Monday, October 20, 2008

Note to self:

Dear Norm,

You have small, uncooperative veins. When you mention to the phlebotomist at the church's blood drive that you are difficult to stick, and she looks at you with a little bit of fear in her eyes and says, "we'll be fine", stop. Do not pass go. Do not say to yourself, "I'm sure the reason that she has her name written on a piece of tape stuck to her lab coat is due to forgetfulness, and not at all a sign of someone in her first week on the job."

No, what you shall do in the future is this:
1. politely stand next to the chair.
2. ask for the expert in the room, preferably someone who has taught phlebotomy to others in the past (that's a pretty good sign, in my experience)
3. refuse to let them tell you that it will probably be okay.

Trust me, it's not worth it to get stuck in two arms by two people to try to get one pint of blood, because you don't want to hurt the newbie's feelings. Better to just have someone do it right the first time.


P.S. Today's Red Cross hero was named Steve Stick. Remember that name-- and ask for him if he's there next time.

Note to others who might be reading this note to myself:
I take much pride in the fact that my Grandma Bug was apparently often "the expert" in her years working for the Red Cross, with the blood mobile. I bet she would have gotten my my petite veins to cooperate on the first try. She had beautiful hands.


  1. I had not given blood in over 20 years until this summer. I should have went for 30. I, too, did not want to hurt the technician's feelings, ended up having a second arm stabbed by yet another technician only to end up with arms that looked as if I had been in some sort of horrible accident. Never again.

  2. One of the great good things in life is a trained blood-drawer.

  3. Grandma Bug would have been ticked at your experience! ksd is correct that one of the most precious commodities is a technician who can do the job. I've been so impressed with those at Eureka Hospital. They're GOOD!
    Next time, don't even continue the session, Robin. You don't lose face by telling them to save it for another day. KdF