Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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In Which I Am Clearly Hopelessly Physically Unfit Despite Seeming to Function Fine in My Own Opinion

On Monday I had to get blood tests done. This never fails to be an ordeal. The previous time I had blood tests done, the phlebotomist stuck me in the crook of both elbows before giving up and calling in a more expert phlebotomist who finally managed to get some blood out of my forearm. I explained this to the phlebotomist I saw on Monday, and she decided not to attempt the crook of either of my elbows; she started off on my right forearm instead. Since she didn't immediately declare this effort a failure, at first I thought that by some miracle I was actually going to escape from a blood lab with only a single puncture wound. It would have been the first time in years. But no: the vial only filled a bit over halfway before my blood stopped flowing, so she repunctured me in the left forearm. Both needle-sticks left highly visible bruises, so now I guess I look either like a heroin addict or like a Catholic school student who has been beaten across both forearms with a ruler by a nun. Not sure which. Am really far too old for the latter but would rather not think the former is plausible either.


Afterward, in frustration, I started searching the Internet for strategies to make my veins more accessible. I had already been told that drinking more water supposedly helps, but for both of my past two blood draws, I specifically made a point to drink as much water as I could stand to without making myself sick. It did not seem to do much good. The Internet also told me that phlebotomists who do nothing but draw blood all day in dedicated blood labs are more competent at finding veins than nurses in hospitals and doctors' offices who only occasionally draw blood. Well, my last several blood draws have all been done in blood labs, so that doesn't seem to be helping either. I kept searching and found two more suggestions. First, heat: apparently I should run hot water over my arms before I get blood drawn. And second, muscles: if I had more muscle strength in my arms, the muscles would make the veins stand out more. Apparently I may have less muscle strength in my arms than practically anyone ever. It's a wonder I can manage to lift a single sheet of paper in one hand! Or so it would seem from my lack of veins. Really, since when is having blood drawn supposed to require working out?

Personally, I think my veins are an evolutionary adaptation to prevent intravenous drug addiction: it is impossible to get addicted to intravenous drugs if no one can find your veins to be able to inject anything into them in the first place.

On another health-related note, some random 21-year-old in the Czech Republic who read one of my online profiles that mentioned my favorite foods and hobbies and interests contacted me this week to helpfully advise me that I am doing everything in the world wrong in terms of preventing cancer from recurring. This person wrote to me to inform me that I need to stop eating carbs and gluten (because untreated celiac disease increases the risk of intestinal cancer - never mind that intestinal cancer is not the kind of cancer I had and there's no reason whatsoever to suspect me of having celiac disease) and eat more red meat (because let's pretend there's no evidence at all that there might be any health risks to that) and stop eating fruits because they're all sugary (yes, the fact that I eat actual plants grown in my back yard is clearly a major health concern) and start eating a bunch of dark, leafy green vegetables (because let's pretend it's totally realistic that I'm going to make a habit of eating foods I loathe and detest, or let's pretend that everyone's taste buds are exactly alike and just because other people like eating green vegetables it isn't true that if I had nothing to eat but green vegetables I would probably resort to trying to digest dirt or rocks or something instead and would eventually starve to death).

Also this person wanted to explain to me that I should never attempt to run, because attempting to run just causes older, heavier women like me to get injured. Instead this person thinks I should do water aerobics, because the water will help support the weight of my apparently elephantine and decrepit body (and also because let's pretend there's nothing the least bit inconvenient about having to wait for the nearest public pool's open hours and drive to and from there whenever I want to exercise rather than being able to exercise whenever I feel like it, and let's pretend too that the choice of exercise methods should have nothing whatsoever to do with personal preference or what any given person actually enjoys doing, and let's pretend too that athletic activities cannot be undertaken with different rates of gradualness according to a person's pre-existing level of fitness).

Oh, and also this person added as an afterthought that they are not convinced that anyone can choose to be queer.

Isn't it wonderful to be 21 years old and know everything? How generous of this person to go around explaining to everyone else how everything we do and everything we think we know about our own life histories is totally wrong! Probably the entire reason that this person is 21 years old is that this person has discovered the secret to preventing aging! This person is clearly a genius. Too bad this person does not have any of the necessary social skills to ever be able to persuade anyone else to follow their expert guidance.
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