Monday 31 October 2011

Thought Picnic: Blood-letting tales

Telling bloody stories

In just over two weeks I will return to hospital to see my medical consultant who I last was almost 4 months ago.

As usual, at least two weeks before that meeting I need to go in to give blood to be tested and reveal all sorts of tales about my health, my progress and other physiological things that never cease to amaze me – the stories told by the blood when particular tests are carried out are myriad.

It was always interesting when he refers to liver function, kidney health, cholesterol, platelets and much more, however, the greatest improvement he will notice will be the absence of my cane.

5 vials only

I chose to ride to the hospital in the early afternoon when I thought the crowds will have thinned out and that was the case. The number I got from the ticket queue machine just had two ahead of me.

When I stepped forward to register, the nurse scanned my forms and the printer coughed out 7 labels, starting with my details and then 5 labels for the bloods and the last label signifying the end of the order.

You have to marvel at laser printer technology as the labels are spewed out so nicely printer and in case you did not know, laser is in fact an acronym for Light Amplification by Simulation of Emissive Radiation.

Let me cry and be a woos

I am usually drained of 7 vials of blood, I cannot say why it was two short of the usual, but within 5 minutes of registering I was called in to give blood.

Without much fuss, I presented my left arm, the tourniquet was fastened and with a clenched fist a vein presented itself for the needle whilst I looked away.

Then, the nurse plugged in the vials one after the other and I could not help commenting that the blood looked darker than usual, but she said it was just the right colour, I almost felt like I had received an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée for my blood, it goes without saying that a bleed does at times look rosier than blood going into a vial.

Soon, it was done, needle removed, cotton wool to seal the prick puncture and masking tape to keep in place. The masking tape will eventually wear and easily fall off because I sometimes just feel too much of a woos to pull off the tape and end up waxing the hairs off my arm – Ouch! Ouch!

A man can only endure so much pain.

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