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.
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?
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013