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All the about Pkchukiss's life in the Singapore Armed Forces

Friday, September 24, 2004

Residue pain

In aid of the noble cause of learning the life saving skill of poking one's buddy, my right forearm was brutally sacrificed.

The actual poking was stretched out over the whole of five days, but I got my turn only today. I was actually relatively relaxed, having watched more "murder-scene" like blood spots form on the floor, and the added experience of having donated blood meant getting pierced was a relative no-brainer for me.

My buddy took his time getting the catheter. After tying the tourniquet on my arm, he took his time pulling the latex gloves on and let it snap, showing me his favourite psychotic look. He proceeded to rub the alcohol swab across my arm slowly, not unlike a butcher fattening up the cattle before the slaughter. I ignored his deliberate attempts to unnerve me, and talked to one of my other friend (another psychotic, judging by the way he poked his own buddy a few moments ago).

Then, with the assistance of the medic, he started to penetrate my arm with the needle. A dull sensation in my fingers suggested to me that he hit my muscles instead of the intended vein. I could hear the medic asking him to shift the needle here and there, not unlike a navigation exercise. When he was done, my muscles were as sore as they would be after any gruelling training.

After a few minutes (well, sixty odd minutes) of recovery time from the muscle ache, and I was prepared to do the deed on my buddy. But being in such a high demand, he was invited to be another guy's victim while I was massaging my sore arm... Probably just as well he did, because I was really jittery about inserting foreign objects into another person's body. In fact, I was slightly traumatised by the thought. My new partner made it worse. He seemed kind enough, offering his arm to be poked.

The medic encouraged the match, and hailed the new partner's hand as the "fattest vein to ever be poked by a newbie". He turned out to be a mini-nightmare. He complained throughout the procedure:

"Wah, why is the tourniquet so tight? My arm is dying!"

"Can you hurry up? I cannot feel a thing!"

"Do you know what you are doing? Why is it so painful?"

I ended up speeding through the preparation and nearly dug the needle into his arm (that should shut him up!). I managed to miss his vein (it wasn't easy, with my needle hand shaking so badly; the medic asked me to relax for the umpteenth time), and had to conduct topography inside his skin, before finally drawing blood. He winced, and cursed at the pain. But it was a success. Later, my victim drew me aside and told me what a great experience he had with me compared to his last partner. It seems that his last partner managed to cause a swell of blood in his skin a few days ago, with painful results.

Perhaps I might make a great nurse, eh?

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