Voluntarily into the vampire’s nest

The most annoying thing about going for blood tests is having to set the alarm earlier than usual.? As a rule, our alarm wakes us at 07:55 (tablets to take, you know) with, if we’re lucky, some soothing music followed by the news in French.? If we’re not lucky, it’s raucous music followed by the news in French.? This second possibility, of course, means that one of two things will happen: either a) we will switch off the alarm tout suit and fall straight back to sleep or b) we will switch off the alarm tout suit and actually get up.

The reason for resetting the alarm on a Blood Test Day is that the nurse is only at the health centre for thirty minutes, from 09:00 – 09:30.? Well, that’s what it says on the hours poster; it’s more like guidelines, really.? She could turn up any time between 09:15 and whenever.? All the hopefuls arrive before nine, as there are frequently quite a few people needing the service and it’s first come – first served.? Sometimes, a rueful patient will look at their watch but we all know she’ll arrive when she gets there and nothing will help this along.

So, yesterday, we duly set our alarms for Blood Test Day, rose, showered, dressed and had breakfast.? The observant amongst you will have twitched; blood test + food = no can do.? Well, I had briefly considered that but there were those in my family (who will not be the font of knowledge in the future) who assured me that fasting isn’t necessary any more, as the tests can take account of that.? Add to this the fact that the doctor hadn’t specifically reminded me to fast and they frequently do because … well … people are stupid.? We went, tummies full, to the health centre and sat in the waiting room, two people ahead of me.? The room filled up quickly and, as expected, Nurse was fashionably late.? Just before she ushered #1 into her den, I nipped in and showed her the list of tests the doctor had requested.? I should have listened to my inner voice instead of filling my inner self with food.

This morning, same routine almost exactly, although the Nurse (a different one) was unfashionably late and my tummy was growling.? Good thing I had taken the banana, which was to be consumed almost as soon as I left.? I have a tiny, invisible-to-the-naked-eye hole in my arm and slightly less blood.? Hopefully, it will be a while before my next visit to the Vampire’s Nest.

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