Wednesday, October 20, 2004

5, count 'em

Five times I was stuck by a needle today. I had to get some bloodwork done this morning, as I've just signed up with a new doctor (the amazements of actual health insurance). It's my family's doctor, and before that, my great-grandmother's. That being the case, the nurses there have heard about me for years, without having met me. They've been falling over themselves the two times I've been there. Today, I knew how it'd go.

Sometimes nurses are nervous in dealing with me. It's fault of too much empathy in this case, their thinking going something like, I don't want to hurt him. They aren't going to. I'm no more fragile than you. But some think it just the same. So they're tentative, instead of just doing it with practised ease.

And what happens? They end up digging around in me, getting ever more nervous now, flustered, never finding the vein.

This happened three times today before the nurse, red-faced, decides she can't do it. That I'll have to go a clinic down the street where an elderly lady never misses.

And she didn't. Thirty seconds, one try, pow. While talking about her dog Wiggly.

That's four. The fifth? I get home only to have them call, saying she'd forgot to take a last needed vial. I have to go back the same day, or re-do all the samples. Aargh.

So I do. It reminds me of the time my old doctor's nurse dropped a vial on the floor and I had to go back.

I can't complain too much, really. Not about the first nurse's nerves. It's a natural instinct in some people. I've had people ask friends or family if I can talk. When I'm right there. I always want to say, "No, but I'm working on it!" But I don't. I would feel so bad. It doesn't happen that often.

So call me a pin-cushion today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Besides the silly little misconception that you need cuddling and nurturing (at least in this one aspect... ha), some nurses do their jobs so much better than others, specifically when it comes to drawing blood. When I had Eliza, one of the nurses who took my blood 'blew a vein,' as they call it. She claimed she couldn't find the vein but, believe me, no human being with vision could miss finding my veins. The top of my left hand was dark blue and ugly for several days. When one of the lab techs came in the next couple of hours to draw more blood, she noticed my hand and said, "Who took that? A nurse? They don't know what they're doing. Did she tell you she had trouble finding a vein? Girl, you have excellent veins. I don't know why they just don't let us do it." And the i.v., ouch--that was even a worse experience. I thought that nurse was actually grinding the needle into my bones.

Maybe concerning your experience, you just make them nervous, not because of the wheelchair but because of your wonderfully good looks. ;)