Monday, April 16, 2007

Blood from a....well, not from me!

I will never ever go to the lab upstairs from my doctor's office again. Not even for non-blood related testing. Never EVER!

I go for follow up with my doc today. She asks if I had my blood work done from our last well visit several months ago, I cringe and admit that I have not gotten it done. So she writes a prescription right there and tells me to go upstairs to the lab up there. I should not even have to wait because it's early.

I do this and get right in. Last time I was there for the TMI post a few weeks ago, I thought the attitude of the two people working there was pretty poor. They were complain-y and huffed a lot at people and phone calls. I get there today and the same two people are there. Older man and older woman, I will call them. Older woman appears to be the receptionist, takes my data and bloodwork order and passes me off to older man. I go into the room with The Chair (you know, the one with the big flat arm rests for them to do their dirty work) and sit down. It's cold in there. I pull up my sleeves. I don't realize until I am in The Chair that Older Man is actually going to be the one taking my blood. I am now nervous.

I warn him when he asks which arm that I do not have great veins. He says ok (obviously not realizing that I am not just a whiner) and wraps the tourniquet around my right arm, the dominant one. He pokes around and pokes around. Poke, poke, poke. Push, push, push. Poke, poke, poke. Finally he decides on a vein that he thinks will yield something. He takes the standard sized needle and collection tube and jabs me, semi-gently. He then proceeds to partially withdraw and jab me several times, very UN-Gently. He gives up on that arm and tourniquets the other. More poking and pushing, he seems to find something there. He goes directly into the crook of the elbow. Same jab and withdraw and jab again. He is not gently pulling the needle part of the way out and gently moving it and gently easing it back in. No. He is literally jabbing me again and again. As I watch this idiot ravage my poor arm, I am getting this very troubled look on my face, and starting to make "OW" noises. Just as I can't take it anymore, he stops and withdraws the needle, giving up. He seems frustrated, angry. At me??? What the fuck? I have no control over my fucking veins, what am I supposed to do about it?! He walks out of the room unceremoniously and I hear him mumble something to Older Woman.

A few minutes later, she comes in and tells me I have been handed off to her. She asks which arm is better. I tell her whichever you can get something from. I inform her that in the past most places have used a
butterfly on me and have had trouble before. She tourniquets my left arm and has me make a fist and is SURE that there is a viable vein there. She goes to look for a butterfly. Can't find one. Um, hello? This is 2007 folks, does this lab take blood from kids??? You don't use the giant fat needle on them, you use a butterfly!

So she comes in and grabs the normal stuff and begins trying to extract my blood from this vein she KNOWS is there. Nothing. She, at the very least, was gently withdrawing and moving the needle around to find the vein. It still HURT, but a lot less and it was MUCH less disturbing than Older Man, Mr. Jabby McGee! Nothing, not a drop. She incredulously says aloud that she was SURE there was a nice fat vein there and she just couldn't get it.

She gives up on that arm and tourniquets the other one. She pokes around and doesn't even try it because there is even less on the right arm. We go for the last resort - the hand (sorry to all those who get squeamish about this stuff!) Still no butterfly, she looked again. So not only are we resorting to the hand, but she is using the fat needle to get in there. But again, she is confident there is a vein to be bled there. After a minimal amount of poking around, during which I cringed, "ouch"ed, tapped my feet and sucked my breath in several times, she finally stopped and gave up completely.

She was dumbfounded. She told me they had never had this happen before. She was not sure what to do. I remembered while sitting there being ravaged by these two numbskulls that when I had blood taken in the past for my thyroid testing (several times over a 6 month period) they had me drink lots of water in the morning before I came in to plump up the tissues around my veins (it really does work!) and also put heat packs on my arms when I got there for 20 minutes so things would be nice and prominent. Both of these things, combined with using a butterfly and pediatric needles and vials, worked great.

Older Woman suggested I could come back another time, they would take me right in. I could do the water thing, or heat pack thing. She could give me my slip back (the prescription for the bloodwork) and I could go somewhere else if I wanted, or something. I asked for the slip back and said I would, "figure it out", which really meant I would run from the office, never to return again! I went downstairs back to my doc's office to inform her that I had, in fact, NOT had a drop of blood taken from me because the phlebotomists upstairs were TERRIBLE and I would not be going back there. The medical assistants both gasped when I told them they tried three locations and could not get blood from me. They said that Mr. something-or-other would have been able to do it, but he was not there anymore. Oh well for me. So they suggested another lab down the street, knowing I would not be going today and said they would tell my doctor.

So, I have a growing purple spot on my inner left elbow, a surprisingly small pin prick on my right arm and a very hurty pin prick on my hand. I would have expected more bruising with all the poking that Mr. Jabby McGee did, but, well, he missed the veins entirely!!!

I hate blood work. I will NEVER EVER give blood because of this.

I don't get sick or nauseous from needles or blood or anything. But I was feeling woozy after this ordeal and thought I was going to puke! I went to panera bread, got me some OJ and splurged on a Venti Chai from Starbucks to nurse me through the day.

And I still have to go get blood taken. Rah.

(from 4/5/07 LJ post)

No comments: