On Making Friends In Unexpected Places

For the past thirty days or so, I’ve been been getting my blood drawn for testing every other day. This means I’ve spent a considerable amount of time at Labcorp in recent weeks. If you’ve ever been to one of these lab testing locations, you know it’s not the nicest place to hang out for an hour with such frequency. It’s usually packed with people, you end up waiting way longer than you’d like, and at the end you get poked with a needle. Not really my idea of a good time. I’m grateful I have the means to get the testing I need, so I’ll try to keep the complaining to a minimum.

Because I’ve been going so frequently, the nurses and phlebotomists have really gotten to know me. I kind of feel like Norm from Cheers when I make my thrice weekly appearance! Everybody knows my name there. And during my most recent draw, I realized I had actually made friends with all these women.

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My lab order is pretty unique so for the first couple days they asked me lots of questions about what was going on and why I was having this particular set of labs done. I shared a little bit of my story with each of them as they prepped and drew my blood. I’m sure they hear all kinds of medical issues and sagas day after day, but they listened patiently and responded with such empathy and kindness. As time went on I got to know a little bit about each of them. Some shared their work stresses with me or their own medical situations which are similar to my own. I heard about their daughters’ birthday parties and how they met their husbands. Through a series of ten minute interactions, we got to know each other and it made an uncomfortable situation infinitely more bearable.

I’m almost at the end of this set of tests and I’m hoping it will lead to successful treatment of whatever is going on. But I can’t help but think about the sweet women I’ve met along this part of my journey, who I probably won’t see much of moving forward. This part of my journey has made me thankful for kind people in seemingly depressing situations and new friends in unexpected places!