Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bloodwork, and Blood *sighs*

Bear with me... my keyboarding skills are not stellar yet today. The effects of a double dose of Lorazepam (4mg) are going to take awhile to work out of my system.

Yesterday's blood draw was a nightmare. I had done the whole "take 2mg Lorazepam 1 hour before appointment" and the "apply Emla topical freezing cream to the skin at least 1 hour before appointment" and I had my MP3 player, and good, positive imagery. Yay! I was set. So we get to the clinic, I'm still relatively calm (eyes closed, deep breathing, good imagery, concentrating on other things) and eventually get called in.

The First Stop
The first young woman (I'll call her Youngin') says, "If I can't find a vein, I'll get a more senior tech to look at you." WHOA. Stop right there. "I want the MOST senior tech you have on site please. This is not going to be easy for either of us." Out she goes to ask another one to come in. Then I hear her and her cronies out there arguing about "Well this is your job, you can do it. She can't tell you that," etc. In comes Youngin' again, saying, "I'm just going to look. I won't stick you until I'm sure." Hey, have at it. She looks up and down, both arms, all over my hands, everywhere. Nada. Out goes Youngin'. In comes "Bertha" (a relatively larger, black woman), who manhandles my arms, searching for a vein. She managed to pinch the nerve on my left outer wrist where I've had surgery too. That was fun. Not.

Bertha declares, "No, I can't find a good one either." Out she goes. By this time my good imagery is shot. I'm trembling, lying on the table and fat tears are rolling down my cheeks. In walks the third woman, LadyDarkHair. More manhandling. A bit of slapping on my arms and hands, deep breathing for me, and turned up the MP3 player. So she "thinks" she has one on top of my right hand. Hey, if you got one, go for it. I brace myself and she sticks. And F*CK ME GENTLY WITH A CROWBAR it M*THERF*CKIN HURT!!! With my left hand I hit the wall beside me and exhaled hard and fast. And that, LadyDarkHair said, moved the vein and the needle. She lost it. "No, I'm sorry, we can't do it here. She needs to be more sedated for this. I would recommend a hospital." Nah, that didn't lose the vein in my mind. She lost it because I reacted with a smack to the wall. A release of pent-up fear and energy and she says, "Nope. We can't do you here." I have no idea what she thought, whether there were fears of her being in danger, or of my wrecking the place (ha ha!) or what, but the end result is, "Sorry, we can't do this here for you."

I sit up and I tell her, "Look, the attitude here is abominable. Even on the telephone when I called, I was ASSURED that you are all professionals and can deal with someone with a phobia and can certainly do your job. Next, I endure three people trying to find a vein who supposedly 'know their jobs' but yet can't do them, and then when you get a vein you lose it. Obviously this is extremely traumatic for me and I'm sorry about that, but that is the way it is." I'm crying like a f*ckin baby by this time, and angry as h*ll at her. She says, "I'm sorry you feel that way. Here's your requisition back. I would suggest a hospital." Stupid B*tch. I just stood there and cried a few minutes, trying to calm down.

Hubby and I go out and sit in the car. Now I feel like crap for putting him through this. He's told me before that he thinks this phobia of mine is "silly" and "stupid." Basically, he doesn't relate. So it's putting him through discomfort to have him even come with me and get embarrased cause the "crazy lady" doesn't like needles. That's how I feel anyway. He'll probably disagree.

Stops Number 2 and 3
We drive to the Montfort hospital. By this time it's about 4:45 p.m. We check with them there; "We can't do the work here, because your specialist doesn't have hospital privileges here. But he has privileges at the Civic on Carling Avenue." Off we go again towards Carling Avenue.

At the Civic, we get registered, I get a little armband, and we wait. And wait. And at about 6:50 we get called in to Urgent Care to be seen by a doc. He wondered what sort of "other sedation" we expected him to use. I retorted (a bit testy by now) "How about a baseball bat across the side of the head? I don't care. Whatever you can do to get blood is good by me."

He figures more Lorezapam by this point and they come back with two more for me. I take those. That's 4 mg of Lorazepam for those of you counting. I couldn't walk a straight line if you paid me a million dollars by now. We put on some more Emla cream and I cover up and lay down on the exam table, MP3 player on to relax. About 10-15 minutes of that, hubby said I started to doze off.

Third time's a charm
Then the nurse came in about 10 minutes after, and began palpitating... the fourth person to play with my veins that night. *shudders* She thought she'd had a good one, but it disappeared. Off to the other arm, where she finally found one on (get this) inner right wrist. It totally wigged me out! Arggggg! I cringe just writing those words. Ick. She gets hubby to hold my arm. I breathe deeply, listen to the music, focus on imagery, etc. and WHAM! She SLAMS THAT THING IN and F*CK I jumped. I tried not to. I did. I clung to the wall. I cried, sobbing like my heart was breaking. Like it was the worst torture ever. I tried my d*mdest not to move for her. I did; hubby held my arm tightly so she could get the blood she needed. Eight vials. Oh God. I just about died when I saw them beforehand, waiting to be filled. Eight.

Anyway, she did a darn good job, and I was so pleased that she took the time to make me comfortable and did what she needed to at the same time. (With hubby's help of course!) I thanked her profusely. It's never easy to deal with someone who has a phobia like mine. But she did a stellar job. Now if only I could have her do it all the time.

Not Over Yet...
And therein lies the kicker. I need more bloodwork done on CD3. So I figured that that would happen next week right? No. Nuh uh. No, ladies and gentlemen, tsk tsk. Don't be so positive! No... you see, yesterday was CD23, but good ol' today is CD1. You read that right. CD1. Short?? You want short cycles? Oh my god. I'm all over the map. So if today is CD1, I need more bloodwork on Friday afternoon (CD3). Dear. Sweet. God. In. Heaven. How am I going to go through that again so quickly? Give me strength. Please.

As well, this month, I am starting with Clomid from CD5-9. But I won't have an appointment with my specialist until CD13 (he's out of the province on my CD9-12). They hope that the Clomid will hold the eggs until CD13 for an IUI. Maybe it will, or maybe I'll ovulate on my own before then. Who knows? Either way, it's something new and we'll see how it goes.

I'm still coming down off yesterday's drugs to process all of this. But looking at my upcoming calendar it's full of all sorts of appointments, pill schedules, cycle dates, etc. It's all worth it I know. I'm pretty sure of that part. Right?


The Town Criers said...

Sweetie, this has got to be the hardest blood draw in history. Hang in there on Friday.

Gil said...

Thanks for the words of hope and confidence ladies. I'll go in there and deal with it, like so many of my sisters have dealt with it... and with so much more. I wish that none of us had to do ANY of this, but we are strong, and we CAN get through this. Together. All of us. *hugs*

BTW, you keep doing your good work over there. it's marvellous and I read daily.

Lisa said...

I'm sorry you had to go through that - especially the not so calming people at the first lab. I'm glad you found a person who did a good job - next time will be so much better because you know where to start!

Gil said...

Hi Lisa! Yeah, we know where to start: at a hospital bloodlab. But we're wondering how best to go about that. Hubby is trying to get hold of someone today to see if we need an appointment, if we can just walk in, what time they close (our shifts are 7-3) and all that jazz. I'm hoping that tomorrow is easier than Tuesday. I gotta say, all phlebotomists are NOT pros!