Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I go for blood tests often. Once per month, often. Sometimes I post about it, and sometimes I don't because really, there isn't always much to say. I starve myself for a day, go in, wait forever, get poked, bleed for half an hour from the pin-hole, then spend the better part of the next few days nursing the bruise and trying to extricate the tape that has melded with my skin. The last time I was surprised at having to leave a urine sample, but remembered that I started a new dose of medication and figured it had something to do with that, because I always just had bloodwork before. Now, even if I had been dancing around the waiting room with my legs crossed, the minute I know somebody is WAITING for me to pee, I dry up like the sahara desert. There is no way I can just GIVE a urine sample like that. Even with advance notice. I just cannot do it. I can do the vulcan handshake, I can tie a cherry stem with my tongue, and I can pick a tune out on just about any instrument by ear and feel. But pee on command? Sorry darlings, can't be done. The experience was shaping up badly already, and I knew I was on a sinking ship the minute they handed me that stupid little bottle. I said I would bring the bottle back next week. And usually when I have to bring the specimen back later, they don't argue much. After all, it isn't a government drug test or anything. This time, the receptionist shouted over the printer "Why not later today?". Because I am busy. "Then tomorrow morning!". I quietly repeated that it would have to be next week. "Why???". I lowered my voice a bit more, and gave her what I thought was a good reason, but one that I didn't feel a whole waiting room full of people needed to hear. "What?". I said it a bit louder. "I CAN'T HEAR YOU". You know, I believe that bodily functions are just that. Nothing to be ashamed about. We all pee, we all poo, we all pass gas. Some people are more vocal about it than others, and there are surely times when it is better to just discuss things plainly than try to use veiled concepts and euphamisms. I mean, if it stings when you pee and you might have an infection, there is no point in telling the doctor that you have a "yoo-hoo problem when I winkle". When it comes time to purchase feminine hygeine products, I don't hide them in the cart or ask for a double bag at the check out. So I bought tampons, if that is an issue for you than your problems are deeper than mine. And yet, at the same time, I don't feel the need to announce to the world that I cannot possibly give a urine sample right now because I am on my period and it would really be better if I brought it back NEXT WEEK. But there was nothing for it, and that is what I did. And I expected maybe shocked silence, or sudden understanding, something of that nature from the receptionist. But what did I get? A lecture. That is right, a lecture. "Why did you schedule to come in today if you were on your period? You are wasting our time and yours because now I will have to check you in twice and send out two packages and blah blah blah blah". Sigh. This form was filled out months ago. I had no idea I would be in this condition at this moment, and since I thought it was for blood tests only I had no idea it would matter. Since the form was DATED for today, I could not come in last week or the next because they would not accept the form. And to get a new form made up would take two weeks and cost 45.00 because they treat it like a lost document. All this, both of us trying to talk over the dot matrix printer that was whining back and forth like an angry mosquito on steroids. If my prescriptions did not depend on me getting these tests, I would have walked out. But they do, and I need them to live (or so they tell me), I finally just sighed and said "What do you want me to do. I didn't know the urine test was on there. Now I know for next time. Do you want me to leave, or what?". She grudgingly said no, don't leave. Get the blood tests now and bring the specimen as soon as I can next week. Sheesh. Wasn't that what I already said??? I don't know if it was the stress of that, or the fact that the tech made me sit at a left handed station then asked me to balance some mangey smelly slippery pillow thing on my lap to put my right arm on (after he dug around in my left arm for a few minutes then decided maybe I was serious when I said his better bet is my right), but when the needle went in this time that freaker HURT. And it hurt the entire time, and burned like fire coming out. There was a big spurt too, as the needle exited. Left a nice line of red dots down his lab coat and across my jeans. He gave me a huffy look, I guess he doesn't like laundry. Like I did it on purpose. Sometimes I don't stop bleeding right away, other times I don't have a problem. Yesterday was one of those days. It is amazing that a little pinhole can let out enough blood to soak through several cotton balls and drip down ones arm. They usually make sit in the waiting room and hold a gauze pad hard against my arm until the bleeding stops, but this time the tech himself held the bandage on. "Wow, it is really bleeding". He sounded a little nervous, and asked one of the other techs to come take a look. "No, it's okay. Sometimes she does that. Just let her sit until it stops". So he disappeared, maybe to look for a fresh lab coat as I sat and bled onto the floor. One of the next people to come in was a big guy, looked like a line backer. Took one look at me, and almost turned around and left again LOL. "What did they do to you!?". He looked pretty nervous. I assured him it would be fine, just DO WHAT THEY SAY. Then I laughed, but even to my ears it sounded a little hysterical LOL. His test went smoothly though, and the other tech bundled him out quickly before I could scare him more, darn it. By then the bleeding had slowed, so I asked for something to clean up with and I would be on my way. Only to have an argument about whether or not I needed a cotton ball taped to my arm. "The tape eats my skin". He insisted this is the tape for sensitive skin. "That is even worse, because it is thin". To prove his point, he slapped a piece onto the back of my hand and attempted to pull it off right away. "Yee-owch!" I yelled, as my skin started to peel off with the tape. "Wow. That stuck FAST". Ya think, you arse? So now I have a gigantic bruise on my arm where the needle went in, an angry red patch on the back of my hand from the tape (the removal took almost an hour when I got home and involved alcohol, baby oil, scissors, and a lot of swearing and hot tears of anger), several stabs and bruises on my left arm (why must they move the needle tip INSIDE the skin? Yucko), and a pee bottle waiting to be filled. Where is the best place to put said bottle? I understand it is sterile, but it is associated with urine. And to my mind, that makes it fithy dirty by association and I want to toss out anything that comes in contact with it. I had it on the kitchen chair, and DH moved it to the counter which prompted a screaming fit and a scrubbing marathon with bleach. Then I caught DD carrying it around, which prompted tossing her in the bath (although, not with bleach even though I was tempted). At the moment it sits in the cupboard upstairs, in a small box, next to the stack of toilet paper rolls. I had trouble sleeping last night knowing it was in there. Don't say it. I know I have issues. That's what makes me ME.