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The nice nurse cursed in my fit of whimsy

This is a true story. I say this because a liar wouldn’t dare lie about the truth. Therefore, this must be true – even if I was a liar. I’m not though.

Feel better?

It’s pretty darn near the two year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis. I only bring it up because I went to my oncologist this afternoon and he said, “it’s pretty darn near the two year anniversary of your diagnosis.” This is notable only because my oncologist is not the kind of guy who says “darn” too often. In fact, he’s pretty much the opposite… if you stereotype people based on their vocabulary like I do. I’ll give him this much: he’s pretty darn professional.

Any hoo, the meat of this post takes place after my visit with the doctor. He ordered up some blood work and I was shuttled off to see his nurse. His nurse is cool. We get along fabulously. Regular readers might read a little sarcasm into that sentence, but none was intended. We were gabbing it up like a couple old friends.

“Folks used to tell me I have good veins.” I say this as she’s prepping the needle.

She takes a look at my arm.

“They ain’t saying that no more are they?”

Then I give the rubber ball a squeeze.

“You’ve been holding out on me boy. There’s nothing wrong with those veins.”

Then she stuck me.

“You know, I never would have thought I’d be doing this,” gesturing to the needle I’m my arm.

“…” Manning up, I said nothing.

“Some people really do have a calling.”

As a butcher?!? What are you using, a spit? THIS F…ING HURTS!

“I just stumbled into this. Was it just luck I found something I’m so good at?”


You should know I’m a needle wimp. To tell you the truth, you could probably take the word needle out and still have a serviceable sentence. Still, I thought it was pretty damn near heroic to keep my mouth shut during my skewering this afternoon. The pain was bad enough, but I’m not the kind of guy who can just let that kind of irony go.

I feel kind of bad. I really do like this nurse. It’s just that she’s never drawn my blood before. Usually a finger prick is all I need, but this was apparently my semi-annual, full workup. Maybe she’ll be on vacation in six months.

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  1. i have such timid veins i insist all phlebotomists (love that word) use a butterfly needle on the back of my hand. Every once in a while I get one who says “oh no, I am a pro, i can find a vein in your arm…” I have learned not to let them try and to refuse to roll up my sleeve. they all think they are good at it and most of them are NOT

Give the gift of words.