The phlebotomist smiled as she snapped her glove in place. “Have you ever had blood work done before?” she asked as she read the patient’s orders.
“No,” said Kyle. His eyes darted across the desk filled with medical supplies.
“Right or left?”
“Do you want me to stick your right or left arm? Do you have a preference?”
“Oh, no,” said Kyle. He watched nervously as she wrapped an elastic band around his arm and prepped the needle.
Moving with the kind of precision a person gets from repeating the same motions day after day, the phlebotomist targeted the vein and plunged the needle in Kyle’s arm.
That was the last thing Kyle saw before he passed out.
The first thing Kyle felt when he regained consciousness was a splitting headache. The second thing he felt was cold linoleum on the left side of his face. The third thing he felt was a sharp pain in his ear.
Kyle opened his eyes to discover a little boy sticking a finger in Kyle’s ear. The little boy looked at him with large eyes and sucked on his fingers.
“What are you doing? Get out of here,” growled Kyle.
The little boy ran away, crying.
Kyle sat up and nearly passed out again. The phlebotomist poked her head between the curtains. “Oh, good. You’re awake. Stay down. The ambulance is on it’s way.”
“You passed out. You should’ve told me you’re trypanophobic,” scolded the phlebotomist.
“I’m what?” asked Kyle. He made another effort to sit up.
“You have a fear of needles. Stay down. You hit your head.”
“That would explain the headache.”
“I didn’t know I was trypano-whatever. This is so humiliating,” said Kyle, wiping drool from his chin.
“I thought you looked cute passed out on the floor,” winked the phlebotomist.
Did she put on lipstick, wondered Kyle. His brain was too foggy to know for sure.
“I’ll go with you to the hospital. I saw what happened and I have your medical information.”
“How did you…” mumbled Kyle.
“I called your family doctor. I told him your file was incomplete. Don’t worry. I’ll stay with you as long as you need me. My name is Marcy, by the way,” smiled Marcy, the phlebotomist.
That was how Kyle first met his second wife.