I have always had finicky veins – they’re hard to find and weak. When I was in the hospital for a ruptured ovarian cyst I remember having 9 different techs and nurses try to find a vein only to eventually end up in my foot. (Which was almost as painful as the cyst!)
Well finicky veins and IVF do not mix. I am beat up man, beat up bad. If you didn’t know better you would think I am a heroin addict. The inner crook of my arms are completely out of business and my hands aren’t far behind.
The phlebotomist explained she might have to go through a little scar tissue but she found a side vein she was going to try. “Ok, big pinch here. Just bear with me…”
It was only a few seconds but fainting while giving blood was a first. I had many close calls but never actually had the real shebang. A nurse had joined her now and they were both standing over me lying back in the chair.
“Breathe, just breathe. You’re ok, we just lost you there for a second. Keep breathing you’re getting some color back.”
After laying for what felt like forever with ice packs behind my neck, I finally was able to stand up and felt myself literally peeling from my chair. I hadn’t realized that I had completely sweated through all of my clothes and my shirt was now visibly damp. The embarrassment I felt in that moment was overwhelming and I got emotional. I wasn’t embarrassed I passed out, I was embarrassed that I couldn’t control my body functions and had left the evidence on the chair.
My phlebotomist didn’t even skip a beat, she reached out and hugged me – sweat and all. “Don’t you ever apologize for something like this, ok? You couldn’t control that and I am so sorry I caused it. Don’t you worry yourself or clean that up, you just go relax.”
I don’t know if I will be doing much relaxing but her embrace was just what I needed in the moment. That and a new arm for the rest of the blood work in my future.