Explorations of mind, paths, and life

Al Naturaleza

Posted on June 27, 2008 - Filed Under self reflect

As I chomp on a midnight bowl of Life cereal (no pun intended) I am tickled to report that we had quite a few adventures today. Justin went for some blood work (I couldn’t take him, so Gary was elected to be the “man” and handle the order). After my last appointment (an iMac emergency that turned out to be a coffee spill on the keyboard) I called in to check on how it went. I heard a moan from Gary, then, “Here, you ask him!” Usually that means Justin has performed some ungodly child-like act that Gary is allergic to. I held my breath as I anticipated my son’s dejected voice on the other end.

Me: “How you doing, child?” (I call him child all the time now, hoping it will stunt his growth and make his arms shorter. Doesn’t seem to be working.)
JP: “Well, better NOW…”
Me: “Oh, REALLY? How did it go?” (mind you that Justin is not an avid descriptional-list like I am, he likes me to pluck the details out with tweezers)
JP: “Uh, they poked me three times.”
Me: “THREE TIMES?!? Those Bastards! Nana is a better phlebotomist, too bad she couldn’t have done it! Didn’t Gary tell them to stop practicing on you?!”
JP: “Noooooo-ah!” (this droned out, just like a three ton beam on Noah’s ark) “My muscle tensed up, even though I knew I was supposed to relax it.”
Me: “Good Lord, what happened?”
JP: “I almost passed out.”
Me: “What?!? Passed OUT! Because of the poking? What do you mean? Did Gary see what was going on?”
JP: “Yeah, he looked freaked out and said I was all white and pasty.”
Me: “HE FREAKED OUT?” (At this point I am questioning myself as to WHY I wasn’t a better mother, HOW I could have sent my poor 5’9″ [and a quarter] 12-year-old out to Quest Diagnostics without my savage lioness mothering attitude, WHAT the HELL was I THINKING?)
JP: “Gary made me get some water and walk around. Then they had to put the needle in again. I kept feeling dizzy, and things got whiter, and whiter, until the world almost looked all white and fuzzy.”
ME: “Oh, that sounds like it was scary. So that was the second needle?”
JP: “No, the third one. Maybe it didn’t help that Gary told me that story about you getting a blood test where they had to poke you a gazillion times.”

Yes, I recall that very well. I looked like an addict when I got out from the 6-hour glucose tolerance test back in my early 20’s. Gary almost passed out watching me cringe as interns stuck me repeatedly and my veins kept collapsing. I couldn’t bend my arms for over a week.

The rest of the conversation hardly needs a blow-by-blow. Basically, after the “story” Justin went in for the blood test. The first needle went in, and the nurse said, “Hey kid, don’t you have any blood in there? Where’s the blood?” Perfect way to keep a terrified 12-year-old calm. The nurse moved to the other arm, got a vein, and collected 2 vials. On the third vial, she ran dry. By then, Justin’s head was racing with fear and anxiety, and the well ended there. Gary described the kid as white and pasty, his fingers were ice-cubes, and he kept looking like he was completely zonked. He’d asked him if he was OK. Justin really couldn’t reply, and the nurse quickly removed the needle and got him some water. Didn’t matter that the kid hadn’t eaten since 7:30pm the night before, and it was pushing 10am at the clinic. She still needed one more vial – thus, the infamous third poke. Mental note: I think this is how a phobia is born.

I managed to get home safely. I shouldn’t talk and drive. God only knows how many evil Floridians I pissed off as I made faces at the speaker phone. Anyhow, we ended the day with a trip to Boston Market and the Chess Center.

Nothing to report about the food at Boston Market, however our exit was ostentatious as we pretended to exit through a vapor lock [we passed through what would be described in NY as a mud room, but in Florida is a way to preserve the icy 60 degree AC from the sweltering and muggy 90 degrees outdoors.] into space. We did the “slow-mo” walk to the car, laughing the whole way, I triggered the vessel chamber release button so we could pile in, and, as Justin removed his “space helmet” I screamed, “I haven’t secured the chamber yet! WE HAVE NO AIR!” Justin, in his 12-year-old glory, enacted a fabulous death as he gasped for air and the cabin pressure squeezed the life out of him.

The Chess Center, costing a groovy $15 [plus at least $5.00 in gas, $7.50 in tolls] so Justin could play 4 rounds of chess, was probably a good stress reliever for him. As he played, I enjoyed my new Pokemon game [yes, MY stress reliever!] and wandered around the outside of the building with my camera, enjoying the thunderclouds, crickets, lizards, and other wild dusk creatures. Once again, I am centered by nature, simply by allowing myself to be part of the party. It is amazing at what you see when you are willing to dine with your eyes on all the things we take for granted. And SO, we survived yet another day, despite mutant blood-harvesting space nurses with torture devices masqueraded as butterfly needles.


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