Monthly Archives: August 2010

“It’ll just be a little pinch”

I donated blood yesterday.  I’m terrified of needles and an enormous baby when it comes to getting stuck by sharp objects, but every so often I suck it up and try to do a good thing.  I think it would be easier to ignore the requests for blood donations if I didn’t have the 2nd most useful blood type.  Damn my really important blood cells!!

Anyway, I let my job know I’d be taking an extended lunch break to save lives (I know, I know… all in a day’s work, right?).  I headed down to the hospital that employs me for my 2nd job and took my place on the chairs.  I already feeling a little dizzy as I start reading the booklet that’s telling me it’s not too late to back out.  I can still walk out and no one will think any less of me (yeah, sure they won’t.  I’m sure the Red Cross is full of Judgy McJudgertons.  I would totally judge people if I was working there).  I try to take some deep calming breaths without making it obvious that I am freaking out before they call me back for the pre-screen, which will inevitably make me feel like I’m not living life to the fullest (No, I haven’t gotten any tattoos or piercings in the past year.  No, I’ve not traveled out of the country for a total of 5 months in the past 3 years.  No, I’ve not had sex with any “at risk” people in the past year…  STOP JUDGING ME!!)

I passed the pre-screen!  Yahoo!  And I’m not anemic, unlike that loser in the booth next to me that I was totally eavesdropping on.  Sucka!  Guess you won’t be saving any lives today!  (insert Nelson’s “HAHA” from the Simpsons here)

I’m doing ok.  I’m ok.  I’m gonna be just fine.  I’m just gonna look over this way while Fran spends about ten minutes washing my arm with iodine.  Then comes the most commonly told healthcare lie in the history of the world:  “You’re just going to feel a little pinch and some stinging for just a second here”.  I don’t know that these people have ever been pinched with human fingers (the most common form of pinching, yes?), but it does NOT feel like a sharp, pointy object being forced into your skin. 

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING!??!  Why won’t it stop “pinching”?!?  “I’m so sorry, hon,” she tells me, “Your vein rolled.  I’m going to try one more time”… as she continues poking at my arm with her finger and a needle.

Now, the word roll generally has pleasant connotations for me:
Jelly Roll
Tootsie Roll
Roll Out the Barrel
Roly Poly, even

What is NOT pleasant is when your veins “roll” and require what feels like a mining excavation to finally puncture and drain them. 

At this point, I am covering my mouth with my free hand, while tears stream down my face.  (I would like to take this moment to note that there is scientific proof that redheaded people are more sensitive to pain like this than non-redheaded people are and this is not totally the result of me just being a giant wuss).  Also, I’m in a chair facing the people who are all waiting to get their blood drawn.  I don’t think I’m quite selling the experience for them…

As I’m finally wrapping up, after Fran has adjusted the needle so my blood drains (excuse me, is drawn) faster, Carol comes over the finish the process off.  She asks how I’m feeling, and I off-handedly reply that I am a little light-headed.  MAN!  Those Red Cross people don’t eff around when you say that.  The words weren’t even all the way out of my mouth before two people came running over, one laid the chair back and the other lifted my feet up.  Two seconds later, there’s a cold towel on my head.  I always forget that it’s not as common as I think to feel like you’re passing out (it’s a long story, I’ll tell you sometime.  Maybe).  And now I’m stuck here, feet in the air, for the next 30 minutes, feeling like a fool while other people get their blood drawn and then hop up to immediately enjoy their free juice and cookies.  At least I did better than the chick behind me who apparently is unable to fill the bag up… weird.

At the very end, Carol is trying to unhook things, which is made difficult by the fact that I am laying down now, and my arm is no longer up on the little arm-holder thingie.  So, to give her some room and to avoid get blood spurted on my clothes….. (excuse me, I almost passed out again for a minute there), I shifted a little to the other side.  At which point. Carol (who is not exactly petite herself) tells me my “big hips” are in her way.  Excuse me?  Listen, I’m pretty damn proportional, sweetheart.  Maybe your damn chairs are too small, did you ever think about that?!?  Naturally, I do not say any of these things, because the woman is still in the process of getting the needle out of my arm. 

