Yesterday I had to get blood drawn. I honestly don’t mind it. I mean except for the early morning appointment. And the fact I can’t eat before the appointment. And the fact that everyone I come across reminds me of the fact I haven’t eaten by asking, “have you been fasting.” Yes, I always want to say, can you be faster? Oh, and I’m also not a fan of- actually it might be quicker if I just admit it isn’t my favorite thing and move on.
Normally, blood draws go fine for me. Yesterday, unfortunately, was not a normal day. “Well, that vein doesn’t seem to like me,” the tech said after having stuck my right arm but failed to draw blood. “Mind if I try the other arm?” Do I have a choice in the matter?
“Nope, this vein doesn’t seem to like me either,” she said after repeating the same process on the left side. Frankly, I was starting to side with my veins on this particular matter. “Well, I am not allowed to stick you again,” the tech said. Good thing this clinic doesn’t have a three strike policy I thought. “Let me get another tech.”
The next tech came in saying she was going to try to get blood from me, which she announced in the same sort of uncertain way that one might announce that they were going to try to have a seance to contact my dead relatives. “Have you been fasting?” The women unhelpfully asked, as if I’d have gotten to this point without having already satisfactorily answering that question several times. This brought the usually annoyance multiplied by the fact that I’d already been stabbed twice. “Oh, I see a good vein on your hand, mind if I try that.”
“Whatever you need,” I replied, refraining from adding, “hell, if it’ll get me out of here and to my breakfast faster I’ll just pull out a knife and cut my finger so that you can get some blood that way.” I didn’t say that because I doubted she’d be amused. Medical offices just aren’t interested in that kind of efficiency I suppose.
Now, I know that I am not the first person to have the annoyance of having had a tech have trouble finding a vein to draw blood, or the first person to be inconvenienced by an arduously slow blood draw while imagining the English muffin you have waiting at home. What really annoys me, I mean in addition to everything else that I just talked about, is that medical offices are places where my anxiety peaks. My blood pressure goes up, and I am sure that the doctor or nurse will tell me that something is seriously wrong with me. Because that is how it feels most of the time.
And while I might not have been the first person to have had a tech who had trouble finding the veins, I am guessing it is less normal to feel like it is completely your fault that they can’t find a vein. Less normal still to feel like it is evidence that there actually is something wrong with you. And it is in moments like these, moments when your brain interprets the nice people trying to keep you healthy as reasons to be anxious, that you become more frustrated at your anxiety, then at these inconveniences, which are relatively minor in the grand scheme of things.
Thankfully, the vein on my hand was good. They got the blood they needed so that they could stop stabbing me and I was able to go home for that breakfast I’d been craving.
More fun from my doctor’s visit awaits you in my next post. Stay tuned!