Ever since Annie was born, Dr. Looove has been on me to come in and get some tests done. All follow ups from pregnancy – check on my clotting disorder, make sure my blood sugar issues are resolved, things like that. Every time I brought Annie in for a checkup, Dr. Looove would bring up the tests. I’d always say, “I’m going to make an appointment before we leave!” and then I’d just walk out the door. I had plenty of excuses – I wanted to get in better shape, lose some of the baby weight, stuff like that.
The last month or so I’ve been feeling pretty off. There are obviously a million reasons this could be the case, but I had some other random symptoms – unexplained bruises, constant headaches, bleeding gums. So I emailed Dr. Looove hoping she’d tell me to take more vitamins, but she nailed me and told me I *HAD* to come in for a check up. Damn thorough doctors.
So, I went in, had my exam, blah blah. It was pretty run of the mill, except for the fact that Annabel tagged along and she did NOT appreciate that she wasn’t the center of attention, and yelped the entire time. It made being in a patient robe so much more fun. Dr. Looove ordered a series of blood tests, tests that actually had to be performed at the main hospital and not in the office. Boo.
I went to the lab yesterday (luckily without Annabel, thanks mom!) and was called back to have my blood taken after about twenty minutes of waiting. I sat down in the blood cubby and made myself comfortable. A tech came to me right away, and started explaining the tests to me. “This one is testing your liver, this one is testing to see if you have an ulcer (?!?!) this one is going stat so we can have it back in an hour for your other test.”
“Other test?” I asked.
“Oh yes, you have to get a bleeding time, and we need this MEDICAL JARGON result back before we can do it. It usually takes an hour.” said the tech.
I made this face at that point:
Then the tech said, “Did you eat today? Because these first tests require eight full vials of blood.”
I was even less amused. I told her then that I was prone to fainting during blood draws and she said, “I’ll catch you.”
After she took roughly half of the blood in my body, I had to go sit in the waiting room for an hour. It had filled up considerably during my first draws, and it had filled up with…not healthy smelling people. It was so icky, and I have been in that waiting room a LOT. I spent the entire hour sitting like this:
I also did a lot of mouth breathing.
When my name was called after an hour I was so happy to get out of the waiting room I would have skipped if I hadn’t been so nauseous. A supervisor was required for the final blood test. I didn’t like the sound of that. He sat me in a different, secluded blood cubby where a bunch of equipment was. “Is this all for me?” I asked him. “Well, not all of it. Some of it is only if you code.” CHUCKLE! I wanted to smack him around a little.
He then explained what a bleeding time test is: a blood pressure cuff would be put on my arm and kept at a consistent pressure. Then an incision would be made into my forearm, and the supervisor would literally just sit there and time how long it took for my arm to stop bleeding.
As you can imagine, I was thrilled by the entire concept.
The incision sucked. He was as gentle as he could be, but an incision is an incision, you know? And I didn’t have an epidural, such a rip off. Then he started the timer and started talking to me about Thanksgiving, and all I could think was OMG I AM GOING TO BLEED TO DEATH I DON’T CARE ABOUT YAMS. Also, my arm and head were both throbbing at this point, and I was getting hot and sweaty and it felt like it took fooooooooorever but in fact, my arm stopped bleeding after five minutes. According to wikipedia, this is normal.
The supervisor then cleaned me up and placed a butterfly bandage over the incision while saying, “I’m using this to help reduce the scar, although this test always gives people scars.”
Whaaaaaaaaat? Things that would have been helpful to know BEFORE testing! Now I’ll never be a forearm model!
When I was finally released my arm looked like it had done battle:
I managed to make the two mile drive home (even though I was told not to drive, again THINGS THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN HELPFUL TO KNOW EARLIER), and then I crashed on my couch where I slept for three and a half hours. YAY for my mom.
And now I wait for the test results. Cliffhanger!