Monday, April 20, 2009

Phlebotemists and Poetry

Yesterday at my church I gave blood. I've been hesitant to give blood, because of the last time I gave blood. Nothing dreadful happened to me, but it was a LONG process. I gave blood at school, so there was a back up, and the blood bank sent too few people, and the people who were there didn't seem to know what they were doing. As blood pumped out of my arm, the young woman next to me got woozy as she was giving blood. The phlebotemist started yelling, "I don't know what to do! I don't know what to do!"

Oh good grief! Does nobody take first aid classes anymore? I was twenty years older than most people in the room, but still, these were supposed to be trained medical professionals.

In my loud, booming voice, I said, "You need to get her head lower than her heart."

The young phlebotemist looked at me blankly, and I said, "Have her put her head between her legs or recline the chair."

She did so, and the young woman was fine, and my blood continued pumping, and soon it was all over.

I walked out with the supervisor, who was probably the only person in the room older than me, and she told me how much she hates doing blood drives at area colleges and universities. The students tend not to have eaten or they're on a variety of medications any one of which could react badly to giving blood, and many of them haven't ever given blood, so the procedure freaks them out.

Happily, giving blood at my church was a much easier process. I spent the whole rest of the service thinking about the symbolism of blood, both the religious symbolism and the secular symbolism. I'm a Lutheran, so we don't emphasize the blood sacrifice aspect of Christianity (an aspect which I think is seriously misguided and theologically wrong, but this isn't my theology blog, so no more on that here). We're water symbolism people and Eucharist people (a bit of blood imagery there), both of which are cool with me.

I also thought about the word phlebotemist, which I think is such a cool word. I'd like to write a vampire poem which uses it, but nothing comes to mind. Maybe you can use the idea as a writing prompt.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for the vampire poem prompt! i shall play with it once i get a few uninterrupted minutes. also, i wanted to mention we talked a bit of blood in my fairytales class last week, since we did snow white and the pricking of one's fingers and blood spots, and . . . you get it.
so here's the idea if you want to flirt with it: how about Lady Macbeth sucking her finger where she's cut it when she killed Duncan? oh, and you might want to weave in the knocking on the door.
sorry if i don't make sense.