Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Jenny Will Never Believe This

Today I did a very very brave thing. I faced my fear, and I overcame it. I looked a lifelong enemy in the eye and struck it down, at least temporarily. How did I do this? Perhaps it was generosity towards mankind that gave me the courage to go forward with trembling knees and sweaty palms. Perhaps it truly was bravery, but my personal theory is that I was temporarily insane.

Are you ready Jenny? Here it is: I gave blood.

I'm sure there are some of you for whom needles aren't anethema, but they have been my personal adversary since the earliest prick I can remember. I was watching the blood seeping from my finger into the little tube, and I heard the doctor say - "Oh no - there's a bubble in that one, we'll have to try again." As I watched the line of red walk slowly up the walls of the next little tube, the room moved further and further from my vision. My stomach felt empty, and I said "I feel funny," but what the nurse heard was "aahfuufuu." Her mad dash across the room saved me from tumbling to the cold lanoleum floor as the room disappeared completely.

In future years, I had to conquer this demon several times - it didn't help that my sweet, loving sister took the time to lovingly describe to me how the tip of the needle indented the skin before puncturing it, slipping through the fatty tissue and rupturing the connected cells as it delved towards the thin line of my vein. No, really, I forgive her - it's almost funny by now. I'm the one who threw a hissy fit in the doctor's office when I was 16 years old because I had to get a shot. I'm the one who made sure to get married in a state where they don't require a blood test. I'm the one who sometimes thinks adoption is a viable alternative to having an epidural.

Enough blabbing about my psychosis. I don't really know what the point is - I'm just so darn proud of myself. I wish I could really figure out how I faced up to my fear, so that I could apply it to the possible more important fears I have - the fear of striking out on my own as a tutor, the fear of changes, the fear of things I'm afraid to admit to other people (note how I neatly thereby avoid listing them here). Maybe there is no secret - maybe I'm just lucky. I guess I'll find out in a couple months when the blood drive is back.


Jenny said...

You're right. I can't believe it. Especially the part where I was so cruel as to take advantage of you and exacerbate your fear through the use of my powers of description ... I'm sure I was never that mean. Honest. :) (PS Sorry about that ...)

What made you decide to do it? Really—I mean, you are pretty much the last person on the earth that I would expect to contribute to a blood drive (possibly excepting Nick; no offense meant to either of you). Was it as bad as you thought? Did you go faint? Did they have good cookies afterwards? (That's all it usually takes to get me to give up my life blood ... mmm ... cookies....)

I'm so proud of you. :)

Julie C said...

Well, the blood bank has a drive here every month, and I haven't had any previous moments of temporary insanity. I think seeing the blood drive announcements all the time makes me think that I have perfectly healthy blood that could do someone some good - what if it was you or Lucy or anyone I knew - I would do it for them.

And while I know that's a good reason, I really think that at least 75% of it was kind of daring myself.

I got the thought in my brain, like in testimony meeting when you keep thinking you should be up there even though there is no good reason and you have absolutely nothing to say even when you get up there, but you know it's a good thing to do anyway. So I kept thinking about it on the way in to work, and when I got to work I dropped off my bag and walked over to the cafeteria so I could just do it and stop thinking about it.

And the cookies were pretty good - the guy mixed up custom cran-apple juice that was really good!

And also, I had really good workers - they kept talking to me & they found a vein right away (euw, yuck!), so I didn't have as much of a chance to chicken out.