punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Doctor checkup and the gore of poor bloodwork

My doctor's office was very scatterbrained because their computer system was down. Why? Virus. I think that qualifies as mildly ironic. I do love my doctor, Dr. Phillips, though. He always seems to have students helping him out, which I cool, and pretty much everyone in his staff is nice, too.

The news is mixed. Asthma is in check. Ankle A-OK. The rest? Not so much.

More bloodwork. My last checkup I had high blood pressure (as always), I am overweight, and my eye has developed a nervous tic (stress). They did an EKG, and found while my heart was okay, it seemed like there was an enlargement, which is normal for high blood pressure, but not a good trend in any case. I am being referred to an eye doctor, and to get some heart stress tests and a ton of other heart thingees. The heart thingees is normal, considering what he sees. I am not worried. They'll find I have a heart defect which is responsible for the enlargement, tell me being fat is bad for me, put me on different meds... and in 5 years, come around again. No pills I have ever been on lowers my heart rate. I have made peace with my heart. If it stops working, it did as best it could. I have learned to live with high blood pressure, and as long as I have meds to keep down the migraines, and eat right... I should be okay. Die young? Most certainly. But everyone dies anyway. I really can't worry about it anymore, I worry about far too much.

Which is why he wants me to see a psychiatrist. For the tic. But find me a therapist that takes my insurance, and has weekend hours that work around my on call schedule. And then one that isn't crazy! I hope apeyane can back me up on this, but most therapists are nuts. I think they mean well, and a good patient-therapist relationship is a rare and beautiful thing. I know, I have had one. But most of them, in fact, were crazy. And it's sad.

The bloodwork was the WORST, though. I have had this done dozens of times, and never had much more than a prick, some pain, blood drawn, game over. I have had a few bad ones, but this... this was torture. First, the nurse lady was rather stupid. The patient before me was from Brazil, and the nurse commented that many Chinese people (she was Chinese, I guess) had emigrated to Europe. The woman said Brazil was in South America. "Oh... oh..." said the nurse. She didn't speak English so well. "Is that near [I couldn't hear it]?" "No, that is also in Europe." "Oh... oh... and you're from Europe?"

So then she came to me. Now, my insurance is in my wife's name. Holy cow, was that had to get across. The nurse spoke very bad English, but I don't think we had a language barrier as much as I got mired in a stupidity zone. She just couldn't get that my wife and I had the same last name. She couldn't get past it. She totally got stuck in circles at what I'd think was a very common event in a bloodwork lab that took insurance. She didn't know who I was, Gregory or Christine, either. She kept asking that over and over. I just repeated it back to her slower and slower, and she'd go, "Oh... oh..." like the Japanese people did at AOL's Japanese help desk when they didn't understand you but agreed just to get past the knot in the communication. Finally, she just gave up in frustration. I bet you ANYTHING my bloodwork will be under Christine.

Then she saw I needed to do a urine test. Oh my god. The task she had was to get a urine specimen jar. Keep in mind, I had to go pee for several hours at this point, because I was saving it for said blood test, but my doctor's visit had already taken 2 hours. I really had to go. But the plastic jars were in a clear trash bag with a large knot in it. She undid the knot okay, but seemed unable to complete the act of putting her hand in the bag to get one of the jars out. Either she kept missing the opening and her hand went into a fold on one side, or she... man, it's hard to explain this, but she had issues with holding onto the jar and pulling her hand out of the bag at the same time because she didn't seem to know what to do with the other hand: hold the bag open, or hold it off the floor. It wasn't like watching a drunk person do it; at least a drunk would know WHAT do do, but couldn't. It was like watching a toddler attempt this task. It took her almost a minute to do this, and then got stuck because she was holding the jar with one hand, and needed to close the bag. It took her about 10 seconds to realize she had to put the jar on the counter, and then use both hands to re-knot the bag and put it back in the cupboard.

And this woman was going to draw my blood.

Needless to say, she screwed it up. Big time. First, she couldn't find a vein. I don't know why, I have big fat ones. High blood pressure, remember? So then she decided to take blood out of the back of my right hand. What? AND I had to squeeze the stress ball while she did this. I don't have to tell you how fucking painful this was, and how it didn't really yield much blood but a few spatters across the needle and vial. "Oh... oh... sorry. So sorry... is not working." NO SHIT! Now I have a bruise across the back of my hand, and it hurts like hell to clasp objects and lift them.

So finally, she found a vein in my left arm. That got her the blood she needed, but she scraped around in my elbow and now I have a very dark bruise spreading. The bleeding did not stop until a few hours later. I have never given blood, even at the Red Cross, where I have soaked the little gauze they put over the wound. Fuck. And the wound looked like someone had stabbed an apple with a stick. When I got home I had to trim it with some mustache scissors to make the wound a little less ragged. I keep sterilizing both wounds, too.

I have gotten better cat scratches that left less damage behind.

Then I had to remind her I had a urine test. She then gave me wrong directions to the bathroom. Then when I returned, she seemed lost as to who I was, and that's when it clicked that Christine was my wife! "Oh...! You didn't look like brother and sister. I didn't say anything."

takayla told me that she has never been that bad with her. Which means this girl has worked here a long time. :(


I sulked at Red Robin, eating my first meal in 20 hours. Why? I was told to fast since 9am the previous day. I asked, "You mean 24 hours?" "Yes." Okay... I forgot, and had a soda at 4pm the previous day, but it was moot because Dr. Phillips said, "No no! As long as you didn't eat past midnight the day before. What, she told you 9am? Ha ha ha... oh, I am sorry. You must be starving!"
Tags: blood, doctor, fasting, heart, medical
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