Saturday, October 20, 2012

Age 20: Ways that Can Never be Forgotten

You know how it is when someone in your life touches your future in ways that can never be forgotten.  By the time I was 20, I graduated High School, had a Cosmetology license and a Real Estate License, and was back in College at California State University, Northridge.  I was a Business Administration major, looking to go for my Broker's License.  That's when I decided that I hated Real Estate.  I didn't want to let people smoke cigarettes in my car, and it was just that simple.

I was standing in line to drop my classes.  I did not know what avenue I would pursue.  I had no idea.

I saw a blue bulletin on the board, amongst the bicycles for sale and the jobs on the weekends.  The bulletin spoke of working with a Tay Sachs Trait Testing Program, getting 1 Unit of Credit. It was the last day to add/drop classes, so I thought I would head right over to inquire about it.   I remember that something about Tay Sachs was vaguely familiar to me and so I figured, "Huh. Nothing to lose. I think I'll make an inquiry." The sign led me to Scottie.

So I went to Scottie Pedesky, Health Educator extraordinaire in the Student Health Center.  She told me I had to go Pre-Med, and I promptly assured her that I didn't like the sight of blood.  She said that was what all girls say, and grabbed my hand.  Literally.

Scottie chatted as we walked down the hallway. I wasn't really listening; I was too distracted with who she was as a personality, and I was so perplexed with what was happening.  It was surreal. She was just too cute to explain.

Soon, we were inside the Laboratory.  Scottie dropped my hand and said, "I'll be right back."  I waited.  In 2 minutes, she was back.  "I have to introduce you to Martin."  She grabbed my hand again and introduced me to Martin Kir, a Medical Technician.  We shook hands and he said he would be happy to add me to his Phlebotomy class.  I smiled at Scottie.  "You did this for me?"  She smiled and nodded her head 'Yes'.  I went back to Student Administration, added the class, and started the very next day.

On my first day in Phlebotomy, or drawing blood, I was confused about my future.  My thoughts left my head when Martin told me to watch him draw blood on the first patient.  The phlebotomy room was yellow and orange, with a large orange lounge chair that the patient sat in.  Martin showed me the needles, tubes, alcohol pads, tourniquet, and I took it all in.  I didn't faint, so that was good.

The second patient sat in the chair.  I watched again.  Martin took the needle, set up all the supplies, and handed me the tube.  "See one, do one!" he said.  So I took the plunge.  I twisted the blue rubber tourniquet on the patient's left arm.

I wiped alcohol on a nice big vein that stared me in the face.  I waited for it to dry, so the needle would not sting.  I said a prayer before the needle went in.

"God, if I'm supposed to be Pre-Med, please let me get the vein...

If I get the vein, I'll go Pre-Med...

If I don't, I won't."

The needle went in.  I punched the tube into the Vaccutainer.

I got the blood going into the tube.

I got the vein.

So I went Pre-Med.



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Dr. Margaret Aranda's Books:

No More Tears en Espanol
Face Book Page: Stepping from the Edge
Little Missy Two-Shoes Likes to go to School
From Menarche to Menopause: A Journey through Time

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Age 31: The Color Blue

Additional Articles by Dr. Margaret Aranda

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