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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Letter to the Editor
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Drawn-blood disaster prompts panic, forbearance

During a regular lifetime, everyone will probably have to have their blood drawn at least once. The best way to deal with the uncomfortable feeling is to ignore the pain and concentrate on something positive, but no matter how hard you try, it will still probably hurt. This was certainly the case for me.

Due to my taking a strong acne medicine called Accutane, on Oct. 7 I nervously awaited to get my blood drawn at Quest Diagnostics in Longs Drugstore on Herndon and West. As I walked into the phlebotamist’s, (a blood-drawing nurse) office, my heart pounded and my palms became sweaty.

I wrote my name down on the sign-in sheet, but unfortunately five or six people had arrived before me. My father and I took a seat in the stuffy waiting room as my stomach grumbled due to fasting before the blood test.

Taking Accutane is quite an ordeal; it requires monthly blood tests to check for high cholesterol and other side effects of the drug. I was scared due to my previous bad experiences in the earlier months of having my blood drawn. I recalled my last panicked meeting with the phlebotomist, and the familiar hunger. In order to get accurate medical results, I had to fast from midnight the night before until the test was done.

After a time lapse of what felt like days, one of the phlebotamists called me up to the desk. After double-checking my address against the records, it was time to go back into the private office. My body shook with shivers as I psyched myself out.

“It will be all right,” I thought to myself. “It will be a tiny poke and then it’ll be done.”

The nurse prepared all necessary blood-drawing materials as I fearfully awaited the “tiny poke.” She put a band around my arm to get the blood to flow into my veins. My arm and hand began to throb. She wiped down my arm with a disinfectant wipe. With my father as support, I thought I was ready for the small jab.

I would later learn that the phlebotamist had no clue what she was doing; she must have been new. She stuck the needle into my arm but missed the vein.

By this time I was in tears. The pain in my arm was severe due to my extremely low pain tolerance. She poked around a few times looking for the vein, but soon realized it was hopeless.

According to my father, I was as white as a sheet by this point. He laid me on the floor and placed a wet towel behind my neck. Everyone was afraid I would pass out, but I felt determined to stay conscious.

The worst part was yet to come. The more experienced phlebotamist entered the room and instructed me to breathe. She tapped my other arm, looking for a good vein. The kindhearted nurse comforted me and finally decided on a vein in the original arm.

She stuck the needle in my arm and immediately reached a vein. Many breathing exercises later, she had finally drawn enough. My father insisted I spend a few moments on the floor recovering from this traumatic experience; I was in serious danger of fainting.

It is very possible that I am over-dramatic. However, I believe everyone will agree: getting your blood drawn is an unpleasant experience. Hopefully no one will have an episode as traumatic as mine.

If you have blood-drawing stories or catastrophes of your own, please submit a comment in the box below.

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    Chantelle BrownMay 17, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Although I have not seen the movie, I am pretty sure the senior class can pull of the movie. The senior class has some pretty creative thinkers. Good luck!

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