Let me start off by saying that if vampires are real, (1) I apologize for whatever I got wrong about you in my books, and (2) I know, I don’t deserve to write about you anymore.
I’ll explain. Few people enjoy getting their blood drawn – and of course I’m taking about via syringe since to my knowledge, vampires AREN’T real – but yesterday, I took it to the next level. In my defense, most times when I have to have blood drawn, I just grit my teeth, look away, and then sigh in relief when it’s over. But that’s not what happened yesterday. Before I get to the details, I’m going to blame some of my reaction on not having any coffee beforehand. Anyone who knows me knows that I am ridiculously addicted to my morning cup of java (side note: Don’t bother telling me how I shouldn’t drink coffee because Reasons. I literally don’t care what those Reasons are. I’ll give up coffee only after you pry it from my cold, dead hands :)). However, I was supposed to get “fasting” blood work and I like my coffee with lots of cream and fake sugar, so I knew I had to forego it before the blood draw.
The blood work wasn’t for anything serious, by the way. I’m in my forties, so my doctor orders yearly blood work on me to make sure everything under the hood is running smoothly. Now, as mentioned, I don’t particularly like getting my blood drawn, so I’ve been known to sometimes “lose” my script for blood work. I might have done that last year. My doctor, being a oh-no-you-didn’t sort of woman, also might have scolded me for skipping a year, and added a few extra tests to make sure that I didn’t skyrocket my cholesterol levels or whatever else since my last blood draw.
So, picture me yesterday, shambling into the lab with my husband while bleary-eyed from no coffee. Then, after verifying all my insurance information, I went to the Stick Room (I’m sure there’s another name for the little cubicle where they draw your blood, but it’s the Stick Room to me.) Once there, the tech pulled out not one, not two, not three, but four – FOUR!! – of those clear little plastic tubes to collect my blood in.
At this point, my palms started to sweat, but I told myself that I am an adult and this is no big deal. I did, however, warn the technician that I would cringe and look away while he drew my blood. He assured me that that wasn’t unusual. So, that’s what I was doing when the tech got started. As soon as I felt that needle stick, I tried to think about something else. The nursery rhyme “One, two, buckle your shoe” popped into my mind, so I started to mentally hum it. Of course, being me, I didn’t remember anything after that first verse, so I found myself mentally humming the Nightmare on Elm Street version of “One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…three, four, better lock your door…”
Despite this, I heard little clicks and pops when a tube was filled and a new one was added to the back of the syringe. This started to gross me out, and my mental humming wasn’t enough to detract from that. I started looking around the room for something else to distract me. That didn’t help. My gaze only landed on other patient’s tubes filled with their blood. My palms started to really sweat. I closed my eyes, thinking that would help. It didn’t. I only started imagining my blood pumping into those tubes, and I began to feel a little dizzy.
After what felt like a long time, but was probably only a minute or two, the tech told me he was done. I opened my eyes, thanked him, and then gratefully busied myself with signing the final insurance forms because doing so meant that I didn’t have to stand up right away. I was still feeling dizzy, but I was also scolding myself for it. Here’s a snapshot of that mental back-and-forth:
Rational Jeaniene: You’re fine! Now, quit acting like a child and get moving.
Actual Jeaniene: If you don’t shut up and give me a minute, I’m going to fall when I stand up.
Rational Jeaniene: No you’re not! It’s over! Start walking or the tech will realize you’re stalling!
Actual Jeaniene: Who cares? I’m sure I’m not the first person to act this way.
Rational Jeaniene: You’re probably the first who’s not a child, so get up and get moving!
Actual Jeaniene: Fine. Whatever happens next is on you.
I walked out of the lab, glad that I didn’t trip, slip, or otherwise sprawl onto the floor. Thankfully, my husband was done with his tests, so I didn’t have to worry about driving. While I followed him to the car, I continued to have the same mental back-and-forth with Rational Jeaniene insisting I was fine while Actual Jeaniene was starting to chuckle evilly. As soon as I got into our car and shut the door, I broke out in a full-body sweat, the kind that you can literally feel rolling off you. Then, a dull ringing started in my ears, followed by my vision getting really bright and really dark at the same time. I closed my eyes, Rational Jeaniene and Actual Jeaniene thinking the same thing: Oh, shit.
Reader, for a few seconds, I actually fainted. FAINTED, over a simple blood draw. If any of my vampire characters were real, they would have been laughing their asses off at me.
Since I was reclined in my chair, hubby didn’t realize I’d briefly blacked out, and like I said, it only lasted a couple seconds. By this time, Rational Jeaniene and Actual Jeaniene were in full agreement that I should just lay there quietly until I felt better. Hubby and I had already had plans to have breakfast at our favorite diner after our lab work, so he drove straight there. In the ten minutes it took, I was feeling much better. After some caffeine and food at breakfast, I was all the way better, and moving into the embarrassed stage of the experience. I mean, what kind of vampire author briefly faints after only getting a few tubes of her blood drawn? I was a disgrace to my entire profession!
That’s why I’m so glad that I’ve never seen any proof that vampires exist. If they did, I’d feel like I had no choice now except to turn in my Vampire Author card, or have it immediately revoked for cowardice in the line of bloodletting duty. But hey, if you know any real vampires, you won’t tell on me, will you? *wink*