A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Annual Angst

Today was one of my least favorite days of the year - the day I have to have labs done for my annual physical. As I've said in the past, I'm a total needlephobe. Hate 'em! Last summer when I need to have a blood draw for my pneumonia, I had a lab trainee who had to consult her notes. Yeah, that was fun.

This time I had an experienced tech, but who cares. A needle is a needle. Of course, I had to sit in the waiting area for 30 minutes before my name was called. During that time a little 6-year old girl was taken into the lab screaming her head off. The whole time she was in there she was screaming "don't do it, don't do it!!" I told the woman next to me that I pretty much have the same reaction, but I try to not be as verbal about it. By the time that little girl left (about 10 minutes later) with big tears rolling down her cheeks and a handful of lollypops, we were all squirming.

Then it was my turn. The tech asked the usual question "which arm would you prefer?" and I gave my usual answer, "YOURS!!" She smiled patronizingly and proceeded to thump the vein in my right arm. She told me she would use a pediatric needle (apparently my angst was noticeable) and, after jamming it in my arm, she tightened the rubber tourniquet, thumped the veins a bit more, and announced that no blood was coming out! WTF?? So she bandaged that hole and said, "Let's try the other arm." Oh, goody.

My left arm apparently has blood in it because she filled three vials. All the time keeping up the banal small talk about health care, my job, my family, etc. Really now, I'm 63 and am NOT distracted by small talk when you're draining my body of blood.

So now I have bandages on both arms but at least I'm done for another year. Hey, I just realized I didn't get any lollypops!


the thrifty ba said...

im with you with the needle fear! (must be an italian thing) that was the worse part of being pregnant! well, that and trying to pee in a cup when your belly is the size of a small cow.
im going to try the yours comment next time!

Mellodee said...

When I was back in Chicago I worked at a hospital and for years I had my lab work done by the same tech, Willie Mae Dixon. The woman was a saint and the most skilled phlebotomist I have ever encountered. She always got a vein on the first try, she had a gentle touch, and could slide a needle into position better than anyone! I rarely felt more than a little poke, I swear. I haven't found another tech anywhere who is half as good. Now, if I get one that can stick the needle without causing an enormous black and blue bruise, I consider myself lucky! At least you only have to do one a year. In order to keep an eye on liver function for a while I had to go every three months! The black and blue would just about be gone and it was back in the chair with the Marquis de Sade! I really miss old Willie Mae!!

namaste said...

my turn is coming next week. glad you made it thru without security being called.

as for the lollipops. that's a big gyp, pure and simple.