losing blood and finding control

It all started a month ago. As I walked out of the doctor’s office with the slip of paper in my hand, I could practically feel the cold sweats and nausea setting in before I reached the car. There, in chicken scratchy doctor handwriting I could barely read, was the order for me to go have blood drawn. Yes, blood. As in, the stuff that is supposed to stay INSIDE your body. As in the stuff they have to poke you with a needle to get out. As in the stuff I had never had taken from me. Ever. This is the point where I admit to you that I have come almost twenty-five years on this earth without having blood drawn, and avoid any sort of interaction with needles as much as I do grapefruit juice. And I HATE grapefruit juice.

So, Ben and I both made our appointments. And then I had to cancel them because plans came up. And then we made another appointment. And I ACCIDENTALLY overslept. So yesterday, on appointment number three, Ben was officially in charge. He set the alarm, drug me out of bed, and as I spent way to long picking out a shirt to throw on he called from the living room “This isn’t about looking pretty. It’s about getting stabbed in the arm. Let’s go.” There was no getting around it this time. I told him how sick I felt as we went out the door. I begged him to turn the car around as we pulled out of our neighborhood. I even tried to reason with his food loving side and told him we should just go out to breakfast instead. There may have even been a moment while he was pumping gas that I contemplated making my escape. But it was raining, and I was not really dressed for it after being pressured into my ratty old Ben Folds concert shirt.

So for the whole rest of the ride I sat there in silence. Well, in outward silence. Inside I was having tons of conversations with myself about how horrible this was going to be, and how I was an adult so I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to do. But then I realized we were there, and as I turned to Ben with pleading eyes one last time he opened his door and got out of the car. I think I need better puppy dog eyes.

We went in, and of course even though the waiting room was packed, I was ushered right on back since I had an appointment. (At which point I cursed the fact that we are so planny.) My lab tech Paula went on about cleaning my arm, and tapping out some sort of morse code in the crease of my elbow. And then, just as I was asking her if she was going to tell me when it was time, I felt it. The teeniest, of tiniest little pinches. It was nothing. Actually, less then nothing. And then five minutes and two vials later I was walking back to the waiting room with a medal of honor cotton ball taped to my arm. I felt PRETTY brave. Ben was called back right after me, and after his tiny pinch was over we walked out of there with our matching puffy white accessories.


We went to breakfast, where I got to order anything I wanted, because diet rules don’t count for people who have had massive amounts of blood taken. Ben affirmed this by telling me something really official sounding about replenishing my blood cell count. So as I sat there, eating my French toast, and eggs, and sausage, and hashbrowns (hey! I lost a LOT of blood) I looked up at Ben and said “I think I get in my own head to much”. To which he gave me a very unconvincing surprised look, as if he had never had that thought before. But the truth is, I do.

I was so insanely worried about having blood drawn, simply because I made up all of these scenarios about how horrible it could go or how bad it would hurt. And I have been avoiding purchasing workshop tickets because I have been so worried about whether it was the right decision or not. The day before I had even sat agonizing over the purchase of a new video light for FOUR hours, because I worried about it being the right one. I am a worrier, which I guess is something that is kind of built in with owning your own business. Worrying about booking enough, and being good enough, and making the right decisions.And spending all of that time worrying doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for planning. Or progress. If I can give up just a little time spent worrying, and put that towards something productive, I think I will gain a lot more control. The control to do things our way, and make quick decisions, and just be us. With no thought or comparison to what anyone else may do or say. And that sounds pretty good to me, as long as it comes with a side of french toast.


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