Friday, June 20, 2008

Drilling For Blood

God knows I hate to complain. But, I find plenty to whine about when I have to go to the doctor. No matter how much I love my Dr. Cutiepatootie, I still can’t help feeling out of sorts after I’ve been to see him.

First, I have to make an appointment to go to the lab. Even when I inform them that I have to come in for a fasting blood sugar, among other things, they always seem to want to give me a 9:30 or 10:00 a.m. appointment. That amounts to at least 12 or 14 hours of fasting, which can lead to a bout of low blood sugar, but the worst thing is that I don’t get my morning coffee until I get home, and sometimes it’s too late to bother.

When I finally get there, the two techs in the lab are a husband and wife duo. The husband is far and away the best at finding the right vein. The wife, not so much. In fact, she couldn’t find a vein if it were sitting on the outside of your skin. . Last Tuesday, my appointment was earlier than usual, 9:00 a.m. All right. I can do that. Coffee by 10:00. But, by the time I was called into the lab, it was 9:20. And, worse, hubby-tech was busy taking X-rays, so I had to make do with wife-tech. After she stuck me a couple time, coming up dry, she threw up her hands and said,” I’ll just have to let hubby-tech do this. I refuse to stick anyone more than twice.”

Then, she turned to the gentleman sitting in the other chair, and proceeded to stick him twice before deciding to let hubby-tech have him, too. However, she did say she could stick his finger and do a couple of tests with that little bit of blood. Even with the automatic sticker thingy, she had to punch two of his fingers. I was feeling sorrier for him than me, by now, thinking, “And, all this torture BEFORE coffee!”

By now, it was after 9:30 and hubby-tech came in and looked a little irritated when he saw that she had made two patients wait for him, and just outside, there were about three more cooling their heels. In fact, he was so far behind, he apparently didn’t want to take time to find my vein, so he stuck one of the veins on the back of my hand. Those veins are easy to see, and I don’t know why she didn’t try that.

Finally, I was free to go home and wait for the next round, scheduled for two days later at 9:00. I thought, “Well, at least it won’t take as long with the doctor. He’s usually pretty much on time and it doesn’t take him long to give me the lab results.

Silly me. Dutifully, I arrived at his office at 9:00. His nurse called me into the examining room at 9:20. This was more like it. By 10:30, still sitting there, I had read every issue of “Country Time” in the room, plus all the children’s books and certificates hanging on the walls. I was contemplating climbing up on the examining table and taking a short nap, when he finally came in, full of apologies, and seeming not quite so cute, at this point. One of the partners was out of the office and he was covering for her, blah, blah, blah.

I wanted to snap, “Can the apology. Let’s get to ME.” But, I didn’t. I smiled and assured him that I understood. (My eye.) I was out of there in less than 10 minutes.

I’m supposed to see him every 6 months, so I can usually get away with making it a little later and asking his nurse to call me with the results so I only have to make two appointments about once a year. But, now and then I think it is probably a good idea to see him in person, so I endure two visits in a week, and end up feeling like a martyr.

Here’s the thing. You’d think, wouldn’t you, that after waiting a total of two and a half hours without my morning coffee, on top of suffering the abuse by the tech tag team, he could at least find something WRONG.


patsy said...

glad he didn't.

kenju said...

I'm glad he didn't too, Betty!

I know what you mean about fasting lab work. I always go a week before the doctor's app't., at 7:30 am. After they are finished, I go to a restaurant and treat myself to a nice breakfast, with lots of coffee. You should do that too!

Nancy said...

Judy's right, Betty. I love to go for the early morning blood tests because then I get the big greasy Spoon Diner breakfast.You know, the sausage that has been cooking on the grill since 5 A.M. and the pound of fried potatoes or grits, they throw on your plate.The eggs that the guy never breaks the yolks of, as I mostly do. And to top it all off, a big biscuit smeared with butter and topped with orange marmalade.

Now that the blood has been turned in for testing, it's safe to eat all that stuff that sends both your weight and chlosterol up.

