Australian conversations: the phlebotomists

Due to the potential of some ongoing shenanigans between my thyroid gland and the rest of my body, I had to have some blood taken today.  As I settled into the chair awaiting to be punctured by the cheery duo of phlebotomists, I thought I should explain my left arm:

JB: “Just to let you know, I did a plasma donation at the Red Cross yesterday [pointing to bruise] so not sure how that vein will go. Boy, that experience really made me think about what the junkies must go through day after day.”

Phleb 1: “Oh we see it all the time. I had a junkie tell me the other day, ‘You’ll have to go in at the back of my neck, I don’t have anything left on my arms.’ I told him, ‘I don’t do the backs of necks.'”

JB, gobsmacked: “I can’t believe they’re so blasé and matter-of-fact.”

Phleb 2: “Oh yeah – one said to me, ‘you’ll have to use the other arm, I just shot up in the car park.'”

JB, suffering naivety overload: “Gosh, that’s …”

Phleb 1: “I had a girl bring her mother in – she was about 18 and basically caring for her mother – and as the mum was on the chair, a bit spaced out, she said, ‘I can’t wait to get home and do some more coke.’ The poor daughter, I felt sorry for her.”

JB: “Oh, that’s …”

Phleb 2: “I had a guy come in say, ‘you’ll have trouble, just give me the needle and I’ll do it myself.'”

JB: “What?! No way!”

Phleb 1: “There you go, darl, all done.”

[Image courtesy Zazzle]

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