Trying In Vein, Part 2

| Working | July 25, 2013

(I am at a doctor’s office, which has a phlebotomist—the people who draw blood samples—on site. I am sent to her to get a sample taken for testing.)

Phlebotomist: “Don’t worry, girl. It’ll just be one quick prick and you’re done!”

Me: “Oh, it’s okay. I don’t mind needles.”

Phlebotomist: “You don’t like needles?”

Me: “I don’t mind them. I have a couple tattoos and piercings. It doesn’t bother me.”

(She proceeds to tell me all about her lower back tattoo, before finally getting ready to take my blood.)

Phlebotomist: “Okay, now stretch your arm out as far as it’ll go and clench your fist. Good, hold it there!” *sticks me* “Hmm… this doesn’t seem to be working.”

Me: “Yeah, I don’t really bleed easily. Sorry.”

Phlebotomist: *digs needle around* “Dang girl, you’re not kidding! I know it’s in the vein.”

(The phlebotomist pulls the needle out and starts digging again.)

Me: “Ow!”

Phlebotomist: “I thought you didn’t mind needles?”

Me: “Well that was before you were digging it around in my arm.”

Phlebotomist: “Huh, I still can’t get this to work. I’m gonna use a bigger needle. I should’ve taken it from the other arm. I can see you’ve got a nice big vein there.”

Me: “Please, by all means…”

Phlebotomist: “Nah, I already started over here.”

(She uses a different needle, and finally gets the blood she needs. As I’m walking out, I flex my arm a bit and notice I can feel a sharp pop around where she took the blood. Concerned, I step back and ask the receptionist if that is normal. She sends me back to the phlebotomist.)

Phlebotomist: “It’s popping?”

Me: “Yeah, if you touch it you can feel the vein move out of place.”

Phlebotomist: *feels my arm* “Oh, it does move! Girl, that’s weird. It doesn’t always do that, does it?”

Me: “No. It just started after you took the blood. It’s not a problem, is it? I wanted to make sure before I left.”

(She keeps making me bend my arm so she can feel it, proclaiming how weird it is, and how she’s never seen anything like it. She then calls a nurse in.)

Phlebotomist: “Check this out! Bend your arm again, girl.”

Nurse #1: *feels the vein pop* “Wow, that is so strange! I’ve never heard of that happening. Hey, [nurse #2], come take a look at this!”

Me: “Umm, it is okay, right? Nothing’s wrong with it?”

Nurse #2: “Woah, how far can you bend your arm back?”

Nurse #1: “You know, that might be what it is. It looks like you’re double jointed, so that might have shifted the vein. Hold on a minute.”

(They call the doctor in.)

Nurse #2: “You’re never gonna believe this unless you feel it for yourself.”

(By now, I have the phlebotomist holding my arm out for people to touch, one of the nurses bending my other arm to see how far it will go, and the other nurse placing the doctor’s hand on the elbow joint where the blood was drawn. I am seriously flustered, because I hate people touching me.)

Doctor: “Huh… that is very unusual. I can’t say I’ve ever heard of that before. You must just be a mutant!”

Me: “Oh, good. As if I don’t get that enough for the red hair and the two different-color eyes. Is it going to stop popping like that?”

Doctor: “Put ice on it.”

Me: “…ice?”

Doctor: “And if it gets worse, go to the hospital and have someone take a look at it.”

(I can hear them all still laughing as I finally leave. I don’t bother with the ice, because by the time they had all stopped playing with it, my arm was so stiff and swollen that I couldn’t move it at all for the rest of the day. The whole area was bruised for almost a month.)


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