Monday, December 22, 2008

Sample this

Yesterday, Sunday, December 21, marked the official day of my divorce. It took a long time, but I’m once again officially single.

One of the things my ex-husband and I decided on when we were drafting up the divorce agreement was that we would both have life insurance, with the ex named as the beneficiary, in case, well you know, in case one of us dies, leaving the other parent to raise the girls alone.

Like many other things, I put off taking out this insurance policy until the last minute. I called about a week and a half ago and signed myself up for a policy. Having never before had any type of life insurance, I didn’t realize that I’d have to provide a comprehensive medical history and have a physical exam to qualify.

Seeing that it’s the Christmas season, I’ve been busy, every day seemingly packed with some combination of work, kids' performances, shopping, and parties, so when the insurance-company representative told me the health assessment could come to me, I was quick to seize the opportunity.

“Just come to my office.” I cheerily quipped on the phone when Robert, the phlebotomist, called to set up the appointment.

He arrived a few minutes early on the chosen date, with a little travel medical bag in tow. He then closed my office door. A small red flag was raised. Just what exactly was he going to do to me? What exactly do phlebotomists do?

They perform venipuncture; that’s what they do.

He was very organized and went straight to the work of filling out the insurance form and getting his tools ready. He took my blood pressure three times, checked my pulse, and asked me health history questions. He then checked my veins, tied one of those scary rubber bands around my arm that organized and solvent junkies use (there really aren’t any of those, are there?) and drew blood -- two vials full.

I’ve never been able to watch my own blood being drawn; watching that crimson liquid fill up the glass tube makes me go weak in the knees and slightly pisses me off. I really don’t appreciate the fact that it’s leaving my body. Isn’t it essential for my survival?

So I turned my head and took a quick peek only once the two full vials had their rubber stoppers securely pushed in.

I held the gauze pad on the hole in my arm while Robert put a Band-Aid on top of it; I then rolled up my sleeve and stood up.

“We’re done, right?” I asked hopefully.

“Almost,” Robert replied.

“Almost?” I pondered.

Robert then grabbed a small plastic cup out of the bag and handed it to me.

“Really” I asked?

Yes, really. (It turns out phlebotomists sometimes perform other tasks as required such as urine collection and testing.) It did not matter that I was at my place of employment. I had to march down the office hall, out in to the hall of the building, pee in that cup, and then leave the sample on the counter in the bathroom.

Really? It’s a semi-public bathroom. If fact, there was a woman in one of the three stalls when I entered, with Robert close behind, waiting just outside the door. It was strange. I managed to fill the cup to the necessary line with my steamy urine, and place it on the yellow Formica counter. I then signaled to Robert, who entered the ladies room and had me hold the door open while he transferred it into yet two more vials.

At least he did wipe down the counter after.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

That's so funny, Beth! Congrats on being a Divorcee - sounds so sinister yet sophisticated. Like you should smoke virginia slims with a cigarette holder. Oh - now I know what to get you for Christmas!!

Your visit with Robert is so funny, totally one of thos "at least I have a good blog topic" moments. I can't beleive you didn't snap photos.

Did you know that this sort of "housecall" is what my Dad does for kicks and giggles in his retirement?


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Congrats on your new marital status, Beth. And on getting Robert to come to you. I've always been overly mesmerized when I get my blood taken. I have to watch the whole process, needle to full receptacle.


Kathi D said...


I can't watch my blood being drawn either. I have been known to have exotic fantasies about seeing the needle pop out and spew my blood all over the room.

KG said...

Hooray for divorce?!

Anyway, that's awesome about the pee on the office bathroom counter. I've worked in several law offices, where the atmosphere is decidedly non-pee friendly. I just love the idea of leaving a vial of bodily fluid in there. Hawt!

Anonymous said...

Yep,,, have to turn my head away from my own blood being drawn too. I think I would faint otherwise. Happy Pee In A Cup Divorce Day!