Usually, when I vent my rage on the bloodsuckers of my beloved hometown, Cochin, I’m writing about the highly evolved tactical team of mosquitoes ruling the region. If ever researchers were to do a full fledged study on these freaks of nature, they would unanimously agree, in my opinion, that they may be stung to death before they can complete the study…
But today, I’m talking about two legged, non-flying, professional bloodsuckers. Not lawyers in this case, cos I’m talking ‘blood’ in the more literal sense… Nurses. Now I have nothing against the profession. Let nursing nurses nurse… that was always my stand… But some of the recent activities in my life has got some blood flowing into this article, no pun intended (ya, right)
For those who don’t know, I have been out of action for a while… Two weeks ago, I was deliriously feverish (or feverishly delirious, if you prefer), leading to an impromptu admission into a hospital, where four out of five experts agreed that the medical term for what I was suffering from was… ‘indeterminate’.
The trouble with suffering from indeterminate sicknesses is that… doctors tend to take that fact as a license for bombarding you with tests. And blood tests are the usual frontrunners of these bombardments.
I had hardly stepped into my hospital room when they unceremoniously slammed a catheter into a vein from my left wrist… justifying the intrusion by saying “Hey, you never know when you may need an IV drip”… and then… proceeded to take blood from my right arm.
The IV catheter was never actually used. It just adorned my wrist for a week; an ugly piece of uncomfortable ornament… This wouldn’t have bothered me much, except for the fact that the entire process of taking blood from my right arm was not going as smoothly as I would have wanted…
The first step in taking blood is finding the vein. And that procedure varies in difficulty from person to person. There are people with veins bulging out like a bullfrog breathing in. A nurse with a good aim can possibly throw a syringe from across the room and still hit the spot. God, however, has blessed me with a virtually indiscernible set of veins, making every injection a treasure hunt. (“Arrr. I think I see something. We should dig here.”) So every morning, promptly at the ungodly hour of 4 a.m., the nurse attacks me with a thick needle, hunting around for the elusive vein.
On the average, she stabs me six times before the red fluid fills the syringe. She’s not too pleased about my veins and their habits of stealth. Hunting around for invisible veins is a taxing job. In fact, I seriously doubt that she stabs me a couple of times just out of spite…
This cannot go on. I’m out of the hospital now, ignoring the doctors’ recommendation for another 246 tests involving my spinal fluid. But as life goes on, I’m sure there will be more instances where more blood is demanded. I can’t have them jabbing me at random like this. The next time they successfully siphon from a vein, I’ll have a red dot tattooed around that spot, with an indicator saying “STOP HUNTING, DOC. THE VEIN IS HERE.”
It is troubling that in spite of having sophisticated instruments, with names you can’t pronounce without scaring the average cat, the modern nurse still can’t find my vein without several attempts; almost as troubling as the fact that the mosquitoes back home do it at the first try, every time!!!