I Can’t Be a Drug Addict: Chronically Misunderstood

I have terrible veins.

They’re deep, tiny, and they roll.

On this particular occasion when I was getting my blood drawn the phlebotomist was terrible at her job. She stuck me four times, didn’t cover up the pokes afterward, and instead of cleaning up the blood she just made a bigger mess by wiping it all over my arm. The biggest no-no she did was stick me with the same needle twice. I watched her as she used the same needle, but for some reason I couldn’t get my mouth to protest.

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On her fourth try she looked up at me, grins, and says “you have terrible veins, you could never be a drug addict.” I just stared back at her in complete shock, while she looks at me with the same big grin. Who says that? Yeah it’s funny, but what an odd thing to say. Maybe she was trying to lighten the situation since she was doing such a horrible job? That’s all I can think of. I’m still confused why that would be the first thing she thought of. Was she a drug addict? If so, it’s not my place to judge it just seems like an odd train of thought.

Are you a hard stick? Has anyone ever said something really odd to you while drawing your blood? I feel like I meet a lot of weird people, but maybe I just remember them more than other people. Let’s just file this one under a funny experience.

Lots of Love (and no drugs?),

Alyssa

 

 

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School & Sunglasses: Chronically Misunderstood

This one is inspired by Chronically Dannie. She wrote about her high school violating her privacy, and it brought back this memory I had stored away.

The way high school is set up in my town is we have a freshman center and then a high school for 10-12 grade. Our school is huge and everyone couldn’t fit in the main high school, so freshman had their own building. The administration at the freshman center were super uptight, and were know-it-alls, hence this situation.

If you aren’t familiar with what a 504 plan is read this. I had a meeting about my 504 plan and accommodations, it went fine, they couldn’t come up with very many solutions or things to help me, but that wasn’t a new situation at this point. The next week my mom emailed them to follow up on some plans, and the 504 coordinator responded by telling her she had a new idea. She said I was going to be required to wear sunglasses while at school. WTF? I never wear sunglasses inside and when we told her I wasn’t gonna do that she said, “well my kids who have concussions do it and it helps them, so you should do it.”  She was taken back by the idea that I wouldn’t do that.

Wow I had no idea she had such an extensive background in medicine. Thanks Dr. Web-MD! I’ve never had a concussion and sunglasses aren’t gonna help my migraines, plus do I really need to stick out more? I was already “that girl who’s gone all the time,” I didn’t need to add “sunglasses girl” to the mix. I appreciate her trying to do something, but this wasn’t helpful, and the way she came across also didn’t make the situation better. Also, in what world can you make someone wear sunglasses inside? Definitely not the one I live in!

This just in, sunglasses cure migraines. I guess being in pain was completely avoidable all this time. This also wasn’t the last time that someone told me wearing sunglasses would “cure” my migraines. It’s funny now, but I still think it’s really odd. Have you had any weird experiences or “cures” offered to you due to chronic illness?

Lots of Love,

(and absolutely no sunglasses)

Alyssa