When I started getting blood drawn regularly I made it my business to be friendly and courteous. I made sure to get on a first name basis with everyone and I soon learned who was especially good. Then one day there came a guy who was new and who asked me as I sat down why I was so nervous. I hadn’t been up until that point and told him so. He continued to prepare my arm and told me how much it would hurt if I didn’t relax. I realize that he was messing with me and I told him no way I was going to let him stick me period. Then he tried to play nice, I told him it was too late for that and that I wanted another lab tech. So I guy I knew well came over and did it for me. I found out the guy was giving everybody a hard time but I was the only person who spoke up.
When I was in the hospital was the worst, not the every day people but the ones on night shift. To them I was just another stick before they were back in the lab and didn’t have to hurt anyone. I’m probably giving them too much credit but they were the most inconsiderate people I had to deal with. They couldn’t even shut my door or turn off the lights when they left. I had to scream bloody murder to get them to come back and do the right thing. It may seem like a small point but remember I was paralyzed on my right side and getting into the wheelchair was a big production. Not to mentioned that some of them left me with a numb left arm. I managed to channel all my frustrations and anger into that yell and it got results.
Now it’s tolerable, I get regular sticks and though I never learn the people names I generally get good sticks. There are on occasion the excellent people who never hurt you at all. But it’s all in your attitude and luck I find. Because I’m on Coumadin I need to go for blood test every month without fail. I paid a high price once by letting it slide because I was busy. I came home from assisting and felt a bone deep ache in my muscles. I wanted to soak in the tub which is unusual for me. Before I could I had to call a friend to watch over me in case I couldn’t get out. While laying there I started to feel unwell and moved to leverage myself out of the tub. I had my arms bracing me and I suddenly felt something let go and I watched as my lower arm filled with blood. Panicked I got out of the tub and tried to dry off but felt too weak and went to the bed to sit-down. By the time I could explain to my friend my leg too had filled with blood and was beginning to change colors.
I had to make arrangements for someone to cover for me the next day and then spent the rest of the night worrying. The next day I turned up at the lab with a leg that had turned black and an arm to match. I was told to have a vitamin K shot and for god sake not hit my head. Then I was sent home and left to my own devices. My personal doctor who I went to for the shot was outraged and called the clinic to tell them about my treatment.
Now after having a stroke I’m much more conscious of my health and my blood. I take good care with my medications, eat the right foods or at least I try and for the most part have given up drink. I also keep a log of my blood pressures to know what there doing. I’m much more a willing partner in my health care and I’m a better patient for it. I feel much more in control and able to make decisions in regards to my life and that’s a good feeling.
Women In Art Have a look.