Do not, whatever you do, do NOT NOT NOT piss off the nurse with the giant needle.  Let’s start here: My medical history involves a few fainting spells.  My mother would correct me by saying, “Those weren’t ‘spells’. You dropping to the ground like someone had suddenly ripped out all of your bones and replaced them with packing peanuts, white as a ghost is not a ‘spell’.”  Duly noted, Mother.  It would happen occasionally, mostly spurred on by some sort of pain.  The first time I remember fainting, I was in the line for the water fountain in preschool.  I was probably four years old.  I tripped on a piece of upturned carpet and my chin broke my fall.  After getting up I fell again, this time out cold.  Awesome.  Way to make the cute boy notice you.  Oh, well. He was focusing on some other four year old – a hussy whose mother hadn’t made her wear the hood on her jacket.  There was also a boy Henry who made fun of my hair.  That has nothing to do with my fainting.  Henry, I just want you to know that I still remember.

I fainted in a Wendy’s once, too.  This one…I can’t remember if there was pain.  I think maybe I was just hungry?  Please.  Like the idea of a juicy hamburger and a frosty has never made you a little light-headed.  I’m sure, if this were to occur today, my older brother would this time choose to catch me instead of moving out of the way and letting me fall to the floor.  Sure of it.  And the other times, well, I was very sick with chickenpox, had an ingrown toenail (Hi, my name is Alissa.  Nice to meet you.  I will now tell you personal tidbits that will make you want to vomit that burrito you just ate on your lunch break.  Thanks for stopping by!)and, oh yes, had my blood drawn.

Which brings us to Angry Nurse.  I had a routine appointment the other day.  I knew I was scheduled for blood work, so I made sure to hype myself up.  Guess what?  I’m a grown woman now. I can totally handle this. Needles are fun – in a non-druggy kind of way.  No fainting from this girl!  EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE FINE.  And the truth is it’s not the needle.  It’s the fear of looking like a peanut packed ghost-idiot on the floor of the lab.  I made sure to drink a lot of water before the appointment because I was once told that my veins are limpy (Yeah? Well, you’re a whore, so there you go.) and extra hydration can help plump them up.  I wish this also worked for boobs.  I had a positive attitude and felt pretty plumped up.


ANGRY: You can sit right there.

ME: Oh, great.  Thanks.

ANGRY: Name?

ME: Alissa Miles

ANGRY: Birthdate?

ME: 9-17-82

ANGRY: Which arm?

ME: Oh, uh.  My left, I guess.  I’m a righty…so, my left.

ANGRY: (snarl) Put your hand out.  No, like this.  And squeeze this ball.

ME: Puppies.


Squeeze squeeze slap slap prod prod.

ME: Your scrubs.  They have puppies on them.  Cute.

Squeeze squeeze slap slap prod prod.

ANGRY: Your veins are worthless.

ME: But I drank like a gallon of water.

ANGRY: Really?

ME: Well, not really a gallon.  But a lot.

ANGRY: Doesn’t look like it.

ME: (inner thoughts)What? I’m lying here? I just gave you the clearest pee sample in the history of pee samples and I’m lying? You could drink that, dammit. (To ANGRY) Perhaps you could try my right arm?

ANGRY: grumble grumble

Squeeze squeeze slap slap prod prod. 

ME: Looks like we’ve got a winner.

ANGRY: Yeah. (inner thoughts) And now I will take all of your blood because you seem to be a smart ass and way too happy and because I am ANGRY and stabbing people with needles is the only thing that makes my life worth living and I will never crack a smile or pretend to be happy. I prefer to scowl and share my displeasure with the world.   I wear these puppy scrubs to remind me how much I hate puppies and want to drown them in vats of hot oil.

Several vials of blood later, I made it out of the lab alive and conscious (and possibly a couple of pounds lighter – how much does blood weigh?), which only proves to my mother that I don’t need to lie down every time I pluck my eyebrows.  I CAN handle pain and not faint.