Tube Scooping

Not Peeooping Part II

Many people asked how Part II of the most awkward errand ever went. Well, I was in charge so ….

When the phlebotomist came back from throwing away my first sample {sniffle}, she handed me two tubes and asked if I could fill them by 4:30. It was 1 o’clock so I guess she was hoping to enter me in the NFL combine for crapping.

Me: Maybe if I drank a lot of caffeine?

Phlebotomist: I don’t want you to force it so just know that each tube can be kept room temperature for 24 hours before it goes bad. Also, they each have preservatives in them so be careful.

I came home with intestinal stage fright.

When my bottom finally woke up, I grabbed my poo-catching seat made for butts of Barbie dolls and while practicing feats of balance last seen on U.S Gymnastics team run for the gold medal, I carefully filled out what time I laid non-peeooping cable on Tube 1 with my pants around my ankles.

Ready to scoop and win, I discovered that because these new vials were filled with preservative, the tops were on MUCH, MUCH tighter than the previous vial. I pulled and pushed and twisted with all my might. I shook and shimmied and rued my tiny biceps. No one else was home and I had already dated the bottle for my catch of the day, but I REFUSE TO GO BACK TO THE PHLEBOTOMIST WITHOUT TWO FULL VIALS. So I had to take drastic measures.

I used my teeth. My thousands of dollars of orthodontic work jaws of steel while ignoring the death notice for those who accidentally ingest the goo. At least, I understood how that happened.

But even worse, THE TEETH FAILED ME. All I did was leave teeth marks and think: Teeth marks the entire lab won’t notice, right?

Finally, I remembered our jar opener, which worked so easily I cried.

Tube Scooping
I recovered and yelled: Let’s do this.

Tube 1 was done. Tube 2 wasn’t funny except not peeooping will be added to my skills on LinkedIn later today.

When I walk back into the lab the following day, I was so proud to be done that I didn’t even care who was carrying a bag of poop (Scott until we got to the lab door). The new phlebotomist felt different.

Phlebotomist: Please keep your sample for now.

Me: Okay.

Phlebotomist: Now follow me.

I entered the hallway but was not allowed in any room.

Phlebotomist: Stand here.

She put on two gloves before handing me… a PEN. What? Did she think I crapped in the bag outside the door before coming in here?

Phlebotomist: Please sign your name and date here and list the sample.

Me: Okay.

Phlebotomist: And here’s some Purell.

And she proceeds to squirt it all over me and the floor.

Phlebotomist: Oh, the floor needed it, too. Do you want more?

I threw up my hands and yelled, No, I’m good, as I slowly backed away because what the heck do phlebotomists do with their pens?

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

14 thoughts to “Not Peeooping Part II”

  1. As many times as I have had to do the same tests, I have NEVER had this much fun. The most I got was a hearing impaired specimen acceptor who I had to yell, “IT’S A FECAL SAMPLE” at…twice…in a room full of people waiting to be seen.

    Good times.

  2. I’m so sorry. I only had to do that once (when I had e. coli- good times!) and my only challenge was that since I had e. coli, it was significantly hard to catch. Blech.

    You win the award though. The results better be worth the hassle.

  3. Oh, my. And I thought carrying around the jug of my own urine for 24 hours (when they were concerned I had eclampsia when I was pregnant with Ant) everywhere I went was bad…

  4. I’ve read both trips and I just want to hug you, because I don’t want you to have to do that again…and I hope that all this notpeeingpooping results in nothing’s wrong.

    You made it FUUNNNNNY, but gosh, darlin, I hate thinking of you having to do it at all. Or me. yep, don’t want either of us to have to do it.

  5. Never trust a medical professional’s pen. Ever. Trust me. I’m a nurse.
    Funny story, I once reached into my pocket to retrieve a pen and instead I pulled out my tampon. The patient was mortified. It was awkward…but probably not as awkward as teeth marks on a tube. Hee hee.

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