAN'T, guess who gets to hear it? You, my friends.
This is not a story for people who faint while having their blood taken. Read no further if you are one of these people.
So, because I am old and my body is crumbling into dust, I find myself having blood drawn fairly frequently. Today is one of those days. I wandered in, added my name to the rapidly growing list of people waiting to have their blood drawn, and proceeded to wait for almost an hour, which is certainly one of the longer waits I've experienced. I could see there was a new girl doing all the blood draws, and she seemed flustered and nervous, so I figured she was probably new to phlebotomy in general and trying to get the hang of things.
Now, I don't mind having my blood drawn. It doesn't make me nervous. I have great veins and no one has ever had difficulty sticking me. Some phlebotomists are better than others, but in general I'm in and out and it's no big deal. Which is why it was no big deal to me that this girl was new.
Finally my name is called and I take a seat and proudly present my above-average veins. The new girl is jabbering away nervously. My name is Jane and I'm going to be taking your blood today. Congratulations Jane, let's hop to it! I'm going to use a butterfly needle. Super.
She's about to get started and suddenly stops and says Oh my god I almost forgot to change my gloves. I'm supposed to change my gloves for each draw. So I'm like: Ah yes. Clean gloves. Please and thank you. Doesn't inspire confidence but I'm still sympathetic to the new-girl situation. So she changes her gloves.
Then she says One, Two, Three, and inserts the needle, and all is still fine. And then she says Oh God, your vein blew. And I'm still like, Honestly, don't care. Is blood coming out? Let's do this. But she's freaking out: Oh God Oh God Oh God I'm gonna take it out. So I'm like, Ok, you can take it out and use my other arm.
So she takes the needle out and my blood sprays all over her lab coat. Straight up red human blood all over her white coat.
So at this point I'm like: For starters, I have no idea what a blown vein is and I'm just hoping it doesn't mean I'm going to die. My arm is aching fiercely and she's acting like I might have a brain aneurysm any second or something. Secondly, I'm thinking Jane should maybe be worried that some of my blood got on her face or something. I mean, I don't see any, but still. What if I had AIDS or something? And thirdly, I am a little nervous about Jane tackling my other arm.
So because my blood is all over her jacket, she changes into a clean one and then we move on to the other arm. And everything went so smoothly. One, Two, Three, jab, suck me dry, see you later but oh my god hopefully not before you've drawn like 4,000 more people's blood because sweet lord you are bad at this Jane. So very bad and scary.
The irony is that most often the person who draws my blood is this very angry woman who seems like not only is she pissed off that she's working, it's possible she is also pissed about something in her personal life, and I seem to have personally pissed her off as well. She's never gentle and I don't think she's ever said more than "make a fist" to me, but she certainly knows how to draw blood without it spraying all over her, and she's never injured me. So here's to you, angry phlebotomist! I'll take you over nervous nellie any day.