Wed. 8:40 am appt. Yea, for me! I got there early.
The doc pulled a pop-pap on me. THAT caught me off-guard, but it's not
like I had to study or anything...I just wasn't expected to experience
that jolly treat. There's a reason we do this once per year and no
more. Although I feel better hearing, "your cervix is looking healthy"
to which I want to respond, "well, a healthy cervix is a happy cervix";
it isn't something I devote lots of thought to. This paragraph is
probably the most I'll focus on that part of the exam, here in the
journal or anywhere else for that matter.
Moving on...the nurse was new. She came in to do my blood-draw. I
asked her what all she was drawing for...she told me, seemingly
offended. I said, "um, ya need another tube, without gel in the
bottom." She snaps the tourniquet on my arm and snaps at me, "been
doing this a long time, I KNOW which tubes I need."
Ok, folks. I know getting the nurse pissed that's gonna stick ya is
not a good idea. But dudes, I've been going at least every 3 months
for blooddraws for the past several years, because the one drug I take
could seriously torque the liver functions...that and I need to stay
within range for max benefit. So, I know which tubes LABCORP uses for
which tests that I need to have done...cuz where my health is
concerned, I just am a busybody and like to know what is relevant to me.
Besides which, I have been increasingly hard to part with my blood. My
veins are easily "blown" and I bruise super easily. Once they get the
blood flowing into the tube, leave the stick in and snap in the next
tube, really it's for the best.
I say to her, "no, I'm serious, you'll need to do a tube with NOTHING
in it for the (drug) levels". She pops her jaw out and with clenched
teeth, grinds out, "I know what I'm doing." Nope, she didn't.
She is slapping away at my arm, thumping, poking, prodding, rubbing,
sterilizing, and then doing it all over again. I hesitate to tell her
that she might as well forget the inner creases of my elbow which is
usually where draws are done, and go for the lower (fore)arm. I mean,
what the hell do I know? I must not be around when I get my own blood
Finally, she seems to have found something. I think she was just
determined that she was gonna get that needle in me no matterwhat. So
she stuck me. Nothing.
She jiggles the needle around. Nothing. She slides it in and then
slides it mostly out. Nothing. She angles this way and that.
Nothing. She now is beginning to mumble to my arm and the needle, as
tho my vein will pop into place and the needle will seek it
successfully with a little verbal coaxing.
She then drops the tube and all the accutraments, leaving the needle
and its casing bobbing in my arm. She bends and then suddenly
straightens, cuz I am guessing she remembered that you aren't supposed
to leave a needle unattended in the patient's arm. Not good policy,
all kinds of things could happen. I could have for instance, pulled it
out and stuck it in her rump when she was bent over. Not that the
thought even occured to me, but I'm just saying.
She is very flustered by now and says to me that we'll need to do this
later. After popping a bandaid on me, she vacates the room and my doc
breezes in. I like my doc. I interviewed her and chose her to be my
We do the ol in out scrap thing.
Later, I'm in the lab. Waiting for the next attempt at the blood
draw. The same nurse wants to try the other arm. Fine. Basically a
repeat of the fishing expedition. Only this time, it's hurting some
cuz, well, there're nerves in there.
Then, after she has popped another bandaid on me, she calls in the
reinforcements. The headnurse of the lab (who has stuck me both
successfully and not so, in the past) comes in...she assesses the
situation. Moves back to the first arm, and tries for a nice beautiful
blue line to the extreme edge of my arm.
Nothing. Then, SPLAT. OMG, the two nurses actually jumped back like
my blood was gonna spurt on them when it is in a contained butterfly
tube. But there is no flow. Not into the tube anyway.
There is however a nice pool spreading inside my arm, under the skin.
A widening woman-made pond that is not going to yield any fishing in
the near future. But because of the jostle the nurse gave the needle,
there was a bit more pain and I felt momentarily woozy as she pulled
Now, my blown vein is dripping blood unto the countertop. I remain
fairly calm. I even make the dry suggestion that they could just pop
my wrist and the nurse was horrified, omg, no, you'll bleed to death.
This as I am wondering how many CCs I am losing to the
papertowels...and the red haz-mat bag.
My doc sticks her head into the lab. Problems? Umm, yeah.
She comes over, lemme try. Sure, I say, go for it doc. I bare my other arm.
I say, I know it hurts, but can you take it right there? pointing
1/3rd way down my forearm to the side a bit, where there is a bright
blue line practically pulsating at me.
Sure, she says. Ever so gently, she inserts the needle. The
nurses are peering over her shoulders. No one is breathing.
And then, YES, a blood-flow!! As the first tube is filling, the doc
asks the first nurse for the other tube. She gapes about as though
something will come to mind in an hour or so. I say, she doesn't
believe that a clear tube is necessary.
The doc deftly reaches under the counter and snags the right tube
without losing a second and pops the first tube off and affixes the
second. She says to the nurse, "you always do drug levels in the clear
tube, no gel in the bottom or any other prep." The nurse flushes
I am happy to be finally through with my impression of a pin-cushion
and/or bloodless ghoul. The doc slaps another bandaid on me. The
nurse is protesting that at her old job they never did it this
way...and the doc says, "well, LABCORP is particular, ya know...."
shrugging as she leaves the room.
I hop down from the elevated stool and skedaddle on out, feeling like I
ought to have a sucker. I mean the least they could have done was
offer me a dum-dum. I like the rootbeer ones best.