A Blood Test Appointment During the Coronavirus Pandemic

This morning, I drove to the Adventhealth located in Altamonte Springs, Florida.  Usually, I arrive here for blood tests.  First, I would register on the first floor. Afterwards, I am sent to the second floor. There, blood is drawn from a vein.

By the way, I hate needles.  Three years ago, pneumonia and high blood pressure earned me a weeklong hospital stay. During that time, people kept jabbing needles into my veins. Sometimes, they had to jab me more than once. For some reason, my veins refused to cooperate by not giving up blood.  To this day, stubborn veins still cause a scene. During my blood test appointments, I still have to be jabbed more than once.  During one episode, things got so bad, a more experienced person had to be called in to draw my blood. Now, you see why I hate needles, all that damned jabbing messes with me.

This morning’s appointment threw me for a loop. Because of the current coronavirus pandemic, I wore my facemask.  After entering the building, I saw other people wearing masks too. I kind of expected that. What I didn’t expect was seeing a masked nurse sitting at a table. (Well, I assumed she was a nurse.) 

Before I could register in the next room, I had to pass her first.  Before COVID-19, this never happened.

First, I had to answer a questionnaire. Have I had a cough, fever, etc. Have I traveled out of the state or country. Questions like that. Then, to check my temperature, she aimed some gun-shaped gizmo at my forehead.

After that, I was then allowed to register in the next room. Someone took my paperwork and driver’s license. Then, walked off. Usually, when that happened, I would sit down for a few moments. Next, someone else would take me to an office. There, I would register. Didn’t happen this time. After a few moments of sitting, I was given my stuff back. Then, I was told to go to the second floor.

On the second floor, right before I entered the lab tests room, another masked nurse awaited me.  I went through another coronavirus routine.

Because only five people were allowed in the lab tests room, I had to wait with the nurse. By this time, I would’ve been on the road heading home. But Ol’ COVID-19 insists on making the world miserable.

Soon, I was allowed in the room. Another loop threw me.  A bow was wrapped through the arms of certain chairs. These chairs sat in the middle of the chairs patients occupied. So, a different bow-tie chair would both sit on a patient’s left and right. Of course, everyone including me wore masks.  

Earlier, I mentioned I expected mask-wearing. Yet, seeing everyone in the room including the lab folks wearing a mask still threw me off.

Eventually, my turn for blood-giving arrived.  After I sat in my chair, I noticed the phlebotomist’s name tag. She had the same name as an ex, one that I used to write nasty poems about.  

The phlebotomist seemed friendly. We laughed about that crazy Netfilix tiger thing.

Still, guess what happened? Again, my fuckin’ veins caused a scene.  No blood would drain. This time, I wasn’t jabbed again. Yet, the phlebotomist pushed the needle in further until blood eventually poured. Still, the blood took its sweet time pouring. I swear, I might be the only one whose veins operate on Colored People’s Time.

Afterwards, a blue bandage was wrapped around the bloodletting area.  That was it. The visit was over.

At work, during my lunch break, I noticed a voice message on my phone.  The lab place wanted me to call them back. Immediately, scary thoughts flew through my mind.  

What the hell? Did they find that virus shit in my blood? Or did they find something else?

During my next break, a short one, I called back.  In my samples, the blood hemolyzed. In other words, red blood cells ruptured. How does this happen? Improper blood collecting or poor handling of the samples.

Now, I have to return to the Jabbing Needles.

Oh, well. At least, gas is cheap now.

About Patrick Scott Barnes

Most of Central Florida knows Stone Crazy (Patrick Scott Barnes) as a poet. Yet, he also photographs, DJ and blogs. The rest of the time, the now sober blogger guzzles Diet Coke in Central Florida nightspots.
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1 Response to A Blood Test Appointment During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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