For some reason it seems like the majority of my lab exercises don’t go well. I don’t even blame it on myself… I blame it on the gods and the fact that lab is kind of stupid. Tonight was one of those nights that was totally not my fault.
In my Anatomy and Physiology II lab tonight we did blood typing and hematocrit levels. I volunteered to be the stickee because needles don’t bother me, which is good because the other two girls in my group were strongly opposed to being the subject. First of all, it took roughly 9 finger stick apparati to get enough blood to measure my hematocrit. Five because we didn’t realize that we hadn’t set the spring on the pen so we thought they were defective and threw them out, and another 4 because I just wasn’t bleeding enough to fill up a little capillary tube. It was very much like trying to get blood from a stone. First we did my finger twice, and this girl who is going to be a doctor someday was too much of a pussy to push the pen hard enough into my finger that it even penetrated enough. Then we did my earlobe, which bled but not enough. Finally, I tied my finger off with my hair scrunchie and I told her to stop being a wimp and press it hard into my finger. We got more than enough blood that way. The typing was not that awesome because I’d already done it in college round 1 and I know my blood type because I give blood. But I was really interested in figuring out my hematocrit level because I’m usually around 25-26 and you need to have at least 28 to donate blood and I’m eligible again. After 25 minutes of not doing anything right, we finally put the tube in the centrifuge. I went to retrieve it, and this stupid girl who sits next to me in lecture and eats crunchy food really slowly because she thinks no one can hear it that way took my tube! I told her that it was my tube and she denied it, and yet, there was no tube in the number 14 slot that we had put it in and she took it from there. So after every other group was holding up the tubes to their little calculations I hear the bitch say “This person is obviously anemic” BAM! THAT’S MY BLOOD YOU F*CKER! Confirmation. Also, why would she say “this person” if she actually knew the person who’s blood they took.
But it really isn’t a surprise that someone took my blood. After reading the Red Market I’m really glad that I don’t live in some impoverished country because if I did someone would definitely capture me and perpetually bleed me because if the normal person’s blood is worth $45, mine is worth like $110. Roughly 40% of the population is type O, only 15% of people are Rh-, and something like only 12% of people are CMV negative. So (.40)(.15)(.12)= .0072, meaning that only 0.72% have this blood type. And not only that, you can give it to literally any person on the entire planet and they’d be fine. Cancer patients, babies, any blood type. I probably shouldn’t be putting this out there in case someone kidnaps me and tries to sell me on the black market. That bitch didn’t even know what she had stolen.
Also, I was kind of surprised when I heard that a hematocrit level of 30 (volume of red blood cells/volume of whole blood) is considered anemic when they let me donate at 28. AND last year I kept trying to donate platelets and kept having a reading of 24….. and I just learned that if your level is 20, you need a blood transfusion. It’s pretty ironic that I kept trying to give away my blood when I could have actually used some myself.
Anyway, there have been other memorable lab disasters in my history. During college round 1, my bff and I were lab partners. Most fun ever, least successful pair ever. For weeks on end in our genetics lab we selectively bred and counted hundreds of drosophila, otherwise known as fruit flies. Some had no wings, some had wings, some had red eyes, some had black. We would stick a q-tip soaked in anesthetic into our tube of flies and wait for them to pass out. Then we’d pour them onto an index card and separate them by characteristics. Sometimes they’d wake up and you’d have to quick wave the anesthetic over them. One day, the worst thing happened- I knocked over the tube onto the sleeping flies. I crushed most of them. There were little legs everywhere. Seeing that I had just murdered our specimens, I let out a huge laugh and subsequently blew all of the flies all over the place. It was one of my more priceless moments that I will cherish and always think of when there are little fruit flies harassing my fruit. I probably deserve it.
The other disaster happened a few weeks later. For some reason which I have forgotten, we were taking blowfly larvae and vivisecting them under the microscope- the goal was to take out the thyroid….. god knows why. Well, I had to kill about 20 little worms because I just could not for the life of me successfully find or pull out the thyroid. I am the Jack the Ripper of the blowfly world.
In another class (before I had decided to become a nurse and grab my gross-out balls) we dissected a fetal pig. Do you know what a fetal pig looks like? It looks like a cute little albiet cold and dead baby pig, because that’s what it is. I hate that they killed these pigs for this purpose. Anyway, I refused to do the dissection, but I was forced to watch. After enduring an hour of having this little pig ripped apart in front of my eyes, our lab prof came over and asked if we had found the epiglottis. We hadn’t. Next thing I know, he took the little pig’s face and cracked its jaws apart. I could not eat for two days.