Chinese Phlebotomy

This morning I awoke bright and early to get some blood drawn. Just the sort of thing I love to wake up to. I’ve been meaning to get an Hepatitis A vaccine since we arrived, and finally the academy doctor organized a massive vaccination sweep for the whole academy. First, though, we had to have blood drawn to test for anti-bodies to Hep A & B. The blood draw was relatively painless. The technicians, or nurses, or doctors or whoever they were, knew what they were doing. Believe me, I’m a pretty harsh critic having done the job myself. Everything was clean and the needles were brand new, of course, as I expected. I was amused by one thing, though, to clean the skin before the needle stick, the techs dipped a cotton swab into a small glass jar of iodine, cleansed the skin, then used a second cotton swab to dip into another jar of alcohol to remove the iodine. The cotton swabs were hygienic and new, but I am not too sure about the little glass jars. Back in the west, I was used to ripping open a small, individually wrapped cotton square. We should have the results in the morning and get the first dose of our vaccines after that. I hope I don’t get deported when they see I have anti-bodies to Hepatitis B! (I’ve been previously vaccinated!)

Another little note, last night we went shopping for food at the big supermarket in the city. I am happy to report we are now the proud owners of a bottle of Tabasco Jalapeno Sauce. I know, doesn’t seem like much, but you find yourself ridiculously happy to find western products you didn’t even know you liked all that much.

P.S. Ten points to the readers who know that phlebotomy means blood draw!


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