To the assistant at my allergist’s office

While you were preparing to draw blood for that allergy test, I should have known. It should have been obvious when you started to explain your “one prick” rule whereby you give yourself one chance to do it right, or find someone else who can. If not that, I should definitely have started to second-guess when you said you had to do it standing up because it “just never works” when you do it while sitting. That should have been enough to make me reconsider, but it wasn’t. I didn’t even give it another thought when you said that someone had recently thrown up on you.

I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I like to believe that my medical professionals are properly trained and not just some cracked out wacko armed with a large needle.

I’m not particularly squeamish. I don’t mind having blood taken and, usually, will watch as the vials fill with that crazy red shit pouring out of my arm. I’m not like my sister who, when she was four or five, needed to be held down by several nurses, the doctor and my dad so she could get a booster shot. Sometimes, when I’m feeling brave, I’ll even look as the needle goes in. I guess I’m just butch like that.

What you did to me last week was not okay. I still have a large and tender bruise where you put that needle in and, when little to nothing started coming out, moved it around while pushing it deeper into my arm exclaiming “I’ve never seen such a slow drip before!” I gave you several suggestions, like hey – maybe you should poke the veins most other people have when drawing blood but you said they were “no good,” like I’d been shooting heroin for 20 years and they’d all collapsed but you’d managed to find the last good one in my entire body. After a good five minutes of what I can only describe as a terrifying and painful ordeal, you gave up. No, you didn’t so much give up as were forced to stop when blood shot out of my arm and you quickly tore the needle out as you recoiled in horror.

Maybe to make conversation as you cleaned up and packed your bloodletting tools or perhaps to hide what should have been your embarrassment at a job so poorly done, you started to ask if it had suddenly gotten hot in the exam room. I wanted to shout, “OH, YOU THINK IT’S HOT IN HERE? MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE WHILE YOU WERE SHREDDING MY VEIN WITH THAT NEEDLE I WAS ABOUT TO SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUST. OR MAYBE IT WAS SOME INTENSE HATRED FOR YOU THAT STARTED TO BURN, BURN, BURN INTO A RAGING FIRE OF ASS-KICKING, SO YOU BETTER GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!” But I didn’t. I just started to practice my Dr. Andrew Weil breathing exercises and let you walk away unharmed.

I hate you.

– Linsey

P.S. You should probably find another line of work.


  1. February 21, 2008

    That sounds horrible. You really should mention it to your doctor.

    You do write it funny, though.

    Sorry for your pain.


  2. February 21, 2008

    That’s scary. I once went to a strip mall clinic (long story) to get a plantar wart removed and the process of giving me the painkiller shot was so horrific I wouldn’t step into a doctor’s office of any kind for almost 3 years. For the record, I’m also, not super squeamish about medical stuff.

  3. August 24, 2008

    holy crap, that hurt just reading it. i’m not good with the bloodletting. i’ve given birth to a live human and i still had the bloodletting. i really hate when they can’t find a vein b/c my veins are very shy.

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