DO NOT READ IF SQEAMISH
Needing a routine blood test, I took myself off to the local phlebotomy department at our nearby hospital. The department has recently moved into a brighter, more efficient part of the hospital, with cosy voices calling your ticket number, swapping from a man with a lilting Welsh accent to a woman speaking not quite BBC English. I assumed they have been deemed the most soothing to listen to. It would have to be that – I felt really sorry for the poor girl on the reception desk!
After half an hour – not long really, given that there were six cubicles and around a hundred patients waiting – my number was called (by the nice Welshman). I stepped into cubicle 6 and was greeted by a young nurse who was obviously nursing a cold (see that?). “Poor thing”, was my first thought. “Breathe in the other direction”, was my second.
On this particular occasion, I only needed a small amount of blood taken, so I was expecting a quick ‘in and out’. Silly me! First, she couldn’t find a decent vein in the preferred arm – the left. Eventually, she found a reasonable looking one and gathered the equipment, having asked me if I had drunk water this morning and suggesting that two giant mugs of tea wasn’t quite the same thing. Nope, says she, not coming out. Not until she removed the needle, that is, at which point it bubbled like a good’un. One piece of lint and a plaster later, she was into the other arm and this went smoothly. The second lint and plaster clearly wasn’t interested because it came off as I rolled my sleeve back down. Number three. The poor nurse must have apologised to me half a dozen times fore the various mishaps, most of which weren’t even her fault!
Not an awful experience, as these things go.