Thursday, March 23, 2006

The doctor and the blood tests

I am back from the doctor’s office. The “ordeal” was over really fast. There was a long waiting list, and I was happy to help the doctor get hurried over. The last thing I want to do is having too much of these time taking stuff when the appointment list is behind time, and the doctor is trying to see everyone. I don’t think they make the best decisions under such circumstances.

The doctor is a rather young chap, in his thirties. He ordered a series of blood tests and etc for me early next week, and will see me in two weeks’ time and discuss my management plans. I am relieved that it can be done rather quickly.

I can see my husband was not exactly happy with the arrangements. I think he didn’t like the idea of more blood tests on me, and having to wait another 2 week before something could be done for me.

My veins are incredibly small and difficult to trace. When I donated blood a few years ago, (when I was well), the nurse told me not to come back again. After people around me have done with their pint, and the next person finishing another pint, my bag was less than three quarters full of blood. They had no choice but to stop the process. My quarter full bag could not be used for transfusion. I hope that it is used for other stuff and not wasted.

I think my husband was really traumatised during my last blood test. Three phlebotomists (from the junior, to senior and finally the manager) took more than half an hour (and a silent prayer) to finally get some blood out of me. The junior phlebotomist, one of the fastest and confident one I have ever saw, was reduced to tears. I also broke down then. I was not sure how I felt that time. Was I sorry to reduce a confident young man (the phlebotomist) to tears and traumatised other kids waiting for their turn? Or was I crying out of self pity. My veins at the elbows and the back of my hands were all poked. I walked out with plasters and bruises.

In the course of my own dissertation research, parents often tell me how they would hide and cry when they see their children “getting poked”. It is a “humbling”, " experience for them. For all their successes, power or possessions in life, they were entirely helpless when their kids pleaded to be spared of needles. I wondered if my husband felt and did the same.

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