Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blood Draw McGraw

If you want to know about my My Diagnostic Codes for this particular Lab check out my previous post called Diagnostic Codes.

My day began Thursday night. I drank two extra bottles of water and went to sleep good & early to be well rested for Friday. I woke up bright & early and began my regiment on drinking water. I got in the car and left my A/C OFF. And in this sweltering topping 100's (yesterday in the sun, my best friend's thermometer read 115 .. though I doubt it was really above 104). Occasionally I would crank it up for a moment to keep me from melting away, but I was trying to keep my temp pretty warm so that my veins would cooperate.

I arrived at the lab expecting a line full of people. There was only one. It seemed to take a while, but honestly it probably wasn't as long as I felt (b.c I arrived at 9:15 and then left at 10:15). After the other client left, I handed the dreaded vampire my forms and cards (insurance, driver's license and credit card). As she was typing in the codes from the paper, I could hear her audibly sighing. Finally I said "What's wrong?"

She said, "These are some serious tests with difficult lab procedures."

It was then that I laid on her that, "My veins are difficult to get." We both took a breath and she was writing a lot of things down (SST*, Frozen; SST, Ambient; SST, Refrigerated; etc!). She's going over each test and writing down which test needed what. When all was said & done, she needed 10 vials. During this, I'm telling her my horror stories which included:

  • The time that the lab used the wrong tube for my "Day 21" lab which caused me to have to go back on another Day 21 which caused me to miss about 28 days of meds b.c I needed them
  • The time that the lab stuck me about 8 times before sending me home to come back the next day
  • The time I fainted
  • The "Latex" Tourniquet & Gloves Lady
  • The "OH I can so get that" vein lady (which just so happened to be the same lady as the Latex tourniquet lady).
She looked at me with horror as I recounted several visits in the past. I sat down and she went through all 10 vials and the paper twice before grabbing a beautiful blue pair of gloves. We talked about my arms before she even put the tourniquet on. She tourney'd up the left arm and felt around. She tourney'd up the right arm and felt around. She asked where this infamous "vein" was and I pointed the general direction of its location. She couldn't believe that anyone would try that particular spot.

She then said she wanted to try my hands, but in general hands didn't respond well to 10 vials. That she would do her best. So she tourney'd up my left hand and began manipulating my hand to get some veins to pop. And pop they did. I felt as if this lady had struck gold! She grabbed a butterfly (the heaven's opened up and sang her praises when she did that!) needle and said "Are you ready?" Like I even had a choice! We both took a deep breath and she stuck it in. I felt it all the way down to my toes! I felt a joyous feeling inside b.c I knew that when I feel that it means that typically at least 5 vials will get blood filled.

I started taking deep breaths, which of course worried her. But then I told her that typically the blood flows better for me when I breathe in and out slowly throughout the entire procedure. Vial after Vial filled with glorious blood. She got to the last two and said even if she had to pull the needle out that she was confidant that she could get two purple tubes out of another vein. I continued to slowly breathe. The blood continued to flow. Next thing I know, she's pulling out the butterfly.

I was so thrilled that I filled out one of those comment cards. I believe the wording I used was "miraculous visit. 1 hand stick for 10 vials on what's typically torture and 10 sticks filling only one vial! Thank you Heather."

After I stopped bleeding (I'm really hoping this doesn't mean that my blood work will stink b.c sometimes when it doesn't stop bleeding immediately some of my work is wonky), I went out front to drink 1/2 a bottle of Gatorade before heading out.

Let's just say, I'm thankful to a woman that listened to my past concerns and did exactly what was needed to get a good draw. I'm also thankful to some hand veins that have apparently somewhat healed enough to get some blood! Praise God for Miracles. Now let's pray that my blood work comes back with the answers we need. Heather said she was going to be thinking about me all weekend. I asked her how many was the most vials she had ever filled (thinking it would be in teh 20's ... after all Dr. P's office does this all the time). She asked, "including yours?" ... I'm like yeah .. she said "yours."

No wonder she had an audible sigh! I used to call "S" .. One stick slick. I think Heather will be Blood Draw McGraw! Too bad I can't make sure she's there every time!

*SST is Serum-separating tubes. They use this for a lot of different labs. The tube at my office is generally a marbled colored top. There are many different color tops for different tubes based on what's inside. Some are Red, Purple and honestly I can't remember the others

Website on Vacutainers)


Fiesty Sister said...

I'm a BIG fan of the butterfly and the hand. I have crappy veins and no external rotation in my frozen shoulders so getting 10 vials out of the crook of my arm is impossible. I LOVE the hand veins. I do glutathione pushes (well, a nurse does) and I have ONE vein that is consistently willing!

Jeff said...

I'd like to ask about your doctor and perhaps see him about some symptoms I've been having. Will you send me an email? Thanks.

Jennifer said...

Jeff, I'll try to email you today.

Fiesty Sister, I hear ya sista!