Also, when I get up in the morning of the test I drink as much water as I possibly can and that makes it easier for the tech to find a vein. The water ,they tell me, has no effect on the results of the test.

I go to the Doctor the next week and butter wouldn't melt in my mouth as I innocently look at her and swear I have followed my diet to the T.......

Betty said...

patsy: Me, too. Not that I don't have physical problems. I'm diabetic, but I manage to keep it under control.

kenju: I like to get an Egg MacMuffin at MacDonalds after my bloodwork. I take it home and drink my own coffee. Yum.

nancy: Thanks for the tip about the water. I never thought about doing that. I lie to my doctor, too. lol

Bear Naked said...

I found the perfect solution for waiting and waiting in the waiting rooms. I now bring a good large book that I am interested in reading and then the time seems to fly by.
I still have to wait but at least I am enjoying it.

Peggy said...

I'm also pleased there was nothing wrong with you.

Next time, bring a book or knitting. If they're really late, just leave. You know that your doctor won't ban you from his office for THAT. Just stop by the reception desk and ask for an appointment that isn't quite so obviously inconvenient for the doctor.

Richard said...

I agree with bear naked on waiting room strategy. If you don't have a good book to take to the doctor's office; go buy one before you go. It still is a pain in the butt to wait all that long, but you get to read a good book.

The total disrespect for our time, (the most important thing all of us have and the only thing that is truly finite) is a big irritation about going to the Doctor's office and maybe one of the reasons we all tend to put it off.

Glad you're good though.


Betty said...

bear naked: I meant to take a book with me, but forgot. (Senior moment)

peggy: I considered leaving, and now I wish I had. It is actually pretty unusual to have to wait more than 15 or 20 minutes.

richard: Usually, if one of the doctors is going to be out of the office, they call his/her patients and reschedule. This must have been a last minute thing that left the other doctors having to cover her patients, too. I'm trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, here. But, you're right about the long waits in dr's offices.

Dianne said...

I glad he found nothing.

hubby-tech needs to get himself a mistress who can find veins!!

Anonymous said...

I hate starting the day without my coffee, in fact everybody hates ME starting the day without my coffee to, I wonder why!
So pleased that you have the all clear x

Golden To Silver Val said...

It seems like its taking longer and longer to see the doctor. The last time I went, I waited in that little room so long I thought they forgot about me. Ever notice their reading material sucks? Note to self...remember to take book!

Betty said...

dianne: From the looks of things, he needs a mistress just on general principles.

little wanderer: Gotta have my morning coffee, or the rest of my day goes downhill fast.

golden to silver val: After I read the above-mentioned magazines and kiddie-lit, I still had time to do a full critique of the prints hanging on the wall. I'll remember the book next time.

Cazzie!!! said...

Oh my, and so, being a nurse and all I know about finding those hidden veins...sad that the lady works as a blood tech when she can' think to take it from behind the hand!
I am glad you have nothing going on with your bloods... and next time, just take a plane Down Under and I will take your blood...and, even better, I can make you a coffee with my Delonghi coffee machine :)

CarmenSinCity said...

They always have a really hard time finding my veins too! It sucks. I always leave with bruises and multiple punctures.

Betty said...

cazzie: I'd love to take you up on your offer. Coffee. Yum.

carmensincity: She's the only one who has ever had to give up. My veins are usually pretty easy to find. She is just a bad tech.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I'm glad everything was good Betty. I know what you mean about those 'fasting' blood tests. Sounds like they need to replace "wifey-tech"...or give "hubby-tech" a raise. It's so nice when you get a technician that actually KNOWS what they're doing...especially when it comes to NEEDLES. Most people aren't in love with that part anyway. Congrats on the good outcome.

Word Tosser said...

I read a few years ago, that someone sent a bill to the Dr. because she had to wait 45 minutes to get in... So she billed him for her time... don't know if she got anything, but I found it funny and thought it was a great idea..

Chancy said...

Oh THE HORROR of it all

I hope you took something with you in the car with a high glycemic index to give your low blood sugar a much needed jolt after all that waiting and poking, and poking and waiting.

Poor baby.....;)