Are you sitting down? Good.
So maybe you hate getting blood tests. Maybe you’re getting all squeamish just thinking about it. Perhaps the thought of a needle makes you faint. Sorry for reminding you. Perhaps you’d better skip to the bottom of the post.
A casual conversation reminded me about blood tests. In fact two separate conversations in the space of a week raised the topic of having blood taken. Spooky, or scary or something.
One conversation was with a couple of my yoga students, one of whom happens to be a phlebotomist (that’s someone who takes blood for a living – a kind of pathologist not a Dracula). The other was with a lady at work who I don’t know (she’s in a different section, in a big organisation) who happened to have a big bruise on the inside of her elbow from a blood test gone a bit (or a lot) wrong.
Ok universe, I’m listening.
The thing is, I have lots of bad memories of blood tests, not to mention needles (does anyone really have good memories of blood tests or needles?)
There were a couple of ‘good’ blood tests that confirmed I was pregnant (finally, after IVF) until it turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy and I lost the baby and my right tube.
So you go through the pain/discomfort of a blood test and then the result (or the end result) knocks you for six. You can understand my dread.
In the course of 9 IVF cycles I had to get stabbed in the thighs (alternating legs to dodge bruises) well over 100 times. I could never bring myself to stab myself (wuss) so most mornings during a cycle I would literally wake up to a jab from my husband before he headed to work at 5.30am! (Sadly not that other kind of jab).
Then there were the dramatically-named ‘trigger’ injections that had to be exactly timed, which necessitated blood tests, sometimes twice a day. On weekends, when the IVF clinic was closed, you’d have to turn up at A&E and wait your turn with the emergencies to have blood taken so they could pinpoint to within a few hours the timing of ovulation and then bammo! (Well not that kind of bammo and whammo).
There were plenty more routine blood tests during an IVF cycle to determine hormone levels and the most dreaded of all, the blood tests to see if you’d fallen pregnant. Countless negatives will leave you with a fear/loathing of blood tests.
I have the scar tissue in my arm veins to prove it.
And then when we adopted Miss Yin, just when I thought my loathing of blood tests couldn’t get any worse, I had to watch on as the Chinese doctor drew blood from our new baby daughter’s neck! Yep, they held the babies down and apparently it’s the easiest vein to find, but yikes, I almost felt like fainting and certainly screaming ‘STOP’ to the doctor.
(This scary episode was topped in the frightening stakes by our infant son having an x-ray in another Chinese hospital after his bowel started to twist. The room looked more like a morgue than a treatment theatre and as hubby held his tiny hand – they wouldn’t let me in the room because of the radiation – I had to wait outside in a decidedly unhygienic and cold corridor, with rubbish strewn all over and puddles of urine on the floor from the toddlers who wore split-pants instead of nappies while I listened to the chilling sound of our son’s screams).
Right, on a more positive note and the point of this post really, I’ve decided that one thing I’m going to do in 2016 is face my fear of blood tests and donate blood.
One donation can save three lives
Yep – you guys can hold me accountable – I’ll post the proof.
One third of blood donations help treat people with cancer
And rather than have one word to follow, or specific resolutions, I present a list of things I’m going to do (and that you might consider doing) this year – yikes is it already February!?!
Things to do in 2016:
1) Conquer a fear (at least one) – when we conquer fear we raise the vibration of love. Actually love conquers fear.
2) Try something new – this may also achieve a conquering of a fear, but try to tick off something additional off your list
3) Forgive something or someone from the past – if you have any niggling grudges or regrets, let at least one go. You might get on a roll and find yourself forgiving everything and everyone from your past and keeping up a compassionate practice in the present. The someone can definitely be you.
4) Write yourself a letter – you can write to the ‘young’ you (and pass down your wisdom), to your future self (and envision your dreams), or yourself right now for a pep talk. Make it mushy if you like, full of love, reassurance and understanding – exactly as you would write to a friend. Point!
5) Send yourself an inspirational/motivational tweet or text – keep it under 140 characters of course. Your own words – a kick up the bum, a mini cheer-squad, a promise or even a gentle threat. Let your tweet surmise how you want to see yourself grow in 2016, how you want to change, where you want to be.
6) Randomly pick a date this year (one in the future) – don’t make it a birthday or any other kind of milestone just close your eyes and visualise a date. Now diarise a review of how you are going. If it’s relatively early in the year, then you may want to pick a second date after you’ve done your check-in. The thing about the random nature of date-picking is that it is not linked to a particular goal or timeframe (although the universe works in random and mysterious ways). It’s about letting go of attachment to outcomes and just checking in on yourself ie how you are, not how much have you achieved.
7) Make a new friend – be open to new relationships and let them take you where you want to go.
8) Rekindle an old friendship – or at least try. Friendships are two-way streets.
Oh and give blood, if you can. Red Cross and sick and injured patients will thank you. Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT and Grace for FYBF. What’s the biggest fear you’re going to face this year? You can do it!
Cheers, Kathy X.