Saturday, July 24, 2004


My hand jerked back reflexively as I felt that hot, sharp pain in my finger. I looked up and met the other resident's eyes across the table.

We stood frozen in time. The resident slowly put down the needle driver. His frightened eyes asked silently, "Did I?"

I nodded slowly. My mind was racing, trying to remember what blood borne diseases this patient had, if there was any history of AIDS, STD's, or hepatitis. I stepped back from the operating table and removed my left glove. A drop of blood started to ooze from the side of my first finger...

So here I sit in the Employee Health nurse's office. My blood will be drawn and matched against the patient's. They'll run a multitude of tests. I'm offered a prophylactic dose of antiviral medications in case the patient may have HIV, which I decline. This being my 4th time being stuck with a needle in 2 years, this routine has become... well, routine.

I'm sure the nice 68 year old lady with the hernia didn't have any blood borne diseases. And I think there weren't that many STD's around when she was sexually promiscuous. Besides, she looks way too sweet to have been a slut.

I'll know in 2 to 3 weeks what became of our blood samples. I'm sure everything will be fine.

I hope.