If you see a Vial of Blood Roaming the Halls of the HSC, Please Tell it to Return to the Out-Patient Laboratory. Thank you Kindly.

My blood has been lost.

I had samples drawn last Thursday morning. It admittedly was a busy lab day, with deliveries, construction, and seemingly fewer than normal lab techs on duty. While we arrived early in the morning, and although there were merely six other people seated in the blue-chair-loud-television-always-tuned-to-CNN area, we yet waited a long time. At one point the lady next to us had lost her number and was in a panic. The kiddo attempted to go into her purse to help her look. She did not appreciate his efforts.

Instead, he switched to climbing chairs. Later he played with a nickel found on the floor.* No one else made eye-contact. We waited, pretending to be patient, for #79 to be called. And then, thankfully, it was.

In the course of these past nine months the kiddo and I have become outpatient lab regulars. We recognize the staff. But this lab tech was new. He did not know me. He likewise did not say hello to the kiddo, who by this point was standing obediently with his back against the wall, a treat of dry Mini-Wheats held tight in each hand.**

Once we were done, I gathered up our things and the miscellaneous pieces of cereal the kiddo had dropped on the floor. We left the building, gave the parking attendant an extravagant amount of money for the one hour that our car took up a small amount of space between two yellow lines in their lot***, and were on our way. I remember feeling relieved that such a chore was completed.

And then at three thirty that same afternoon, we got a call from the transplant clinic. They wondered if I had one or two requisition papers with me that morning. I only had one, a CBC requisition form.**** Strangely enough, my CBC results had not shown up. They were somehow lost in HSC lab-land. Even odder, what did show up were results showing that I was negative for certain viruses transplant patients are susceptible towards getting. Here’s the kicker: I never brought in a requisition asking to have my blood tested for such viruses.*****

It’s a mystery, one that now has me and the kiddo traversing those hospital corridors again tomorrow morning. We will get our number and climb on those blue laboratory chairs once again.

post-note: I have to admit that my mind wanders to whomever did get my lab results. I imagine a patient and doctor squished into one of the many examination rooms scattered throughout the hospital. I picture them going over those CBC blood results together. And I wonder if my blood will be good news to them or not.



*despite my best attempts at having him not touch the hospital floor. I knew that I had lost the battle when, immediately after touching said germ-ridden floor, he stuck those same fingers into his mouth. True to form, I woke up the following day to a runny-nosed, coughing nothing-will-make-me-happy-today-but-(blasted)-Paw-Patrol kid. Listen to your parents, kids.

**I have no idea how that kiddo is able to watch. Even thinking about getting my blood drawn makes my stomach flip-flop. Unlike him, I purposefully avert my gaze. I look at the clock, I watch the receptionist. I count boxes of medical supplies on the shelf. I make up stories in my head. I do what I have to do.

The kiddo, on the other hand, unless told to stand against the adjacent wall (about a foot away), will slide on in and stick his head as close as possible to my arm and the dang needle sticking in it. All while crunching on dry cereal pieces. That kid.

***I admit that I used some of the kiddo’s piggy bank funds for this blood work excursion. I don’t feel bad. That kiddo has more money than I do.

**** CBC: a test to measure white blood cells, red blood cells and the polka dot ones no one talks about. Okay, Iied about the polka dot ones. No one ever tests those buggers.

*****I would name the virus that they were specifically looking for, but its name has slipped my mind. Let’s call it virussplirusthethird. (After all, it has been three months since I stopped being tested for such a thing. The protocol at the HSC transplant clinic is to end such testing at the six month post-transplant mark).