prick

“You can just step into the room on the right…”

“Um…If you don’t mind, I’d prefer to recline for this.” I was already sweating in anticipation.

 “Oh, sure. Not a problem.” He scooted a recliner over. I managed to plop into it and swooshed the chair into a nearby wall. Lovely.

I closed my eyes and lay back as he pulled me closer. I like to think good thoughts when I do this. Because I hate this. So I thought of sex. Really. Why not? Sweet. Comforting. Pleasant. A silly little grin spread across my face. I was in a good place.

I heard a female voice nearby. Older. “Ron, can I help you in any way?”

“No thanks, I’m fine”, said “Ron”. Great. He must be a newbie. Practically a virgin, probably. I’ve never had much use for virgins, sorry. Certainly not when I’m tense and vulnerable. My happy place was starting to float out and away from me. I made a fist.

The rubber tourniquet around my arm was tied tight. Snug. “Just a little coldness here, sorry”, Ron alerted me, as he swabbed the nasty alcohol across my arm. At least he’s polite, I thought. Manners count. Then, the prick. Sweet Jesus, I hate that prick. Did you know that for many heroin users, the kick becomes not the drug, but the needle? Sick. Sick, sick, sick. Today, I’m just not up to this. I suck in my breath and try not to squirm. My feet start to do flutter kicks and my back arches. I swear the needle feels like it’s penetrating deeper. What if Ron-the-novice accidentally pierces the other side of my vein? Will my blood leak out into my body, filling it until I resemble a giant tick? Mom!!!!! Sigh. Dear Mom the nurse was so good with us for these kinds of things. At least if Roz were here, there’d be the traditional pack of m&m’s dropped into my paws at the end of this torture.

This is taking far too long. I’m not sure how many tubes of my red juice are required, but I can feel a jerk each time one is removed and another replaced. It’s probably because it’s been at least three years since my last lab work. I can’t even remember the name of my former primary care doctor when asked. “You need to make a gyn appointment. This is not good when you have a history of ovarian cancer in the family.”, she said as politely as she could. “And you’ve never had a mammogram? You need one.” I know, I know. This  is bad. How is it that I can be so meticulous with the kiddo’s medical care and not my own?

Thank God I didn’t bring the kiddo. The other day when I took her with me for my physical, the good doctor could barely get past her outstretched arms that blocked access to me to check my vitals. My guardian angel. It’s sweet. Only, it’s supposed to be the other way around. I don’t need nobody around to protect me. No sir. I cool.

“Are you going to cut my Mommy open?!?!”, she’d demanded. I gently informed my sweet charge that this was not the place for slicing and gutting. I add that I am not under threat or in pain. She was relentless and defensive for the duration of the check-up. I can’t take such theater today.

Finally, I can feel the needle exit and a wad of gauze replacing it. “Let’s have your other arm”, Ron sings. My eyes snap open. Other arm? Holy shit. I’ve never seen this before. They want more? Vampires!

 I look up at Ron, petrified, eyes bulging incredulously. He laughs and guides my slackened other arm over to the punctured one, and presses my fingers against the gauze. Phew. I relax and sit up. “Gonna be ok?”, Ron asks.  I nod and actually stand up, barely giving him a chance to slap a band-aid on. I turn to book out of the place. This experience is almost forgotten, already.

“Whoaaa..not so fast”, the needle man called, holding up his arm. Jesus God! What the fuck now?

“After the pain, comes the humiliation”, Ron announced. “O.k., this is getting twisted”, I think, until Ron holds up the faintly familiar collection jar with my name on it.

“Oh, that. I’d forgotten about that”, I say as I follow Ron to the water closet. I did forget, too. I forgot to hold it this morning when I got up! Five minutes and more than a couple of knocks on the door later, and I’m still bone dry. After running my hands under a stream of cold water three times, I give up. For the first time in ages, I could really use a beer right now. Instead, I march over to another attendant and order a double shot of water.

Someone else has taken my place in the loo. So I’m led to the other lavratory, the one for the general public. Fine. This time, I perform. My cup doth not run over, but I’ve collected an adequate amount. Only now, I have to deliver it clear across a room full of people I’ve never met! Considerably less private. I cup my vessel surreptitiously behind my purse and skulk back over to the lab. Piss smuggler. Then I whisk the thing quickly over to attendant and stammer a quick ‘bye!. Finally, it’s over.

Sweet. Relief.

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4 Responses to “prick”


  1. 1 Puppycup July 8, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    LOL- I’m sorry you had me chuckling thru the entire reading. I always think of the lab techs as vampires too as they always seem to comment on what good veins I have– so big and juicy. But it makes for a rather quick blood draw =)

  2. 3 Bets July 9, 2009 at 4:24 am

    Not to frighten you (ok, maybe scare you a little bit…)
    go get a mammogram. soon.
    I have had 2 friends my age undergo double mastectomies this year, and a 3rd recently diagnosed. Looking at a double and a hysterectomy… she’s thirty-one. 31.

    On a lighter note, loved the post today. I’ve been peeking in waiting for new words. Giggled throughout.
    xxx

  3. 4 petitmuse July 9, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    fee: anything medical related brings out the child in me. and emm is yes, absolutely fab.

    pentyne: i miss roz alot when i’m doing this sort of thing. i actually called her later.

    bets: i know. i do know. :>


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