The photo doesn’t show it well enough, but there’s the result of yesterday’s attempt to do a very common thing: give a blood sample. It’s been a normal part of life since I was a teenager. Phlebotomists vary greatly, but I’ve never had one as bad as this. Altogether, four needles of various sizes poked into my arm (the fourth by a different person over at Quest Labs, fortunately). The third one was the worst. She wasn’t quite willing to give up immediately and poked around trying to find a vein.
I have big veins, very easy to see and feel. Yet she missed it. Three times. It’s the poking around that gave me the swelling and the extra bruising. I had the heating pad on it yesterday, but maybe I’ll put a cool pack on it to bring down the swelling.
The best phlebotomist I ever had was in Los Angeles. I can’t remember his name because in my head he was always “Hatchet Man.” He was nigh on painless every time, straight to the vein and done. But he had this horrific scar and dent in his forehead that looked like someone had buried a hatchet in his head. I was always too timid to ask about it, but it fascinated me. Maybe I should have asked, but it seemed rude. Whatever it was must have been terrible. Probably better I didn’t ask.