[tangent: this one time, I was in the emergency room being pumped full of fluids when some student doctor type comes in and asks how I’m feeling.  I say I’m feeling pretty good, that is, as good as can be expected with a needle stuck in my arm.  Totally straight-faced and serious, he tells me, “it’s not actually a needle, it’s a very small plastic tube”.  Oh thanks doctor.  It feels ever so much better now that I know it’s a plastic tube.  I do believe I’d like to amend my answer to your question now.  Jackass.]

I finally got my free cookies and juice, have a lovely bruise on my arm, and can probably put this off for at least another year before the guilt gets me again.  That is, if my big ol’ hips can fit on the chair.

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Science!

I’ve been MIA recently… this second job of mine is sort of kicking my ass.  I am working an overnight or two a week, and then going straight to my regular day job… so it’s throwing my schedule all off and makes me tired and boring.  Good news is: I can now pay all my bills AND buy groceries each month.  Very exciting 🙂 

Enough about that.  It’s SCIENCE TIME! 

A coworker told me that I could clean my drains using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, which would bubble up and fill the drains.  I’ve been so excited to try this, so I decided tonight, since I finally had cleaned every last dish in the sink, I’d finally check this out.  Now, I’m not totally sure what it was I was expecting….. that’s a lie.  I know exactly what I was expecting: 

Remember those volcanos you used to make as a kid?  Same mixture (minus red food coloring… trust me, I nearly put it in tonight).  Remember how they were never quite as explosive as you thought they would be?  Well, I thought this would be like I used to think those volcanos would be.  

First, I dumped some baking soda in the drain.  This was made difficult by the fact that the sink was kinda wet, and my drains have these little guard thingies over them. 

Yes, there's onion bits in my sink. I was prepared for my drain volcano to take care of those...

 

Hmmm.... this isn't a good start: baking soda all over the sink... not much in the drain.

 

Time to pour the vinegar and watch my drain volcano clean my sink AND provide loads of entertainment for me… this is SO EXCITING!!!! 

fizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzle.......

 

That’s IT?!?!  That’s all?  How the hell am I supposed to get my cleaning done if it’s boring and doesn’t involve awesome explosive foam?!?  And not only did it suck for me, but then I tricked everyone into reading a blog post made up pretty much of pictures of my empty kitchen sink.  Suckas! 😛 

Memories

Today is my birthday.  Instead of talking about how awesome my weekend was and how much fun I had celebrating myself, I’ve decided to share a childhood memory instead.

When I was 12 or 13 I tried out for, and was accepted to, a professional youth chorus for children ages 12-17.  I’m not going to spend a lot of time tooting my own horn, but I was good.  Really good.  Not only in terms of vocal talent, but in sight-reading and memorizing music and following my director.  I also joined midway through the year, while the rest of the kids had either been in the chorus for several years, or had come up from the younger children’s chorus.  I was an outlier.  An outlier who got praised weekly by the director.  It did not go over well.

The girl who stood next to me, let’s call her Judy, did not care for me.  In fact, she used to spend practices whispering that I was going flat and ruining the song.  I knew I wasn’t flat.  I knew I wasn’t ruining the song.  But my 8 years of homeschooling had left me woefully unprepared for how to deal with vicious little girls, even when I knew they were wrong.

Mostly I ignored her, and continued to receive positive attention from the director.  Until it all came to head at the end of the season…

During our Spring Concert, all dressed up, under the bright lights, in the city’s performance hall, Judy took advantage of a break between songs and started whispering out of the corner of her mouth that I was going flat.  I simply couldn’t take her negative energy anymore.  So I shifted ever so slightly to the left, with a smile on my face, and stood on her foot.  For the remainder of the performance… about 30 more minutes.  She couldn’t yell, she couldn’t move, she couldn’t react at all because it would ruin the show. 

After we were all finished and I met up with my parents, one of the first things my mother asked me was, “What did you do up there?”.  Because my mother recognizes that smile.  Thank God my director did not.

Judy never bothered me again.  >:-)