Drawing Blood

Yesterday morning my walk took me in the direction of the hospital. Stomach grumbling, I moved towards the blood work centre. My annual check-up with my doctor always includes a trip to this waiting room, a gloomy place smelling of disinfectant.

People sit waiting enclosed in their own worlds, silent and inward-looking. Some read, some gaze blindly at the silent television, others stare determinedly at the calling monitor waiting impatiently for their number to flash on the screen.

Now it is my turn: the number blinks impatiently on the screen calling me into action. I move towards the designated room.

The woman seated in the chair glances up and greets me with a welcoming smile. I smile in return, slightly taken aback as the nurses here are usually efficiently formal.

Description unavailable
Drawing blood. (Photo credit: Lori Greig)

She prepares for the drawing of my blood with confidence. Snapping on a new pair of gloves, she uses a blue rubber strip to create a tourniquet on the top of my arm. Flicking her fingertips against my arm, she gets ready to insert the needle. I feel the sharp burning sensation of a pin prick, and the needle plunges into my vein. Bright red fluid gushes into the vial as the needle greedily sucks out my blood.

All done! My visit was relatively painless and bruise-free. Now I wait until 2014 and my next annual drawing of blood.

Do you have yearly blood work taken? What has your experience been like?

Β© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

26 thoughts on “Drawing Blood

  1. I find the patients in the doctor’s waiting room always interesting and watch them surreptitiously. Pity one cannot take photographs of the bland expressions. However, I once ended up sitting next to a talkative hypochondriac and believe me I was in such a hurry to get out that by the time the doctor saw me I was cured!


  2. Ugh! I shuddered and shivered as I don’t like needles at all and hate it when they want to draw blood from me because they can never get my veins as they collapse and in the end I feel like a pin cushion. I prefer to avoid doctors and anything related to that. You are very brave Colline. πŸ˜€


  3. I had been pricked thrice in the last couple of weeks, for blood, and for tissue from the throat.
    The pathologist said the biopsy will be painful – and I very bravely said “it cannot be harder than child birth”.
    I was proved wrong. Childbirth gives you a bundle of joy to make you forget the pain. But the the needle extracting tissue gives you discomfort and also anxiety waiting for the results to see the diagnosis.
    Your post just brought those moments to the surface πŸ™‚
    The smell of the room, the instruments, the white starched uniform … all not that comforting huh!?


  4. I’ve blood drawn twice yearly, Colline, and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. It’s the rest of the visit that drives me up the wall, from the waiting room to the physical exam to making my way through traffic to get home. πŸ™‚


  5. I like it when the blood is drawn pain-free and with a little conversation so as to make me feel welcome. But not too much so I can get to the donut shop for coffee and… Expeditiously. πŸ˜‰


  6. I’ve done this countless of times. Every time I would go to the doctor and gets referred to the hospital like for my allergy test, I also had to submit myself to blood letting. I still cringe at the sight of the huge needle but over time, I could barely feel the pain. πŸ˜‰


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