Here is the third of four excerpts of the book “Prescription For Disaster: The Funny Side Of Falling Apart” by Candace Lafluer which I recently reviewed here. Candace has graciously agreed to post some excerpts for our reading enjoyment. I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.
The Problem With Veins
I'll admit that before sarc I was pretty bad with needles. Like, epically bad if I'm honest. I would cry, plead, hold my breath and need someone to come with me. I would hyperventilate in the car, pace the halls of the waiting room and burst into tears when my number was called.
Up until the age of 30, yes. How embarrassing.
My husband would have to go with me (humiliating), hold my hand, tell me to look away and I would count backward, in Chinese, from 50 out loud (erm… very loud) to distract myself – my rhythmic Chinese counting getting faster and higher pitched with every second until I would near 30 and shout “Oh my god how are you not done yet take it out take it out TAKE IT OUT!!!!”Like I said, humiliating. IV's? Not happening. They'd have to gas me first.
Sarc changed all of that, though. In the last two years I have had blood tests every two weeks or more, sometimes every day or even multiple times a day. I've had countless IV's and my infamous 13 goes at a lumbar puncture (spinal tap). With each stabbing I realized that the needle was inevitable, it was going to happen whether I made a fuss or not, so why bother? Just go with it. I've since had some doozies. Crying student nurses and MRI's with contrast injections in which I swear the tech had some form of epilepsy. Blown veins and IV's gushing with blood, needles coming out and an assortment of horrors that now I don't even blink at.
But there is one thing about needles that still gets me, and that is when they talk about it. (who does that?!?)I was in for another round of bloods and just chilling, re-reading the Hunger Games and waiting my turn. Get called in, nice nurse, everything fine. Except my veins (of course). I took a seat in the big comfy chair, fixed my gaze on the curtain and nonchalantly told the woman to “do her worst” – and she did. Left arm, in it goes, not too bothered. But blood isn't coming out she tells me. Alright, no worries. This happens to me often, she's just going to stab me again. No problem. But she doesn't. She starts digging. I can feel it wiggling around in there as my breath catches in my throat. I make a strangled sort of noise. She tells me that she can see a bulging vein there (gag) and is just going to have to dig around a bit for it. I tell her I'm not bothered if she wants to try another one. She says she doesn't want to put me through another jab if she can help it. I assure her I don't mind (as she wiggles the needle through the flesh in my inner elbow). She counters with “I've almost got it” and pushes again. I didn't mean to shout, but I aggressively came out with the insistence that she try the other arm.
Bandage on and I'm breathing better – she goes for the other arm. Not a problem, I'm a total needle pro, I can handle this. And I do, very well, until blood isn't coming out of that vein either. It is not possible to will yourself to bleed. I tried. Very limited success. She then did something new: she pumped it. She pumped my arm vein. I could feel her fingers around the needle, matching the beats of my heart with her hand and pumping against the vein. I started to sweat. It was a cold sweat – suddenly it was just very chilly. I was sweating hard. She said she “almost” had it. My mouth got dry and I started to feel very nauseas. “Put your head back and relax” she says. Oh God, very nauseas now. The room is starting to spin and I'm breathing very quickly. The needle is still in there, moving around and she is pumping my arm and talking about blood – my blood. And then she came out with the kicker:
“I don't get why the blood isn't coming out, this is a really juicy vein”
That was it, I was out.
I came to leaned back in the chair with her and another nurse fanning me with newspapers. I was woozy and humiliated, apologizing to them profusely (I am Canadian, after all) for passing out on them. They seemed so concerned and sat me up, fanned me all over (as well as under my shirt?), gave me a drink of water and assured me that it was fine, it happens all the time (riiiiiiight). After a few minutes of more excessive apologizing on my part and fanning on theirs I was deemed recovered (physically, not from shame). I stooped down to gather my things when the nurse stopped me with a concerned look on her face – I couldn’t go yet –
I still hadn't given them any blood.
I hope that you enjoyed that as much as I did, and am sure that you are anxious to go now and get your own copy for your Kindle reader. Just click here to be taken to the Amazon web site where you can download your copy, and if you would prefer a printed copy, click here.
Please be sure to leave a comment so that Candace can know what you though of her story.