Bloody Tales

Let me make a confession here. I’m scared of blood. My blood, to be specific. I’d rather it stay inside, where it belongs, so when it makes an appearance outside of my body, I freak out. People always react the same way when I tell them this.

“You’re a Life Science student, and you’re scared of blood?! :O :P”

😐

Ok, time to get this straightened out.

1) Life Sciences = micro-organisms, DNA, proteins, enzymes, molecules, cells, etc.
2) Medicine = blood, cadavers, the gory stuff (sorry for generalizing, all you doctor wannabes, but the point has got to be made)
3) Life Sciences ≠ Medicine

Got it? Great, we can proceed now.

*takes off strict-teacher spectacles*

Ahem. So where was I? Oh yeah, fear of blood.

Bloody Incident 1: Home, Bombay. Age: 8(ish). A Blood Donation Drive is happening in my apartment complex, on the 16th floor. Dad’s a regular blood donor, so I go up to the area to watch him and some others donate blood. I reach the top, see random man lying on a bed with a big bag of blood hung on a stand next to him and freak the hell out. I run 16 floors down (‘cuz I don’t have the courage to watch the bloody bag a while longer while waiting for the lift), run all the way across the complex to my building and take the lift up to my house on the 8th floor, bolt into the house screaming for Mom and some biscuits to help fight the dizziness. I calm down eventually.

Bloody Incident 2: School, Coimbatore. Age: 13. I’m playing basketball with friends during lunch break when I fall down and scrape my knee on the rough court. A teensy weensy amount of blood appears on the wound. I take one look at it and instantly feel dizzy and light-headed. My friends find this extremely funny and laugh in the face of my pain. :/

Bloody Incident 3: School, Coimbatore. Age:14. My friends and I are playing some stupid game that involves jumping onto stone benches that are around two feet off the ground. As expected, a friend gets badly hurt, enough that pink flesh can be seen through the wound. As she sits cheerfully, admiring her wound and letting people tend to her, I run away to a distant corner because just looking at the bloody wound is making me nauseous.

Bloody Incident 4: Chez friend, Coimbatore. Age: (still) 14. I’m at a friend’s house having a mini-slumber party of sorts. Her little cousin brother is visiting her, but he plays with my friend’s younger sister and doesn’t interfere much. At night, as we’re preparing to go to bed, we hear him yell. We run to the hall to see what has happened and see him standing there, grinning slightly, holding up his right hand, blood on his T-shirt. He’s been playing with the table fan, with disastrous results. I’m standing there, taking all of this in, and the next thing I know, my friend’s looking down at me and asking why I’ve suddenly chosen to take a nap. I look around and realize I’m flat on the ground. My first fainting experience. (My Physio teacher told us in tutorials that fainting was the body’s way of getting you horizontal so blood can go to your head. I’m now having fun thinking of the body as a separate entity, deliberately sweeping you off your feet and getting you on the ground so it can do what it needs to do.)

Bloody Incident 5: NUS Lab, Singapore. Age: 19. My Immunology Lab decides that in order for students to get hands-on experience, they should all be given cute, furry little white mice to dissect. I panic immediately, and refuse to cut open the poor thing. Fortunately, my group-mates agree and our TA is forced to do the dirty work (literally) for us. He keeps giving us a running commentary throughout the whole thing, as if seeing it isn’t enough. “Be careful not to nick the heart, okay? ‘Cuz if you do, there’ll be a whole lot of blood and the entire thing will get messy. It’s not easy to work through that much blood.” O-kay. Very reassuring. Anyway, I think he did nick the heart, because by the time he was done, everything was indeed quite messy. And bloody. I spend the entirety of that practical class cringing. :/

Ironically, the only two times I didn’t cringe at the sight of blood (mine or otherwise) were the times others were forced to cringe. Let me elaborate.


Bloody Incident 6:
Singapore General Hospital, Singapore. Age: 18. I’m at another Blood Donation Drive, only this time, I’m in the position of Donor instead of Little Girl Running For Life At Sight Of Blood. It’s my birthday and I’ve chosen to do something noble and donate some of the life-giving stuff to the less fortunate. As luck would have it, nature is against me parting with my blood. I pass my haemoglobin test with flying colours, but once in my relaxi-chair, the nurse takes 15 minutes to find a vein to draw blood from. Eventually, she chooses to just jab at random spot and pray for the best. A good half hour later, I’m still sitting in my chair, pumping away at my stress-pumpkin, while all my other donor friends have done their part and gone off to replenish their lost fluids by downing some Milo. Another 15 minutes pass in agony (because of the painful pumping, not the blood donating itself) before the nurse finally takes a look at my half-filled blood bag, declares me a lost cause and tells me to go “build some veins” before coming back the next time. Sigh.

