The stabber punched a painful hole in my finger. Then she squeezed the damaged digit, milking every drop of blood she could from it. The words hovered on the tip of my tongue, but I refrained from asking “Where did you learn your technique, on a dairy farm?”
Handing me a list of questions, she told me to answer them on the computer and left. I wondered why she decided to give me privacy, but the light bulb blazed above my head when I saw the questions on the screen. The only thing that was not asked is whether I had been friendly with a kangaroo.
“I have no idea what most of those diseases were,” I exclaimed as I stepped out of the cubicle. Everyone laughed that nervous titter people use when they do not know how to respond.
Madam Pompadour reclined on the lounge and the nurse tied a tourniquet around my biceps. “Squeeze this,” she said, thrusting a squeeze toy shaped like a baseball glove in my palm.
She poked a needle into a defenseless vein and taped the draining tube to my arm. I averted my eyes and squeezed that glove — squeeze, relax, squeeze, relax. I had problems with the relaxing part as my blue blood turned red and drained into a baggie.
Then the well went dry because the tourniquet was left on my arm which caused my vein to collapse. She called to another technician. He pressed on the needle embedded in my arm.
“Does that hurt?”
Now why would he ask? My body was levitating above the chair!
After a whispered conversation, they removed the needle. She covered the angry black, blue and red spot with gauze and wrapped yards of blue masking tape tightly around my arm.
“No smoking for thirty minutes,” the nurse instructed.