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Last week when I had the bloodletting I felt absolutely amazing afterwards. It was remarkable and I somewhat looked forward to getting stabbed in the arm with a larger than normal needle this time.

Before the phlebotomy, I went to my first Mexican love city, Guadalajara, for a few days to spend some time with my new friend Colin; I met him at my Spanish school back in August. We had a good time getting street tacos, I bought some new shoes for 280 pesos, we got to see a tribe dancing, a march against the education secretary, and an impressive Hidalgo Statue on Federalismo (a major street to the west of the downtown area).

People marching downtown of Guadalajara

Friday, I headed back to Ajijic after a quick 30 peso meal of two delicious burritos.

I got to the lab and the only nurse that could perform the venesection procedure was gone. They said she would arrive in about an hour. So I stuck around the area, and went to eat at a little deli next door called Mom’s Deli…I wouldn’t recommend it because $5 USD for a simple sandwich is too expensive, especially with dry bread.

After an hour and 10 minutes, I headed back to the lab and the nurse still wasn’t there. No problem, right, it’s only going to be a few more minutes…

45 minutes later, I was getting annoyed…then, the front desk lady said the nurse was coming. 20 minutes later she arrived. That’s a total of 2 hours and 15 minutes of waiting, oof.

I didn’t bring enough water to stay hydrated for such a long wait, and hydration is super important when they are removing 10% of my blood two weeks in a row. For reference, the Red Cross recommends only removing this much blood once every two months. So, it’s pretty critical to stay hydrated.

We get into the room (yes, literally “THE” room: there is only one), and after getting situated the nurse injects the rather thick needle into my arm…the same arm they did last week. This time didn’t go so well.

Immediately when the nurse injected the needle into my inner elbow, I felt an intense stabbing sensation in my hand, then my hand went numb.

I’m talking grip the bed, I want to drop kick a nurse type pain.

I told the nurse what I could in Spanish, “Exculpe, pero mi mano es…no se la palabra…numb…mi duelen my brazo y mano.”

The two nurses looked at each other either with looks of confusion due to language barrier problems, or looks of, “Oh snap, we done goofed up.” I’m not sure exactly what they were thinking.

The head nurse said something (in Spanish) about how the pain is normal when a needle is inserted into my arm.

I don’t get a lot of blood taken, but I have never experience that type of sensation.

They also struggled to get blood, so the head nurse wiggled the needle in my body. Then she told me clinch and release my hand, which also hurt and caused burning sensation down my forearm and into my hand, kinda like when you bang your funny bone, but the sensation was in a totally different area (the front side of my forearm).

Now I’m sitting here two days later with pain at the puncture site as well as my hand. It hurts to straighten my arm, thus typing for long periods is a B.

I will give it a few more days to see if it improves, I don’t know exactly what to think. Online forums say that most people don’t experience pain after 4-6 weeks, others say it took 6+ months, and others yet say it has been permanent.

Considering I don’t know their age, lifestyle, diet, etc, I am unwilling to pass judgment or self-diagnose from this, but I can’t say I’m enthusiastic about going for my final venesection before the doctor retest my iron levels.

Interesting times.