The horror of starting my day without a bracing cup of coffee.
I’m not a morning person I loathe getting up before 9:00am and when I do get up it is better for everyone if I have my morning coffee undisturbed.
On this memorable morning I had to be at the hospital for blood tests at 8:00am. I had set my alarm clock for 7:30am and when it began its shill buzzing I grudgingly got out of bed, pulled on my clothes and headed for the hospital.
The first thing I noticed upon my arrival was the horrid disinfectant smell and various other odors which thrive in a hospital. The waiting room was filled with ill-tempered people, probably because they hadn’t had their morning coffee. Some people were coughing and hacking under the masks they had been asked to wear to reduce the risk of people getting infections and what not. .
Finally, my name was called and I entered the lab and sat down in the nearest chair on one side of a table that was well equipped with gauze, needles, cotton swabs, alcohol and all the other supplies needed to draw blood.
On the other side of the table sat a very stern looking nurse who gave the impression of having been trained by the military. I tried to explain to her that it was extremely difficult to find a good vein in my arm. She looked at me and announced, “I’ll find it.”
She tied a rubber strap above where she planned to drive the needle into my vein, scrubbed an alcohol soaked gauze over the area then looked at me and said, “Just take a deep breath and take it easy.”
As I inhaled deeply I felt the prick of a very sharp needle enter my vein and immediately tensed up as it popped out again. She began moving the needle around under my skin twisting it this way and that trying to get it back into the vein. Then she muttered under her breath and withdrew the needle and stuck a piece of gauze and a band-aid over the hole in my arm.
After two more attempts, she decided to try one of the larger veins on the top of my hand. She stared at me menacingly and said “Like I told you before, just take a deep breath and take it easy.”
I can see a large bruise spreading from beneath one of the band-aids on my arm and I don’t feel much like taking it easy at all. I just want this to be over so I can get out of here and have my morning coffee.
There is no point in even trying to relax as she zeros in on a promising vein. I can feel my other hand forming a tight fist and, I think, You better get it right this time, lady because I don’t know how much longer I control myself!
She takes aim and stabs the needle into my hand and after a bit of twisting and turning the needle goes into the vein and she quickly starts filling test tubes. With a look of triumph she says, “That wasn’t so bad, now was it? I’ll see you in six weeks.”
I got out of there as fast as I possibly could, got in my car and drove to Tim Horton’s where I ordered an Extra Large coffee and a maple glazed doughnut.