I’m left with this cringe-worthy mark on my hand (and it gets a lot bigger and gross as the days pass).


Bloody Incident 7: Sai Centre, Singapore. Age: 19. A year later, I’m at another Blood Donation. And it’s almost a repeat of last time. I go in, nurse can’t find a vein, she pokes and prods and finally manages to get the big needle in and I wait for hours and hours for the damn thing to finish. This time, I even black out at the very end of the procedure and the nurse has to rearrange my chair so I’m lying feet up and the blood is rushing to my head. Nurse shoots me a disapproving look and tells me to build some veins before donating the next time. Sigh. Again.

Cringe-worthy mark 2 (this time on right hand) –

Trust something like this to happen the only time I voluntarily go to see blood taken out of my body. Oh, irony.

Anyway, what with donating blood twice (with disastrous results) and dissecting mice, I’m well on my way to getting rid of my fear of blood. I just can’t afford to have it anymore, you know? Who knows what bloody thing I’ll be required to do in the years to come.

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7 thoughts on “Bloody Tales

  1. Clueless September 20, 2007 / 10:17 pm

    #MG,Haha, I bet everyone has a fear someone else thinks is stupid. It’s not that uncommon. ;)It wasn’t that hard remembering the years, really. Most of these events are crystal clear in my memory, so the details just came naturally. (Yeah, I remember useless stuff :P)#Kashika,Hey! Haven’t seen you here before. Welcome! :)Haha, I can totally identify with not getting my blood tested because of an unreasonable fear – I don’t think I went to get blood checked till I was way into my teens! :PYou love injections? Hee! Awesome. I love band-aids. Yeah, we’re all a bit nuts here. ;)#Narayan,Oye, what’s so funny? 😛 Scared of monkeys – yep, see what I said about all of us having unreasonable fears?#Soleil,Aiya, it doesn’t kill my arms and veins lor. I still use them, right? Plus, I gave a full bag of blood! It’s gonna help someone or the other, and that’s worth a few bruises anyday. :)#iRiS,Hee. Credit for the “build veins” sentence goes to the lovely nurse at the hospital who was getting mighty aggravated with me and my veinless, bloodless arms. :PAnd yay! I read your new post and commented. 🙂

  2. iRiS September 18, 2007 / 3:26 am

    HAHAHAHHAHA….build veins indeed! You’re so darned funny.I’m back on blogsphere!

  3. soleil September 17, 2007 / 2:45 pm

    Dudette! Stop giving blood already if it kills your veins and arms and all that.

  4. narayan September 16, 2007 / 8:20 pm

    Sorry for the spelling… Sorta intoxicated… lack of food…

  5. Narayan September 16, 2007 / 8:19 pm

    Don’t mind me, but the way you portray your fears, recalling every single teeny weeny incident just brought a smile to my face. So allow me to have a quite chuckle!!!!!:D 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 :DNice scars by the way….. P.S. I am insanely scared of monkeys….

  6. kashika September 15, 2007 / 5:30 pm

    hey clueless,most of ur post looks like the story of my life. the sight of blood is absolutely nauseating for me. and i had biology in class 11 and 12, and even though there was nothing like dissection in our course, there was an experiment where we had to check our own blood group by obviously pricking our own fingers. i absoluetly freaked out at the very idea and ended up not doing the practical at all. on the contrary i absolutely love getting injections. in fact i prefer them over syrups and tablets. i call it ironic, my mom calls it sadism.hats off to u for confronting ur fears 🙂

  7. Macho Girl September 15, 2007 / 12:59 pm

    As I said before, i cant understand (or for that matter I dont think anyone would understand) whats there to be scared of blood as well as you do. But then again, whats there to be scared of needles right? :)I dunno… i think i *might* have had a fear of blood in the distant past but with all the athletics and spiky shoes and all, I have seen my fair share of blood (mine mostly). I was nicknamed “falling beauty” at school coz of the number of times i got hurt 😛 So blood and i… we go way back! Its nice that you went and donated blood inspite of your fear! Makes my fear of needles seem less of a problem! I’m sure by the next blood donation drive, u’ll build up veins and give loads of iron rich blood and not have nasty bruises!!!! Don’t give up!!! :)P.S. You actually remember how old you were everytime you had a “blood fear” incident?!!! Gosh! I cant remember when my last injection was (besides the blood donations) even though i was shit scared!!!

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