Helplessly addicted

The post-grad-school chasm that was left after my final semester concluded has slowly started filling in - with an unhealthy addiction to low, cheap fiction. Currently the most anticipated event in my near future is the arrival of the next three volumes of the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mysteries series (HBO's True Blood series is based on these - it's my other shameless fix). With titles like Dead Until Dark, Dead as a Doornail, Definitely Dead, and Dead and Gone, how could you resist? You know what you're getting into, and you like it.

I just caught myself daydreaming about getting home and checking my mailbox for the familiar cheap yellow padded mailers used by other amazon junkies like myself. Maybe I'll have time before my 11pm game, I plot. It feels like of like being in love with someone you're kind of embarrassed of introducing to your friends; you love the time you've spent with them, but you just know some of your people will wind up giving you shit about it. Sookie has been keeping me up until 2am on weeknights, head under the covers with a book lamp so not to bother Dan - he teases me a bit, but understands. Dan has been carrying out an unhealthy relationship with World at War for the last few months, so I guess he is in no position to judge anyway.

I guess my brain is on vacation for the time being, and it has sought out vampires as a means of escape (I plowed through the Twilight series during finals week). Not sure what this means I'll move on to next; perhaps I'll move on to other deeper, darker areas of sci-fi, but I kind of doubt it. The vampire novel really does encapsulate all the guilty pleasures one could ask for in garbage reading: mystery, excitement, romance, corny humor, semi-predictable plot twists, pseudo-history, and more.

Thankfully I'm three books in and barely half way through the series; these should take me through my upcoming trips. I laugh to even type that, knowing that my level of anticipation is greater related to waiting for my books than it is for heading to the airport in less than a week and a half to head to Europe - I guess it helps me to focus on short-term events than to get all worked up waiting for the major things to finally arrive!



This summer will go down in memory as the summer of skirts - not because I feel particularly feminine and dressy, but because they allow me to hide the extra baggage I took on over the winter. Good times.


An open letter to nurses

Before I begin, thank you. I do appreciate and respect what you do, and nothing that follows should diminish that; I realize that the situation I am about to describe doesn't stem from any sort of malice, but, rather, a very well-deserved pride in your professional abilities.

What I want to ask is that you take my word for it when I ask you to draw blood from my hand. Yes, I know it's more painful. Normally. Unfortunately for me, it's become more than obvious that you will never be able to get blood any other way. My making this request is not a challenge for you to find the elusive non-rolling vein that lies somewhere buried in the fat of my inner arm. I don't care how much you call other nurses who tried, got frustrated, bruised me, and failed unprofessional, it doesn't mean that you will succeed. Trust me - it's not you, it's my veins.

So you called my bluff like all the rest - said you found one. You failed. At least you had the decency to look shame-faced while apologizing before heading off to the hand. Thing is, at this point the damage has been done and it's only going to get worse. As someone who has spent about 20 hours under the tattoo gun and have run out of fingers to count past and present piercings on, I know how to mentally prepare for needles and pain; what I can't prepare for is the unexpected, or even expected pointless pain. My tattoo artist or piercer would never jab around my arm trying to do something I'd already told them not to do - I trust them. At this point, I have lost my trust in you.

You dig into the hand. Things are going ok, and I am trying to breathe evenly, but I feel the white hot sensation all over my body, rushing into my ears and eyes, that means I will soon pass out if you don't stop. I wait as long as I can before telling you this - until you jiggle the needle and send a flame of pain through my hand. I need to lie down. Yes, I want a glass of water - thanks for fanning me. Funny enough, I am the one who is deeply embarrassed at this point for lacking the control to avoid this, either by not having tried hard enough to stop you, or by maintaining better focus.

A few minutes later, prone, I am ready to let you finish the last two vials. You laugh and say next time I should tell the nurse right off the bat that I need to lie down. I resist the urge to tell you that the mini nap never would have happened if my initial request had been respected. It's not the loss or sight of blood that gets me, it's a fear of this ritual repeating and being drawn out every single time. It's tiresome being made to feel over and over again that you assume I just don't know what I'm talking about, and that you need to show me. You do show me - that I'm right.

So, please - everything else you do is wonderful - you just need to learn that we, as patients, know a bit about our bodies and comfort zones. So, it's long sleeves for me tomorrow and the inevitable questions about why my hands are purple.