Tag Archive: test


Fluke

This has to be a fluke. I took a free online IQ test for fun (yes, yes, I know it’s weird to think that tests are fun), and while I’m know I’m smart, I’m not this bright.
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Drawing

Blood tests are never fun. They always involve needles, poking, prodding, and at least a little pain. I don’t know anybody who enjoys the experience. Unfortunately, in these United States, blood tests are a fact of life. They represent an accurate and relatively noninvasive way for doctors to acquire facts. Until something better comes along, we’ll all be getting poked and prodded in the name of good health.

Most of us can embrace that. Not all are so fortunate, though, and my sister Kimberly is one of those folks. She hates getting poked more than anybody else I know, but still, every year, she has to go through it. Today was this year’s draw.

My family, and my mom especially, try very hard to help prepare Kimberly to face the terror. We sat at home this morning and practiced (without needles) step by step until Kimberly was feeling confident about it. She was so scared at first that she wouldn’t even let us touch her, and that was at home with people she knew and no unfamiliar objects. When she was ready, the lot of us piled in the car to be her moral support. The plan was to get the blood drawn and then head off to her favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch. We got to the lab, got everything ready, and she was doing well enough to bare her arm in preparation for the stick.

It was great until seconds before the phlebotomist walked over. I don’t know what happened. She was fine, and then she was panicked. Her sleeve slithered back down in a blink of an eye. Her body went stiff. She went from confident and happy to scared and stiff.

I don’t think she was reacting to anybody. Everybody was so nice and helpful toward her. The phlebotomist was careful to explain. The lab tech was very patient. We all tried to reason with her, to persuade her (Mom told her that Mom needed Kimberly’s help to help Mom take care of Kimberly), to soothe her, and even to bribe her, but Kimberly was having none of it. Her fear ratcheted up higher and higher until she was starting to make a lot of noise, and we realized that we were going to have to move her away from the whole group.

As soon we started to move, she bolted. She ran for the wall and pressed herself, all curled up defensively, against it. Her tears plastered her face, snot was leaking from her nose, and as she panted rapidly in fear, I thought she was about to vomit. The poor kid…. the poor, poor kid… I cuddled myself around her and tried to calm her down a little bit. Shelah and I managed to get her up and walking toward the ER. As soon as she realized that we weren’t leaving, though, she did what Mom told us is called the Downs drop. She went totally limp and hit the floor. There was no holding her, no keeping her up or restraining her. I think I’d have had more luck trying to hold onto a soapy balloon full of jello.

She stayed on the floor for a few moments, fighting and flopping against both family and staff, until Shelah managed to time a snag and get her carried to a stretcher. There she was enveloped in a blanket, carefully pinned, and speedily poked. At that point, the sun came out. Everything was great! She hopped up and said, “I’m so proud!” The drawing was complete.

It was a trying experience. Everything we could think of to help Kimberly, we tried, but at the crunch, her fear won and forced a situation where we had to use force to help her. All the practice, the bribery, the education, the kindness, the whatever… it wasn’t enough. The poor kid, you know?

I’m not any different. I could so identify with the feelings she projected. Blood draws won’t make me panic like that, but if I think about some of the places I’ve had to go inside myself, I’m just like her. I’ve been where I couldn’t be touched, where I would fight and flop to get away, where it didn’t matter how much I’d practiced, where the bribes became irrelevant, where my trust failed, where I would injure myself to escape those trying to help me, where my fear was so consuming that I’d choose sickness and death over healing and life if left to my own devices… Thank God for a Savior!

How do You do it, God? How do you keep working with us over and over even though we panic and drop on You? How is it that Your love never fails? How do You continue in Your longing to keep on gathering?

Matthew 23

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.