Tag Archives: lab work

In a Dissimilar Vein

Birdie drew blood the other morning. Or, rather, she had it drawn. Her doctor ordered it as part of Birdie’s “Welcome to Medicare” physical. “Welcome to Medicare” sounded to Birdie like an induction ceremony for the initiates to a special club. The kind where the leaders go into a back room and vote on nominees using white and black balls. Birdie was not black-balled. She’s in. They have her blood.

The technician, Helen, tied on the tourniquet, asked Birdie to make a fist, massaged the vein in the bend of Birdie’s arm, and stuck her. Since blood and having things stuck into her arm makes Birdie’s color pale, she didn’t watch, but she heard Helen make a noise. Just a slight noise, but a noise that definitely implied, ”Hmmm. That didn’t work.”

Helen apologized and said she’d have to find a different vein. As she removed the blood-letting paraphernalia, she explained that this vein had been too small. She’d go for one on the back of Birdie’s hand. Birdie found it sad that of all the things that could have been small–her waist, her nose, her feet, her behind–it turned out to be her veins.

Helen directed Birdie in a number of hand calisthenics in order to pump up the chosen vein with the required volume of blood. Another stick, and they were on their way–filling up two small vials with Birdie’s essence.

After it was over, Birdie recounted her experience to her daughter, Lexy. Lexy said, that unlike Birdie, she had veins that begged to be bled. They stood up and waved–practically shouting, “Choose me! Choose me!”, giving high fives to all the technicians gathered around marveling at the purple plumpness lying practically on the surface of her arms and hands.

It was apparent that Birdie and Lexy did not share vein DNA, but at least, Birdie was in no danger of bleeding to death during the blood-letting ceremony at the “Welcome to Medicare” initiation.

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This is my entry in this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge

20130416-093218.jpg The prompt this week was the third definition of color

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