Thursday, July 3, 2014

They Stick It To Me

Every three months, I get to get out of bed and drive over to the big building at Joppa Rd and Fairmount Avenue to leave behind several gallons (seems like it, anyway) of blood for testing purposes.  My doctor seems surprised that I can even get out of bed at all, given my advanced age, but the tests are to prove that I have plenty of gas left in the tank.  Not much blood, but plenty of gas.

The Quest test lab opens at 7:30 in the yawning, and don't think for a minute you can roll in early and have a seat in a waiting room, waiting for 7:30.  No, they do not open the doors until 7:30, although you are allowed to wait outside the waiting room. We who have fasted since midnight (did I mention that you can't eat before having the blood drawn?  Well, you can't!) stand around in the hall and rate our surgeons, general practitioners, physical therapists and prescription providers.  This lively banter is broken up at 7:30 as the receptionist for the blood-a-rama weaves her way through the crowd and opens the door.  Participants in the fun then re-create the order in which they lined up, and roll up their sleeves.  

There is no joke to
which I will not stoop.
I have to say that the waiting is the hardest part, not to be Petty about it.   Once registered, we are called back to the House of Blood and a needle is inserted, and the bloodletting begins.

But here's the thing!  Those people who draw the blood are so nice!  Can you imagine, having that job and having to sit hungry jumpy people down and drive a needle the size of a railroad spike into their inner elbow (armus bendus)? And then, as the claret flows, they are nice enough to chatter about the weather, the Orioles, the Ravens, the need to maintain a calm demeanor while being trampled in a mall on Black Friday...

They tell me they are Phlebotomists, but I don't care what their religion is, they are nice people doing a job that I would rate on the desirability scale between "highway toll collector" and "Jenny McCarthy's medical advisor." 

Even though, every now and then, they hand me an empty cup...

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