Hunting, Fishing and other Grounds for Divorce,
By Jacki Michels, for the Redoubt Reporter
Maybe it’s a coincidence, but since starting nursing school, I’ve found myself noticing people’s veins. While I know that it’s good manners to greet someone by making eye contact and using their name at least twice in a sentence, recently I’ve had a hard time focusing on the topic of conversation.
This is because, what I really want to know is: Would they be an easy stick? Should I use a tourniquet? Are they the kind who turn white and hurl or are they the stoic sort who watch the whole procedure and don’t flinch?
Sometimes I’ll even shamelessly eye veins of complete strangers — take a look at the pipes on that guy! Probably a fainter… .
The other day, as I was chatting with my teenager, I absentmindedly ran my fingers over his impressively muscled arm, noting with pride that he had the “man vein” running proud and juicy down the underside of his forearm. Long story short, there was no way he would be my guinea pig. Not even for a Rock Star drink and candy bar. Not for a Saturday without chores. Not even for unlimited texting. The kid should be a contract negotiator.
I’ve started noticing my own veins. What sites on my hand were most suitable for an IV start? Was that a valve or an age spot? Out of curiosity I did a thorough assessment of my other extremities. I used a mirror. To my horror I realized that the decade-old, fine-lined, baby-blue spider squiggles on my legs had morphed into big hairy blue tarantulas. Tarantulas that seemed to be spelling out my name, in bold!
Not my full name, mind you, but my initials are clear enough. I am sure I can also see what looks like a topographical map of Cleveland behind my right knee. No fair!
After years of a long and illustrious career as wife, mommy and athletic supporter, I fear that by the time I celebrate my first year as a nurse I will possess what it takes some nurses years to earn: A full map of the North and South American continent on my right leg, and Asia Minor on my left.
Some years ago being so vain would have really bugged me. But so far these veins don’t hurt, and I think they go rather nicely with the stretch marks running along on my upper peninsula.
Sigh. Geography was never my favorite subject. I’ll stick with nursing.
Grounds for Divorce No. 7, 439: Feeling compelled to make the oh-so-very-witty comment, “If that’s a map, Honey, I better ask for directions.”
Jacki Michels is a fledgling nurse and experienced wife, mom and freelance writer. She lives in Soldotna.