A couple of weeks ago, I went to the local hospital to get a standard yearly blood test in preparation for a future appointment with my doctor. I stopped at the front desk to check in and present my insurance information before I was sent back to the lab to the blood takers.

On previous visits, I had to sit in the waiting area for only a few minutes, enough to read one or two pages of my book du jour. This time, there were two people waiting (and chatting) in one area and a man with an injured foot in another area. I overheard someone say something about “being 30 minutes behind” but didn’t think much about it and tried to read my book and block out the voices of the chatters.

Soon a young man walked by and sat near the man with the injured foot. Those voices became harder to block out. I quickly surmised what the hold-up had been and that the youngster was not eager to give up his blood and reinforcements in were coming: grandma was on her way.

The teacher in me took over. I walked to the window and asked the person at the desk if I could invite the youngster in to watch me give up my blood. I was told that would be okay. I approached the lad and the man I assumed was his father and asked if it was all right with them, he could come in and help me with my blood test – after all, I forgot to study for this test. They agreed.

When my time came, I asked the youngster if he wanted to come in with me. He nodded and scooted out of the chair and accompanied me into the room where the test would be done.

I asked him his name and then asked him what I had to do. He told me where to sit. I sat and then asked him if he wanted to move the part of the chair to rest my arm on. He nodded and put the chair in the proper blood-giving position.

The technician attached the tourniquet to my arm. I admitted to “P” that this was the worst part. P said that he’d gotten that on his arm 3 or 4 times. He seated himself in a chair similar to mine across the small room. I insisted that he needed to be closer to me.

We looked each other in the eyes as the needle was inserted. I told P that usually I looked at the wall so that I wouldn’t see the needle go in. The woman who drew my blood could advertise as a painless technician. I didn’t feel it in the least, told P this, and pointed out that we were watching each other.

P got a sticker for my giving blood. I didn’t mind and hoped it was the start of the turn around for him.

I exchanged some information with newly arrived grandma before I left. I later got an e-mail from P saying that he was successful in sitting through the test.

I don’t know if I helped him or not, but he made my day – allowing me to live up to my tcheer4life moniker.

Thanks, P!

Oh, and I passed all my tests with flying color.

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