“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sticky Situation

Ah, what a day.  I went in to get my blood work done.  I was pleasantly surprised that the wait was so short -- I only got through the introduction of the book I had brought to read.  This is great, I thought.

Not so fast.  The phlebotomist had a hard time finding a vein.  She kept saying, "You're veins are so tiny" while she poked first my right arm and then my left and then back to my right.  She finally took a shot at my right arm, only to get nothing.  I imagine she felt the same as oil men do when they dig for oil and come up empty.

She then told me she'd have to try my hand.  She transferred me a separate room and had me lie down.  She was able to get a trickle from that poke, and bruised me in the process.  Finally, she called another technician to give it the ol' college try.  That dear woman was able to find a vein in my right arm immediately, popped the needle in, and collected the blood just fine.  I sing her praises.

I stayed to rest just a few minutes to make sure it was safe to drive.  Forty minutes.  It had taken forty minutes to drain four tiny vials of blood from my veins.

Lessons learned:

Drink plenty of water the day before.
Get blood work done in the afternoon when I'm better hydrated.
Ask for a new phlebotomist if the one I've got seems uncertain.

Just think, I'll only have to do this every 1-3 months while I'm on the new medication.  :)


Renee said...

Yikes! Really, don't you wonder how one can do it so well and another cannot??

Lori P said...

Hi Shelli,
I just read over the past several posts, noticing your blog title change! I'm glad that you're feeling a sense of peace and also feel that you're doing the right thing. My prayers for you. :)

dominique said...

I learned a long time ago, if they missonce, I give them another shot. They miss twice, I tell them to stop and get someone else.


Looks like you are on your way! :-)

Elaine said...

Oh my goodness. What an ordeal. I hope you didn't bruise too badly.

And you are so right, go hydrated. Hopefully the next draw will be fast and easy.


Sue Jackson said...

We've experienced the same problems. There is definitely a degree of skill involved in being a good phlebotomist and some just don't have it!

Even some that manage to stick the needle in the first try - with some, it hurts horribly and with others, I don't even feel it! My Lyme doctor takes his own blood samples in the office and he is amazing at it - I never even feel the needle (whereas some of them leave bruises!).

You mention new medications - what meds are you starting? Anti-retro-virals? How does your doctor know which ones to try? Just curious!


oerganix said...

It's not just the phlebotomist - it's also us. Most of us have 2/3 - 3/4 the normal blood volume, thus low blood pressure.

I've often had a good procedure but the vein collapses before they get enough blood and they have to find another one. I also keep track of where there have been successes and tell them that others have found the right spot "here".