I find it frequently uncomfortable to have my blood drawn and to deal with medical professionals checking my blood pressure and so on. I have previously noted  that this has been a stressful and not very enjoyable phenomenon in my life, but in order to save $25 a paycheck on my health insurance I submit to a yearly health screening that forces me to answer all kinds of irritating questions and have two vials of my blood removed for study. Today was the day I scheduled for this, and as I was able to schedule a fairly early time unlike many of my coworkers who were not as quick to schedule it and who had to submit to a longer fasting period than I did, although sadly I did not eat right after returning from my blood draw as I had planned to do because I was so irritated with the process.
As I was waiting for the nurse to get through the backlog of people who took longer than was originally planned, I had reason to think of my experience last year with the blood draw, in which two vials of blood were removed from my left arm leaving me with a wound and then I received a rather unpleasant packet and phone call letting me know that the test had been unsuccessful and that I had to travel to Lab Corp to have my blood drawn again, leaving me to hobble around a building while having a bad gout day. It was, to put it very mildly, not a very enjoyable experience at all, and I will be very unhappy if this happens again. In fact, if something like this happens again someone is going to get a piece of my mind verbally, and they will not appreciate it, to be sure. For the sake of the poor customer service people with Lab Corps, I hope the nurse this year is more competent than the nurse was last year at drawing blood for the purposes of analysis.
To be sure, I find the whole process rather dubious. The only times in my life where blood draws have been useful in my life so far is when I was diagnosed with gout in 2010 after my recovery from my initial attack in 2006 healed too fast to be caught via the blood test and x-ray that was taken at that time, and when I broke my knee in 1995 and had some blood and other fluid taken from my knee in three vials while I calmly read and looked at the procedure. For a variety of reasons, though, my experiences with medical professionals over the past few years have been less than calm. There are a variety of reasons for this, I think. For one, most of the medical professionals have not been particularly friendly, nor have they been particularly competent in their actions. I can forgive someone a bit of unfriendliness if they are good at what they do at least, and I can forgive a great deal of bungling if someone is kind and polite about it, but to be neither, as has been the case in my experiences with medical professionals of late, is not something that I find particularly enjoyable.
[Note: The following was written the following day.]
I feel at this point it is necessary to note on the title of this blog entry. A friend and I have a longstanding inside joke where we view doctors and nurses as vampires because of their fondness for drawing blood. The words of the song, of course, come from a beautiful song by Fastball called “Vampires” from their “The Harsh Light Of Day” album, a fantastic and underrated album . Anyway, although drawing blood from others is not a particular interest of my own, there are at least some vampiric habits I have, namely a distaste for the harsh light of day. On a day like yesterday or today, or during summer in general, I find it fairly intolerable to be in places that are without well-functioning air conditioning. Unfortunately, both work and home qualify as places where the air conditioner does not work very well–and I find that reading, writing, and sleeping, all activities I dearly love, are all much more difficult to do when the weather is not being very cooperative.
As it happens, there was a note at work this morning from the administrative assistant to the president of our company concerning the rising temperatures of our offices: “If you are sitting near a window with blinds, please shut the blinds. This will help keep the office cool during these hot weeks.” There you have it. Instead of ensuring that air conditioning systems work or thinking ahead when it comes to planning office buildings to make sure that they are not too hot during summer for the building’s occupants, the solution hit upon is to kill the view, which is one of the best things that the particular office building I work in has to offer. It is not merely sufficient for there to be vampiric nurses of dubious competence drawing blood for two days so that we can save a little on our health insurance while our employer gathers all kinds of data about our living habits and moods, but we are encouraged to become vampires ourselves by shutting the light out of our work day. Brilliant work all around.
 See, for example: