Friday, March 24, 2006

The Leech Factory

Well, that was quick and relatively painless. As painless as sticking a needle into your vein and making a withdrawal can actually be. I wonder if making a withdrawal at the handybank was that painful, would we all be better savers?

It's amazing how some of the leeches and the Leech Factory (I think this is more what it actually feels like - you are really only there to be processed) are able to glide it in and gently take your sample whilst others seem to enjoy the pin-cushion effect, or at least the pain part of it anyway.

My leech this morning had a nose stud - a star - a sign perhaps? She was calm and I was 'darling'. I am actually running out veins after so many jabbings and stabbings and she found one which hadn't been touched before. Avoiding the bruises, the canula spot, the other tiny pinprick scabs that haven't fallen off yet. Sister NoseStud made it worthwhile to take the day off today.

It was interesting to see the different people at the Leech Factory at that time of the day. Usually I go in at 7.30am, before work, so that I can be there on time and pretend that nothing unusual has been happening this morning. 'No, just slept in', if the crowd is thicker than usual. A crowd of uniforms and suits and tapping fingers and flicking pages and watch twitching. Everyone in a hurry to begin their day - to get to where they're going.

But this morning was different. That was where I was going and the only hurry was to be back to have my cup of tea (which I'm enjoying right now, by the way). The crowd was tiny, and I barely had time to give them a glance as I deposited by donated magazines. Sister NoseStud came straight out of one of the withdrawal rooms, took my name, looked at the list ('IVF?', she inquired discreetly) and I was in. During peak hour, there is always a wait. A shame I can't take every test day off.

Next one ... Monday. Will I stay at home? That's transfer day as well ... but I'm jumping the gun ... I was going to talk about the carnival ...

The Story of my Carnival Ride ...

November 2004: When I say it like this, it sounds like it's been such a long time. I suppose it has, but time has a way of laughing in your face and running away from you and before you know it you're 37 years old and wishing on a star. Time and tomorrow - they're certainly in it together.

It was November, and I had finally scored a ticket to the Carnival I had been waiting for. I didn't realise, at the time however, that my ticket had been for the Big Top. I really only thought I would only be going to see a few stalls, watch a few clowns, see a bit of juggling, that kind of thing. I even thought I might get to taste the fairy floss and put a ball in the moving clown's open mouth. It would be a great day and I would walk away with a soft and cuddly bear under my arm, won for me by the fabulous AdventureBoy.

Wrong, but thanks for playing. We have a much bigger adventure lined up for you! You are going to end up at the Big Top and, here's the surpise, you are going to be the star attraction. You, my dear, will be on the tightrope! Of course, AdventureBoy will be there to catch you, as well as a web of hands and probes and syringes and leeches. But you ... you ... it's all up to you to learn this new skill and stay upright.

And at the end, if you stay on, there will be your star, waiting for you.

of course,
they didn't tell me all of this straight away.

Dr Chanel Spectacles showed me around a few of the stalls first. Gave me a bit of fairy floss (in the hope that the sweetness would distract me) and helped me start to juggle.

Great, I thought. Won't be long now. I'll be home before I know it with that cuddly bear under my arm.


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