Yesterday, I visited St. Thomas Medical Group to see my primary care physician. I’m traveling to Thailand in December, and I wanted to make sure all of my vaccinations were up to snuff. Bangkok is a soggy disaster right now, and we plan to eat a lot of things that, frankly, shouldn’t be eaten (#deepfriedcrickets). So Hep A is a no-brainer. And as for Hep B, while I don’t plan on sampling that kind of local culture, it’s just a good idea, in general.
I have no idea if I’ve been vaccinated for Hep A and Hep B. I assume that I have, but those records are in Virginia Beach and tracking them down involves paperwork, something called about a Hippo, and more effort that I care to exert. So we decided to do blood work to determine if I’ve had the vaccine. So a blood draw, flu shot, Hep A 1 of 2, and Hep B 1 of 3 all in one day. Fabulous.
It’s not that I’m afraid of needles. And it’s not that I dislike shots. It’s the leaving the needle in my arm for a while during which time my blood comes out of my arm and into a tube part that makes me…vom. Needless to say, before i even get to the phlebotomists office (yes, phlebotomist….pronounced puh-HEEE-leeboto-mist), I’m sweating.
I sit in the chair, verify my name, and spy the needle staged to go into my arm.
- Phlebotomist: “Honey?” She shakes my shoulder.
- I emerge from nothingness. “Yeah?”
- “Honey, are you allright?” She’s holding a coke and a cookie.
- “Yes, why?”
- “Because i asked you to verify your date of birth, and next thing I know, you’re slumped in the chair drooling on yourself.” She opens the coke and puts it on the arm rest in front of me.
- “Oh my God. I passed out? for how long?”
- She cocks her head and darts her eys in the other direction. “Long enough for me to rifle through your wallet and buy you this coke. The cookie is on me.”
- “This is so embarrassing. Does this happen to a lot of people?”
- “Honey, I stick people with needles for a living. I don’t really care about your ego. So, I can answer that question, or we can get this over with.”
- “WHAT?! You haven’t stuck me yet?! You didn’t do it while I was out?”
- “Honey, I’ve got job security and bulletproof malpractice insurance, but even I don’t mess with people when they’re sleeping. You just sit there, eat your cooking, drink your coke, and try to stay conscious this time.”
- “Do you have any diet coke?” Cutting glare. “What?! You haven’t seen the bathing suit I need to fit in. What?! Ok, fine, just stick me.”