Reluctantly, I made my way to the kitchen. I leaned on the sink, and following the instructions, I allowed the hot water to fall over my fingers for several minutes. The hot water felt good, but what I really wanted was a cup of coffee and ten minutes. I didn’t want to talk to anybody, and I didn’t care that by sending in a blood sample the insurance company would give us a hefty discount; I just wanted coffee and quiet.
I sterilized my finger with the enclosed alcohol pad, looked down at the miniature stabbing device, and asked Ken if it hurt. He explained, “It’s quick. Just push your finger down on it,” which didn’t answer my question at all.
I placed my middle finger on the plastic rectangle with the small opening and pushed down hard. I heard the click and immediately felt the miniature stab. I turned my finger over and saw the tiny hole.
I started to sweat.
I squeezed my finger fully expecting to see a drop of blood. A teensy weensy bit of blood started to show so I squeezed and rubbed my finger harder.
I was dizzy and my legs were shaking uncontrollably.
I couldn’t even get a single drop of blood to appear and I needed at least four!
I held my finger over the little collection cauldron and waited for the drops of blood to appear.
My heart was stomping around in my chest and my breathing accepted the fevered rhythm.
I waited for several days (probably seconds) with my legs shaking, my forehead sweating, and my finger throbbing, then I felt hot tears sliding down my cheeks.
“I can’t do this! I’m going back to bed.” I got up and trembled down the hall; I crawled under the covers and buried my head in my pillow. Ken followed me with the collection cauldron and placed it beside the bed… in case I started to bleed. I couldn’t stop crying. Too bad I couldn’t substitute tears.
Ken was trying encourage me, “It took Caroline a while to get the drops, maybe it’ll just take a while.” Then he kind of laughed and said, “I’ve stood beside you as you delivered babies without a single drop of pain meds; I’ve watched you climb mountains and run marathons. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that you’d cut off your right arm for your kids if that was required — it’s just four drops of blood…”
“You know what? Just leave me here. I’m fine. I’ll work on it,” I whispered.
He left the room. I cried some more.
I really, really, really want to be a morning person. I want to pop out of bed as soon as the alarm rings at 5:00am and skip down the hall with a sunny smile on my face. I have this idea that if I were a morning person all the birthday cards and thank you notes would be sent in a timely manner, I’d speak six languages, in my hand I would hold the distaff and grasp the spindle with my fingers, and I would have an organized junk drawer.
In that early morning hour I curled in the fetal position. “Why can’t I do this? Why can’t I do this? Why can’t I do this?”
Then, “I’m such a wimp. I’m such a wimp. I’m such a wimp.”
But. There’s this…
Once I gave myself a chance to wake up slowly and warm up to the day (which admittedly is a lot more difficult without coffee) I was able to prick my finger again and get four robust drops of blood. Done.
Here it is: medical proof that I’m not a morning person. Seriously! The proof included alcohol swabs, needles, and blood — how much more medical does it get? It’s not just a figment of my imagination that I don’t function well in the morning!
Here’s what I think I need to do: I need to readjust my ideas and associations about morning people. I need to stop saying, “if only I were…” and start being more disciplined all day long. I want to be a morning person in order to achieve those things that challenge me, not necessarily just to be awake at 5:00am. But I think I’ve been going about it all wrong. It’s as if I’m wanting to grow six inches taller because I associate tall people with punctuality. Growing six inches taller has nothing to do with getting cards in the mail on time. If I wait to grow six inches, I can pretty much guarantee that nothing will get done.
It’s a new year, so I’m going to try a new perspective. I’m going to stop wishing I were a morning person. It’s been proven that I’m not. Instead, I’m going to focus on sending the cards. I need to dissociate mornings and productivity.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Happy New Year!