"I can't think without a pen in my hand!" - Me

"I can't think without a pen in my hand!" - Me

A Friendly Guide to Navigating this BLOG

If you have visited this blog before, you will notice I've made some changes. A Pen in My Hand is going to be dedicated to lighthearted anecdotes and whatever else I feel like writing. I have started another blog for topics that are more serious/spiritual in nature. See the link in the sidebar to visit that blog.

I sincerely hope you find something here worth reading; but if not, take heart. There are about six billion other blogs out there to choose from.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Blast from the Past

Recently I was sorting boxes and I came across a bunch of my old college papers. I wrote this essay in 1989, when I took Freshman Composition at NHTI. I have typed it here exactly as it was written, resisting the temptation to edit.

Personal Narrative Essay: "An Awkward Moment"

We were drawing closer and closer to the clinic. My mind was already conjuring up images of the huge needle that would be stuck deep into my arm, sucking out my blood – my blood! I had never had a blood test from my arm before. If this were anything other than a pregnancy test I would have insisted on the finger prick method.

It was late. The parking lot was dark. I could see a woman vacuuming the vacant lobby. I wanted to go home. I felt a tug on my arm. Tom. He'd help me through this – even hold my hand. I was sure.

Suddenly the smell of plastic and disinfectant swept over me. We were in the lab. It was quiet. Too quiet. The only person in the lab hadn't looked up yet. There was still time to slip out unnoticed. No, I had to speak. I tried. No use. I coughed instead. She looked up.

Next the forms. First my fear of pain, now humiliation! I had to give my doctor's name – my pediatrician's name. I am married, possibly pregnant, and my doctor is a pediatrician. I felt eight, not eighteen.

Back to reality. It was time to sit in the little chair next to the table where the instruments of torture lay neatly in a row. First the elastic band to cut of my circulation above the elbow; then the alcohol swab to hopefully prevent infection; the test tube, soon to be full of my blood; and, last but not least, the needle.

Tom! Where was Tom? Still there, holding my hand. So far I was OK. But wait, who was this young man entering the lab? A custodian, I hope? Alas, no! He took his seat at the ominous table. He was reaching for the elastic band. Don't tell me this long-haired college boy is going to take my blood! This can't be happening! It was. He glanced at the form. I could sense the name "Dr. Deuger" leaping up at him from the page. I felt as conspicuous as Hester Prynne with her scarlet "A" flashing on her breast – except that my "A" stood for "Adolescent"!

Suddenly the needle was coming toward me. It was huge and menacing, of course. All pride aside, I squeezed Tom's hand. My knuckles were white. I couldn't look. Finally the needle was out. I could breathe again. My arm was still bleeding. As the young man put the bandaid on my gaping wound, I had but one consolation: he didn't draw a smiley face on it with his red magic marker. Tom helped me up. We were leaving. It was over!

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