Thought(s) of the Day: Inspirational and/or amusing Nuggets of Wisdom

Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation in our hearts. Take time to be aware that in the very midst of our busy preparations for the celebration of Christ's birth, Christ is reborn in our homes and daily lives. Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present.
~Edward Hays

The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.
~John E. Southard

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just a Little Prick

Before I tell you about my lab yesterday evening, I have to start with this (embarrassing) childhood story. My little sister and I were at the pediatrician's office for one of our annual well child check-ups. She was around four or five years old and I was seven or eight. The nurse had just informed us she needed to perform a finger stick on Little Sis to draw some blood. Little Sis was pretty anxious about this but I stood by her side, reassuring her that everything would be okay. What a strong, supportive big sister I was! The nurse walks in, makes the stick, and we all watch as the little bead of blood starts to form on Little Sis' fingertip. This is how the rest of the story should have gone:

Little Sis cried uncontrollably but I put my arm around her and calmed her down with my loving, big sisterly hug. Instead, this is what actually happened:

As the bead of blood quickly pooled into a drop of blood, I noticed I couldn't hear anything. The room was starting to get dark and I was feeling pretty dizzy. I walked away trying to shake it off and the last thing I remember was seeing the medical scale by the doorway. Yes, I fainted. Big, brave sister there for moral support passed out, hit her head on the scale, and was out cold on the floor. Alarmed, my father and the nurse race over to me, leaving Little Sis alone holding her bloody finger in amazement. As I'm regaining sight and hearing, a little voice comes from across the room, "Hey guys? What about me?"

Flash forward about twenty-three years and you'll find me returning to school working towards my nursing degree. Who would've thought? Yesterday evening we had our blood lab in Anatomy & Physiology II. The whole commute to campus my stomach was a little fluttery. Okay, a lot fluttery. I kept silently praying to God that I wouldn't embarrass myself in front of my fellow classmates by hitting the lab floor. (The prior dissections haven't bothered me at all; the rat, the sheep's brain, the cadaver. I've been fine- and very fascinated. But there's just something woozy about a tiny, very sharp, two-edged knife puncturing one of my intact capillaries.) As I'm setting up the needed supplies in front me (mechanical lancing device, hematocrit tube, alcohol swabs, blood type testing slides), I'm giving myself the most enthusiastic (and loudest while still remaining silent) pre-game speech I can muster. I swipe my fingertip with an alcohol swab and take a deep breath. And one last silent prayer. I placed the lancet in the device, assumed the position, and pushed the release button before I had time to change my mind. To my complete disbelief and excitement, the finger stick was painless and I didn't feel the least bit faint or unsteady. I even remembered to exhale. I spent the next several minutes milking as much blood out of my index finger as I could. Unfortunately (for this lab but fortunately for my health), I am a pretty quick clotter. I ended up having to stick two more fingers to obtain the needed amount of blood for the hematocrit tube and the blood typing tests.

By the end of the lab, I had such a great feeling of accomplishment and pride...and a few aching fingers. But I had survived the blood lab. No, not survived it, I had conquered the blood lab! Even exceeded my own expectations, which let's face it- my expectations were exceeded merely because my skull never met the cold, lab floor. I had built up so much dread and anxiety about this lab and it turned out not to be a big deal at all. So while I feel a little silly for getting so worked up, mostly I feel satisfied, confident, and proud....and a little sore.


  1. LOL!! Way to go Marf!

    I was in pre-nursing awhile and got squicked out when we worked on cadavers in Anatomy so I switched to education.

    Of course, after being a mom for 11 yrs.+, it takes a lot to squick me out. I could totally do it now.

    I bet being a Mom has made you hardier too. I mean what's a little blood compared to vomit, spit-up, diarreah, snot, etc....?

  2. Good for you! Now ask your Dad about the time he fainted in church...!

  3. Good job Martha, I am proud of you! I really enjoy reading your stories too.