Friday, May 25, 2007

Not so Sweet Blood Draw

***Warning: the following story may upset your stomach, it pretty much took down two pretty tough grown women today***

So, fasting blood sugar was today, after it was high last week (most likely a prednisone non-prednisone blood sugar is always fine). We got there in well enough time to be in and out. First thing in the morning shouldn't be rough, right? Wrong. 34 people ahead of me on the list. Sign in person handed me a NEW piece of paper to fill out. I do? I haven't had to do this before. Yes. It is new. Fill it out, have a seat. Crowded waiting room, between coughing people was the seat available. Great.

Fill it out. Return the pen. (not the papers...have to wait for her to call me) CBS this morning on with a string of the most boring stories ever. I didn't bring a book in or knitting because I thought it would be fast. You couldn't pay me to touch their waiting room magazines. Shudder. So, I sat. Bemused. People-watched. Desk clerk finally calls me up, butchering my name into something pejorative. Hear the gaggle of pregnant women there discuss how awful a name as I go to see desk woman. Sigh. Takes my papers, photocopies my insurance card (they do this every time), sends me to sit back down. I go to the other side where a seat has freed up and they have been calling people back. Watch my paperwork in the tray. Peer at the very young pregnant Hispanic girl and her mother, wishing I could eavesdrop on Spanish.

Finally, got called back, well, actually the woman misspells aloud my last name. oooooook it is typed there.

Door on the left. Sit down. Looks at my right arm. Puzzled look from her. Never looked at the other (not that it would have helped but whatever) A few half-hearted prods. Open and close. Prods. Decides to go for their favorite antecubital. (Still bruised from last week) Pokes. Misses. Wiggles the needle a bit, not much (they often will dig and poke for a good long time and hard before they get a vein). Pulls it. Tapes it. Mutters about my tiny veins. Mutters how SHE only sticks once, and she can't do butterflies, so she was calling someone else to come. She goes and looks at the other arm. Tiny veins. Have you ever had trouble with a blood draw before? Yes, veins old and scarred and tired, especially after years of ivs and blood draws. Hmm. She leaves. Keeps trying to round someone up. Makes me move to another empty room.

Other phlebotomist comes in, she has drawn me before. Doesn't seem to remember me. S'ok. She looks. "Have you had anything to drink this morning?" Uh no. Fasting. You are dehydrated. Sort of a permanent state these days with Crohn's. Oh. You poor dear. Mutters. Rips the bandage off the right arm after failing to find anything after the prod, squeeze, open close routine on the left. Repeats on the right. I ponder her dirty fingernails. Growls about the lack of butterfly needles, goes and grabs 2 and comes back. Goes for the right hand, irritated about the really lame looking, really swollen, bruised (and BTW-still hurting) place there where the hospital drew blood the other day.

Goes back to the left, gives a passing glance that the left hand and then looks at the wrist. cringe. I know that isn't going to be easy, but I can see myself there isn't much choice. She goes for it. It rolls. She can't get the vein. She pulls it and as she does, the other fat vein on the wrist pops up. She takes the same needle, jabs it, leaving the first place bleeding all over the place while she drew the first tube of blood up. Then she yells for someone to come help her. Woman comes, swaps the tubes. Fills it. Pulls the second tube. Phlebotomist pulls the works, chucks the needle, hands the whole blood covered works (remember the other needle spot on that side didn't get covered and sprayed everything with blood) to the assisting person who chucks it. May I mention here that the assisting person had no gloves on? sigh.

Phlebotomist tapes me up and sends me on the way. Way tapes me up with one of those ace bandage-y things they sometimes use. Around and around my wrist...excessive maybe. But maybe not. It bled for hours.

I got in the car, swigged my Boost and took my Prednisone and Imuran and went to work. I got there and had to wash the blood off my fingers and such where it had sprayed when she yanked the needle and went for the other spot without putting something on it. It really wasn't my worst blood draw ever. Not even close.


Emsxiety said...

That just sucks.

TW said...

Nah. It just was slow and a little painful.