The first thing I had to do this morning was a blood test! This was a follow-up examination requested by my GP well before Christmas and I have been postponing the task for more than month. The time had come so I decided to go for it today without my first cup of coffee for the day. People could relate to their empty-stomach experience if they have done a fasting blood test.
I joined the queue of grumbling stomachs as the 11th person. It was only 8 am in the morning and the phlebotomist had reached the second on the list. I picked my number and sat on a chair facing the television. The commentator was reading the winners of the fourth round Australian Open Tennis. After the sports news, I had lost interest. I grabbed one of the old Woman’s Weekly magazines sitting on a table next to my row of chairs. The pages of the magazine was already falling apart indicating the previous heavy use, carrying one time’s hot gossip of the celebrities’ of the world. I turned my attention to the puzzle section of the magazine to pass the time. I was pleased to see a few of the sections were left for me to tackle.
A patient who had done her “blood donation” left with a big smile and said that she was getting closer by minute to reach her first caffeine fix of the day. I heard the phlebotomist joking that she wants to open a coffee shop in front of every blood centre in Perth when she retires from her current profession. That was person #6 and five more to go for my turn!
A gentleman was pacing up and down the aisle waiting to be called. He seems to be agitated whether he was scared of the thought of the needle or of his empty stomach. I remembered that in one of my previous visits, the Phlebotomist mentioned that on average the men are most scared of the needle and especially soldiers are more nervous to see blood.
Forty minutes later I was called and the technician informed me that I do not need to fast for that particular test (my coffee-fast was all in vain!). I heard her saying “pleasant thoughts” and I wondered how on earth one could have a pleasant thought when someone is ready to inflict pin prick pain on a patient. Ouch! I felt the pain and it was all finished within seconds. She placed cotton wool on the pin pricked area and secured it with a plaster. Finally I have accomplished my task which was requested by my GP and was contemplating my coffee for the day.
On my way home, I was pondering which was the lesser devil of the three?
Is it the needle, the grumbling stomach or the blood test results which will be sent to my doctor in two days time?
Let me ponder over it until I get a call from the medic.
Postscript: The above article is written in response to :