I hate having my blood drawn probably because I hate needles. Nonetheless, I can deal with it. It seems nowadays I have to get my blood checked every time I have my prescriptions renewed. Apparently prescriptions are only good for a year. Then I have to go down to North Coast Family Practice and have somebody ensure I'm still alive so they'll renew my prescriptions.
I'd usually just set up an appointment with a Physician's Assistant- P.A.s being less expensive to see than doctors. Both the ones I'd see would always "suggest" having some bloodwork done to find any hidden problems. Not a bad idea and the first time I went in- not having seen any medical people for years- I went along with it, got the tests done and everything seemed ok.
Went along the time after that, too. Test came back showing my triglycerides were high. I was given some samples of some prescription (Loptor?) to see if that would lower my triglycerides and was told to go get my blood drawn again in two weeks to see if the medication worked. I never got around to it.
The next couple years I went in to renew prescriptions I deliberately- well... kinda deliberately- made sure to try and alternate between P.A.s in hopes they'd forget about the blood test I never got around to taking. Somewhat silly, as they have my medical records with them. They'd always give me the form to go get another blood test and I'd usually find an excuse (actually some very good excuses) for not bothering with it.
Those two P.A.s left North Coast Family Practice fairly recently for reasons unknown to me. At the same time I went to get my prescriptions refilled and found one had expired, which I found rather odd as I usually refilled both at the same time. At any rate, the pharmacy contacted NCFP and got the renewal authorization, but only for a 30 day prescription, not the 100 days I prefer.
Ok. So now I guess I have to go back to see the medics again, although I suppose I should anyway. But my two P.A.s were no longer there. This time I had to see a doctor.
This doctor wasn't going to take any of my sluffing off the blood tests. He set me up to take the blood tests and said to come back in a week when he'd check the results of my blood tests and he'd renew my prescriptions. Damn! He's wise to me. I guess I have no choice but to have my blood drawn now.
Thing is, I just looked and noticed the 30 day prescription they authorized the other day is actually good until next year so I could probably go a couple months before I have to deal with renewing. I suppose I could blow it off again, but I won't.
I blew off the blood test last Friday, telling myself I'll do it first thing Monday. Came Monday and I was thinking of going in there on the way to work, since I had to go to Myrtletown, anyway, and the old General Hospital is right along the way. Problem was, I got hungry. The blood test form specified I'd been fasting.
I wondered if I really had to be fasting and assumed for cholesterol checks I probably did. I had to eat something, though, by the time I went to work. I went ahead with breakfast figuring I'd take a chance on it.
Stopped by the lab on the way to Myrtletown. The lady at registration said they wouldn't draw blood if I'd eaten with the last twelve hours. Just as I figured.
She did say they opened at like six or seven in the morning, though, so I figured I'd come back right around seven on Tuesday morning.
That worked out perfectly. Got in there right around seven and was the only one there. Registered, had my blood taken and was home before seven thirty. Not bad. And the girl that drew the blood did it quickly and painlessly. Gee....I'll have to do that again sometime.
I went in to St. Joes/ General Hospital that morning. I believe I was paying cash for the blood test back then, went around $300 or so, right out of my pocket.
Nothing unusual until some gal I'd never seen before came out to the waiting room. She called out my name and I responded. She comes up to me and says, "Hi, I'm ******. I'm new here.".
Just what I needed. I get nervous enough with needles and blood tests, now this. But that's ok. I'm here to help.
We go into the drawing room. At that time they had four of five booths in one room. As we went in there I noticed someone getting blood drawn in the booth behind ours.
She feels around and thinks she finds a vein. She tries to insert the needle. She can't find the vein. She keeps trying, finally settling on one location. She still can't find blood. She explains to me that she's having a little trouble and keeps poking around. Still no blood.
She tells me she might need some help and, without taking the needle out, starts calling to the guy drawing blood in the booth behind me. "Yoo, hoo. Ken? Ken, you there? I need some help...".
Problem is, Ken was already done as I'd seen him get up and turn down the hallway. I'm just envisioning, as she bobbing her head around trying to see in the other booth, the needle ripping my veins apart as it's still in my arm. I'm thinking to myself, "And I'm paying for this...?".
There was someone standing on the other side of the booth, behind her, the whole time that seemed to work there. He apparently didn't hear the gal working on me. I finally mentioned to my gal that there was someone right behind her and maybe he could go find Ken. She turned and asked him to find Ken.
Ken comes back and sits down. Finally the needle is taken out of my left arm. No blood came gushing out, either. At least that was over.
Ken takes a look at my right arm, feels my hand and says that I feel cold and clammy and my veins are probably real tight from being nervous, or some such. I kind of resented that as it almost seemed like he was trying to blame it on me. But, he was right. I was nervous, but if I my veins weren't shrunk when I went in there, they sure would have been after the last five minutes.
I didn't say anything, though.
Ken says he can do it in one vein he finds in my right arm but he needed to use a smaller needle and it would take longer to get the right amount of blood than usual. I tell him to have at it.
After a couple of minutes, or so, he gets the blood. They tape cotton on my arm and away I go, thinking to myself, "And I paid $300 out of my pocket for that?".
I responded that the girl had to have someone for a first "patient". If everyone refuses to have her draw their blood, how is she going to get the confidence and experience to succeed at her new job?
I realize I was hating it but, as I always say, I'm here to help!