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Full-frontal Phlebotomy
So I went to the Red Cross blood center yesterday to do my civic duty, or at least get the constant begging phone calls to stop for two months. The girl sticking me was probably a newbie. She marked my vein out all meticulously with two stripes of purple ink, but when she stuck me the flow of blood was painfully slow. At least they all seemed pained, constantly checking the bag and threatening to flip the needle over in my vein.

In the end I filled the bag but they couldn't use my blood because my veins decided to quit before I could fill the tube they needed for testing. They can use it for research, but not for actual transfusions. My phlebotomist didn't want the mis-stick on her record, though, and she tried to get the head nurse to stick my other arm to fill the test tube. Head nurse couldn't find a vein, but Miss Girl brought in another phlebotomist who rolled her eyes and said "What? Y'all can't feel those veins in there? I'm gonna stick her!" and proceeded to do some exploratory surgery with a needle in my left arm. Only my audience, the horrified guy on the recliner next to mine and Phlebotomist #2's next victim, kept me from being a big baby about it. "See what you have to look forward to?" I asked him brightly. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Needless to say, she couldn't get a vein, but now I have big stylin' bruises on the insides of both arms.

When I went to the goodies table, I was checking out the "Kiss the Donor" apron and the head nurse bustled over and started selling it to me: "You know, those are very helpful for barbecue season! As soon as you see him come in, you just put that apron on and he'll have to kiss you! And you know, if you want to make it really exciting when it's just you and him, you can wear the apron with nothing under it!" I took the apron, just as a gag, but what do you know? It was very helpful when I made my breakfast this morning. If the Mr. had been around he might even have kissed me.

The good news is, my pulse rate was 54, and my blood pressure, which is always making my doctor all frowny, was a very decent 112/60. I told the nurse that that was a lot lower than I'd been getting at the doctor's office, and she told me I just have White Coat Syndrome. I said, "You're wearing a white coat too!", but she just laughed and said I knew she wasn't going to get mad at me, and that made all the difference. I told her I'd been working out and then she changed her story: "Oh, exercise! That's what does it, you know, exercise!" Maybe all that Couch-to-5K and yoga really is more than just a way to pass the time, and is actually doing something for me. Or maybe I just need to switch to a less attractive doctor.

Current Mood: chipper chipper
Current Music: National Public Radio

8 comments or Leave a comment
melydia From: melydia Date: May 23rd, 2006 01:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd never heard of that Couch-to-5K program before. It sounds like a reasonable plan. I might try it, if I can find a place to run where the travel time doesn't exceed the running time.
florafloraflora From: florafloraflora Date: May 23rd, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's very reasonable! It's working for me, at least. I must admit that I'm repeating each week about a million times before moving on, and this is the third time I've started the program, but I love it and I'm determined to finish this year. My goal is to run a 5K at a conference in August.
melydia From: melydia Date: May 23rd, 2006 03:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Where and when do you run? I would just run around my neighborhood before or after work but people say you shouldn't be out alone in the dark.
florafloraflora From: florafloraflora Date: May 23rd, 2006 04:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I run early in the morning, on a trail that's about a 10-minute drive from my house. I feel a little guilty about driving so far to run, but I do it because the trail is almost flat and because asphalt is a lot easier than concrete on a beginning runner's knees. I can't run on the asphalt on my street because there are always cars parked there.

Re: after dark, it can be tricky. Most good running shoes have reflectors on them and you can get reflective clothing to improve your visibility to drivers. But if you don't feel safe after dark in your neighborhood, then it could be tough. I was running on the trail the other day just as it was getting dark and I admit it was a little creepy.
yokospungeon From: yokospungeon Date: May 23rd, 2006 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
>Kiss the donor
>It was very helpful when I made my breakfast this morning.

As long as you weren't preparing grilled kidneys...

*ugh, I even made myself queasy*
miketroll From: miketroll Date: May 23rd, 2006 02:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ugh! Painlessly finding veins is a special gift. In my (fortunately) only stay in hospital a couple of years ago, there was a nurse who had it, and she was sent round to do all the blood samples even when it wasn't her job.

There's just one rule in health care: people with this gift are NEVER phlebotomists!

I bet MartiP is good.
florafloraflora From: florafloraflora Date: May 23rd, 2006 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, the one place where I've never had trouble being stuck is the blood-testing lab. Those ladies can ALWAYS find a vein on the first try, especially the veterans.
retc From: retc Date: May 23rd, 2006 04:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh, I hate that

I am blessed with having really easy-to-get veins and rarely have that problem. Once years ago I had a phlebotomist miss on the first try and she said something about my veins being difficult and I just glared at her and she hushed. She seemed new and I am pretty sure I had given platelets a more times than she had taken them.
8 comments or Leave a comment