Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Blood: New Lessons

Getting stuck with a needle isn't any fun. I'm not afraid of needles, but after having needles poked in my arm twice a week for the last two months, I don't watch any more. I turn my head and hold my breath.

Sandy, one of the milkers, watched as I jerked my head away.

"Somebody hurt you?" She asked.

"Well, I don't like the pinch," I told her and Sandy nodded.

"You hold your breath," she said.

With one shoulder, I shrugged.


"It flattens out the vein in your arm."

"And this is why it hurts?"

She nodded.

"You've got good veins," she said. "They're very plump and juicy."

Like a worm, I thought.

"They have you on the chart as a yellow, but I think that's a misdiagnosis."

"What's a yellow?"

"There are reds, yellows and greens," she explained. "Green is the best. Anybody can stick a green. Then comes yellow. I've been sticking for ten years, but they only let me stick yellow and green." She seemed bitter about it. "Red is hard. It usually means you have small veins that have a hard time holding a needle."

"And I'm a yellow?"

"Yeah." She nodded. "But they mislabel sometimes. You've got good veins here." Sandy looked at me. "You ready?"

"Right." I didn't stop breathing and barely felt the needle slide in.


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