Of Course We Have Blood Tests in the Retirement Home

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you can have your blood tests here. First thing on Sunday mornings when the nurse is at her sharpest (ha, ha). You have to inform her on the previous Friday so she can order all those different color vials, tubes, needles and what-nots that she uses and have everything ready for your visit. You receive a note that says, “Please be at the clinic at 8 sharp for your tests.”

So at 2 minutes to 8 you run, er, hobble, to the elevator looking forward to a couple of private minutes with the pretty nurse – even though there will be a needle between you – you barge into the clinic and there are 20 to 30 irritable Golden Agers all sitting there. Each one glares at you and gestures to the seat right at the back, just in case you are thinking of doing a little queue jumping. By time you get to the nurse her nerves are frazzled and if I didn’t know better, I would say the needle is blunt.

A quick jab, a pull on the plunger and it’s over. “Press down with this cotton gauze so that you don’t get a bruise,” she says. Big joke. Have you ever taken a good look at the arms in the retirement home? One big bruise and some bigger and bruiser than others. The arms of the retirement home residents could get them thrown into jail for substance abuse!

But it’s all in the interest of good medicine. A couple of hours after the blood tests, the results start coming to my computer and as long they are all good, the frustrations of the morning quickly evaporate.

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