I hated getting the annual physical to go to school/play sports. I would ALWAYS ask my mom “Are they going to take my blood?” “Do I have to get a shot this year?” and she would always answer, “I don’t know, Kayla.” But she did know. She knew they would always take my blood. And my brother would watch them take his blood and then my blood. I would ask to be laid down, close my eyes, look the other way, and beg them not to take my blood.
Well, one time I got poison ivy (I get poison ivy if I look at the plant), and my mom thought I needed to go to the doctor because it was on my face. The doctor takes one look, yup, poison ivy, leaves. Apparently he ordered a shot because in comes a nurse, carrying a shot on the silver platter. You know the kind. I get that shot in my butt, which hurt.
Oh, and now my mom needs to make a pit stop at the pharmacy for the topical meds (the pharmacy was a few steps from the doc, in the same building). And I start to get light headed. I start to see black spots. I’m passing out. So I lie down and put my feet up in the chair. My mom comes back and is MAD, asking me what I’m doing. I’m not talking, because hello mom, I’m passing out here. She attempts to pull me up and make me sit correctly in this chair. Have you seen my mom? She’s short, she isn’t big, she isn’t moving me. So she says “You’re scaring the children.” In the angry mom tone she has. I don’t move. Did I mention I’m probably 14-15 years old, but I still go to my pediatrician? This is the last time my mom took me to the doctor alone. My dad has had to come from that day forward. (I should note that I get my queasiness from my dad. Just ask him about the one time he donated blood. My mom on the other hand, used to donate blood every time she was able.) So dad coming to doc appointments usually meant my mom taking care of both of us!
So I’m all scheduled to give my little blood sample on March 9 at 8:00 am. This is before work (because my work hours are not flexible). Taylor, my boyfriend, is headed to Vegas for a long weekend. I’ve only ever not passed out one time. And that was when I was a freshman in college and I was proving to my parents that I was fine away from home (which I was). Luckily Taylor is able to take me!
I wake up to a text from Carrie “Blood draw today!” at 6:45 AM that morning. And both my mom and dad have either said, “Don’t pass out” or “Don’t scare the children!”
We get to the clinic at 7:50. This place is SLAMMED. I sign in and tell the lady I have an appointment at 8. She doesn’t respond so we go sit in a corner. I’m stressing out and Taylor is being calm (standard). I’m debating whether to go back up to the counter and make sure she heard me. I get the OK from Taylor and head up there. So I tell her I have an appointment at 8, which she says she heard me the first time, but that there is a 7:30 and 7:45 appointment to take care of first. Oh, great, because it is now past 8 AM. I go back and sit down, regretting going back to the counter.
She calls my name. YES! This wasn’t so bad after all.
“I need your paperwork.” “Uh.. I don’t have any paperwork?” “Then why are you here?” “Oh, well, I’m here to get my blood drawn for Be The Match.” “We don’t have a kit with your name on it.”
I call Carrie. She tells me what time the kit arrived and the last name of the employee who signed for my kit so it is definitely there. Magically, my kit is found, conveniently right by the receptionist. The receptionist tells me to have a seat.
I text Carrie, apologize for bothering her. She then tells me that the kit should have 6 vials of blood in it and to make sure they fill them all so I don’t have to go back to this place. EXCUSE ME, SIX??! I’ve only ever given one, and I don’t do well with one! Now I’m really freaking out.
Thank goodness the guy taking my blood was nice. Taylor strikes up conversation with him. I tell him I typically pass out, which he reassures me I will be just fine today. He says my vein is great and here we go! He ties the rubber band around my arm, rubs the spot with the alcohol wipe and we’re in business. I can hear him clicking the vials on and off. Something about fishing. Something about the weather. Something about we’re done. Oh, we are already done? I glance and see my blood and we are actually on the last vial. He takes off the rubber band and asks me to hold the gauze over the puncture hole. I can do that. And then I feel it. All the blood in my arm is now surging down to my hand. I’m hot. He looks at me and asks if I am all right. Nope. I shed my cardigan and I instantly make Taylor get out of the more comfy chair so that I can slide into it and put my head between my knees.
I’m sweating profusely. I’m hot. The room is black, but my head is between my knees. And after several minutes of sitting with my head between my knees and Taylor fanning me with the Be the Match pamphlet, we’re good. We walk out, I make it to work, and the 6 vials of blood are on their way to the patient’s doctor for more testing.
There’s only a 25% chance I’ll match. I’m not getting my hopes up.
As always, here is the link to Join the Registry!