I have a lot of memories of being a rather pathetic, but stubborn, child. I was a fussy eater. Scared of many things. Hated sleepovers even at my grandparents but the blood...random.
I think it started when my finger was shut in a door during an argument with my delightful little brother. It was a time when he was still shorter than me with dashing blond locks...and it was the day of my Dad's 40th birthday party. As Dad's turning sixty this year that makes it nineteen and a half years ago: I was nearly 8. Anyway, something had happened, I was angry, chased my bro (who's now around 6'2" and holds a private pilots licence) up the stairs. He slams "our" bedroom door and then BAM. My little finger, of my left hand, is shut tight into the hinge side of the door.
This is where one of my favourite memories of my Uncle joins us. My Uncle was a policeman and - oh boy - could he shout! It was more like a bark but he, very clearly, commanded my brother to "OPEN THE DOOR". My wailing hadn't been enough for my bro to realise there was a problem so it took my Uncle's command to get that door open.
Fast forward a few hours, after my Auntie had tried to persuade me that because she was a leader of Brownies, or Girl Guides, or something, she could cut the flap of skin off, I'm at the hospital in casualty with my Mum and Auntie whilst the preparations for my Dad's 40th were well underway back at home. I can imagine my Mum would have taken this all...in her stride?!
Anyway. I can remember that during the following week, the first week of the Summer Holidays, I went to the children's holiday club at my church and every time we had to say or write a prayer, which was a lot as it was a church club, the theme was my finger. Sod World starvation, children without water, homelessness...nope. My finger. Now wrapped up nicely and strapped to my wrist in a sock type thing. Miraculously it wasn't broken, just a bit bloody and bruised. Since then the scar has gone and the only problems I get is when I'm playing the guitar and need to change chords swiftly, it can get stuck temporarily, not really a major problem. But mentally...oh my...
At some point I had to go to the nurse to have a blister popped on my hand as, although knowing my hands were incredibly soft and prone to blisters, I had been playing on the monkey bars in a playground and had managed to get a blister and fall into dirt afterwards...genius. I remember sitting on a chair in the nurse's room with my head between my legs with my Mum next to me who was probably wondering how her daughter had become such a wimp! It was so bad that at a Girl Guides First Aid event, so between the ages of 10 and 16, I nearly fainted at the sight of, yep, faint blood.
In the second year of University I managed to give blood once. The nurse had had to 'dig' in my arm for a vein and it had hurt a lot. He then attempted the other arm with more success but it wasn't the nicest experience. I was told it shouldn't have hurt... Then...the next time I went to give blood I fainted, and I mean really fainted, flat-out. I remember feeling soooo queasy as a man tried to squeeze blood out of my finger and then the next moment I was lying flat on a bed with the same nurse from before, that had 'dug' in my arm, asking me what my name was. I was not happy as he had disturbed a 'dream' where I was dancing through summery meadows with One Big Gentleman and my other high school friends. Funny thing is that this had been just from the prick test...i.e. they take a DROP of blood from your index finger to check my iron level. Erm...really?! I was swiftly told not to give blood for at least 3 years as I was 'out' for a while. I didn't tell them I hadn't eaten or drank anything that day except a pint of Strongbow (cider)...that may have had something to do with it.
|taken from here|
Some years later I'm at the Globe, the Shakespearian theatre in London, and I'm watching 'Bedlam' and at the exact point that is shown in the photo I'm trying to convince myself not to faint, that it's "only pretend" and that I'll be alright. The nurse on the right has slit the woman's wrist/hand and fake blood has squirted out onto the stage. Roughly 5 minutes later I'm kneeling on the floor (we were in the pit so standing room only) and my colleague had to convince me that it was perhaps better if I sat outside for a while.
Then. Then. There's today. I have had to have a blood test, mainly for a check-up really, no actual problems. I was a bit preoccupied but feeling positive and bumbled along this morning to the hospital on my own. It's all going well. I've negotiated the ticket system and I'm sitting in the chair with all the vials and tubes on the table. The nurse looks at me and asks me if I'm scared, "yes" is obviously my response. I manage to chat away about the sunshine and the awesome breakfast I'm going to have after this, I've felt a small prick, the tubes obviously in but then:
"...ma perché il sangue va indietro oggi?..." says my nurse to her colleague.
Man, it was all going so well.
Cue the dizziness, the lightheaded issue, the tunnel vision/soft focus effect as the nurse is now pricking my other arm...honestly, when you're not one for this sort of thing, to hear the nurse say "Why is the blood going backwards today?" is not comforting. No, no, no, not at all.
Thankfully I didn't go flat-out this time. I managed to stay upright and furiously suck the sweet they gave me. After a 5 minute rest on the spare chair whilst watching the blood rush out of the next person I felt much better and left to reward myself with a cornetto at Caffè V with my "plus-1".
Blood...should not go backwards...