(I did briefly wonder if I shouldn't do so, given my recent vertigo issues, but they seem to be resolving themselves. Yesterday was way less, and today I still feel remnants, but haven't had a full episode at all today. So I figure some ear oddity shouldn't stop me from saving lives, particularly if I pass the mini-physical they start with.)
I popped down at 2pm to check the line. There was none, so I asked if I could get through quickly. "Why, do you have a meeting?" "No, just a ton of work to do."
I went through the preliminary checkup with flying colors. My iron is often borderline, but today it was well into acceptable levels. Yay for remembering to take my vitamins! My blood pressure was 110/76, for those of you who wanted me to monitor it. My temp was 96.2 (brrr), and pulse 64.
I got on the table and mentioned that I needed to hurry back to work. "No problem," said the nurse, "I'm sure you can get through quickly. We're tough." She got me started, and it wasn't long at all before she cheerfully told me, "Almost halfway there."
It figures though, when you're in a hurry things take longer than they should. My nurse went on break, and told me goodbye because she expected me to be gone by the time she was through. I read my email for a long while, then another nurse looked at me. I figured I must be nearly done, and asked her how I was coming. "Slowly," she said. I was surprised. "In fact, you've stopped altogether."
Then followed a couple different nurses looking at the needle, wiggling it around (owie), adjusting the blood pressure cuff, and so on. Eventually they got it flowing again, but apparently my body just wanted to hold onto its contents! Normally I can pump it out nice and fast, but this time it was just barely leaking out.
My original nurse was very surprised to find me still on the table when she came back from break, still valiantly trying to squeeze out the required amount. Finally, after what seemed like forever, and more fiddling with the needle and the cuff, I made it. whew! They kept asking me if I'd had enough water. Perhaps I hadn't, although in fact I feel like I've been drinking more water/liquids than I used to. This morning though, to be honest, I'd had lots of coffee and diet coke, not water. I don't know, maybe I am a bit dehydrated, or maybe my earlier vertigo issues and my current not-bleeding issues are related in some other fashion. Bodies are weird.
Anyway, I now have an impressively large dark blue and red bruise on my elbow. I showed M, and he said "No wonder you stopped, you blew out a vein!" I said I thought the colors were a result of them poking around with the needle, trying to start it again -- but the phrase "blew out a vein" sounds much cooler than mine.
Anyway, it was painful, and took a lot longer than I really had time for. I try to keep it in perspective though: imagine how much worse bleeding to death might feel! There are lots of people who can't or don't give blood, so I know I'm needed. I helped as many as three people by my inconvenience this afternoon -- and they gave me cookies for my trouble -- not bad at all!