Tuesday, October 13, 2009

No Pain, No Gain

Yesterday was an interesting day.

I woke up in a great mood, despite the fact that three things were a given:
1. I was going to have to drive to Greenbrier (about 20 minutes away) first thing, in traffic
2. I was going to have to have blood drawn
3. I was going to have to do these two things without any coffee in my system, as it had to be a fasting blood draw

Now, I hate traffic with a passion. I get all pissed off in traffic and yell and swear like you wouldn't believe. I tend to whack the steering wheel and the dashboard. Occasionally, I will beat my head against the driver's side window in frustration. I. Hate. Traffic. Additionally, I HATE having blood drawn. Am I afraid of needles? Nope. I just like to be the one in control of the damn needle, and I have yet to figure out how to draw my own blood. Which means I have to trust a total stranger, who may or may not have graduated at the bottom of their unusually large phlebotomy class after dropping out of nursing school because wow, that CNA program is HARDCORE, to come at me with a needle. Between over twenty years of diabetes and two pregnancies, I have had a lot of blood drawn--from some of the best, and definitely some of the worst. When it's one of the lesser talented phlebotomists, I tend to swear, whack the side of the chair, and occasionally bang my head back against the wall behind me. (Are we seeing a pattern here?) Oh, and I don't function without coffee first thing. At all. Period.

Despite these strikes working against me (along with a few extra strikes--like Bellamy running home from the bus stop sobbing because she was tired of waiting on the bus and "so bored!" just as I watched the bus pass by, leading me to have to drive her to school and deal with the crossing guard from hell) I was able to make it to the lab with no permanent injuries to myself or those around me. I settled in, and offered up my left arm. (The veins roll in my right--so I ALWAYS insist on the left. And on the offhand chance I get one of those people who tell me they can ONLY draw from one side or the other because that is what they are used to, I immediately leap from the chair, covering my veins and haul ass outta there.) The lady drawing the blood was a very sweet, older black lady, whom at first seemed to have no idea what she was doing. No request for fist pumping? Tourniquet in a funny spot? However, either she was highly talented or my veins were just ripe for the sticking because all went well. As she filled tube after tube, she explained to Sutt what she was doing, what the blood was for, etc. He was fascinated, and behaving very well (and sitting in my lap). Before long, it was over, she taped down a cotton ball on my arm because I bleed through Band-aids and I was ready to go.

Until Sutton spoke up.

"Hey, what about my surprise? When you go to the doctor you always get a surprise when you're a good boy!" The phlebotomist and I looked at each other. I knelt down to his level, and pointed out to Sutt that HE didn't do anything, Mommy was the one who got stuck, so if anybody should get a surprise it was Mommy. And Mommy just wanted the hell outta there and a straight shot to the nearest Starbucks.

"But I was a good boy! And I had to come to the doctor! And there was blood and shots!" Um, yeah, kid. MY BLOOD. MY SHOTS. You just had to sit there in my lap, holding your hand-me-down Batman and one-armed Robin action figures that somebody somewhere found in their attic and assumed had once been Blaker's, hence should be passed onto you, despite the likelihood they contain crazy-assed 1970's things like lead and asbestos.

At that point, the phlebotomist stepped in and mentioned that he HAD been a good boy, so she DID have a surprise for him, and produced a Garfield Band-Aid, noting that being a boy means he probably gets a lot of boo-boos. (I neglected to tell her that the last boo-boo he got was when he pinched his finger in Barbie's Diamond Castle while pretending that pink fairy Barbie was having a sleepover with Holiday Barbie, circa 2006. I figured, let the kid keep his dignity in public.)

Sutt examined the Band-Aid suspiciously. I gently reprimanded him, "What do you say to the nice lady?"

He sighed, begrudgingly. "Thank you, wady. But I willy willy wanted a wowwy pop."

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