Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blood And Nuts

Every three months my Doctor sends me for blood work, most times Cindy has to go the same day, the best time to show up at the lab is between 5am when they open and 7am before the crowd gets there.

Last month we waited until right at 7am, not thinking it was a Friday.

The unwritten rule at the lab is never show up on a Monday or Friday, walking into the door at a few minutes before 7 we see a standing room only crowd in the waiting room.

Signing in everyone gets the same treatment, “Are you fasting this morning” to which you had better say yes, or else get “the lecture” and sent away to return another day with an empty belly, I think this may be one of the ways they keep the waiting room cleared out.

I am fasting was the answer we chose, we sign our names, note the time, promise our insurance has not changed, provide our insurance card and license so they can verify what you just said, you know everything but give a blood sample, but wait isn’t that why we are here.

Only one phlebotomist is working before 8am, and guess where we were sitting when 8 o’clock rolled around, at that time two more phlebotomists walk in, but do they go directly to the back and begin taking blood? Nope because like I mentioned above this was a Friday.

I notice everyone behind the counter peering into a paper bag, and all of a sudden the smell of chocolate and nuts drifted through the room.

Remember this room is full of people who are fasting, and when your stomach is growling your sense of smell is definitely heightened, it was like one of those old E F Hutton commercials, everyone stopped talking at the same time and all heads simultaneously turned toward the counter.

I think they felt the stares as they quickly disappeared into the back room and began calling names with their baited cookie breath.

The first name they called was the lady sitting next to us, she slowly stood and looked around the room as everyone glared at her, about the time she got to the counter the phlebotomist apologized and sent her back to her seat, explaining he had grabbed from the bottom of the stack rather than the top.

I think he still had cookies on his mind and Mrs. Johnson was proud to come back and wait rather than face being lynched, because she had somehow jumped ahead of everyone else.
It wasn’t long before our names were called and we found ourselves sitting in a chair with a band wrapped around our arms, the young lady poking at the veins on my arm was laughing at her partner who was doing the same with Cindy’s arm.

This is the first time I have seen you here, how long have you been doing this Cindy asked, the man just smiled and said “you are my first, the waiting room was full and they wanted to catch up this morning so they grabbed me”

They grabbed you? Cindy replied, Yes I was standing on the corner waving a sign when a girl came out and asked if I wanted to learn how to draw blood, I said cool I never did that before.

I laughed and said “Hey Cindy at least your guy wore his glasses, this girl seems to have forgotten hers” my phlebotomist laughed and said “that’s why I want you to hold both of your arms side by side, that way I at least hit one”

My suggestion is, never joke with someone who is holding a needle, ready to search for a vein in your arm; your best bet is to wait until after the deed is done.

Which would you prefer, the Phlebotomist who forgot her glasses, or the sign waver they brought in off the street? I say we take the cookies.

26 comments:

  1. Dang...I should have waited until tomorrow to read your post. I gotta go and have lab work done tomorrow morning. Ugh.

    Best tricks: drink water ahead of time (so that your veins are not dehydrated) and don't look while they do it (it hurts more when you look).

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    1. Very good tip on drinking water ahead of time, and I never watch but Cindy on the other hand loves to see it all happen :^0

      Good Luck tomorrow I hope your wait is short.

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  2. Drink water??? They tell hubby to only take a tiny sip with his medication... and then when the blood work comes back... they tell him he needs to drink more water, he's dehydrated! What the heck???

    I probably would have done some seriously bodily harm to the pleb with the bag! That's cruel and unusual punishment for a room full of starving people! Very cruel!

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    1. Hey Ms. A, Yes the people at our lab told us to drink water before coming in because it makes it easier to draw the blood, as Pixel Peeper mentioned the veins are less likely to be dehydrated.

      I was going to ask for a cookie on my way out but didn't see the one who brought the bag in Ha Ha

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  3. It depends: the girl who forgot her glasses, is she nearsighted or farsighted? It makes a big difference.

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    1. Yes Stephen, I say if she is going to poke me I want her to be nearsighted :)

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  4. Jimmy, this post was HILARIOUS!

    ".....it was like one of those old E F Hutton commercials, everyone stopped talking at the same time and all heads simultaneously turned toward the counter."

    Bwhahahahahhahahaha!

    If you can believe this, I was at one time a certified medical assistant who specialized in phlebotomy. I can remember first time I had to draw blood from my first REAL patient. OMG...I was a nervous wreck!

    Hope you had FAB weekend, buddy!

    P.S. Hi to Cindy!

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    1. Cindy has thought about going to school for her Medical Assistant and Phlebotomy Certifications, but with the cost and the available jobs we have to wonder, and also at our age you have to think about that too.

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  5. I might go with the sign waver. He sounds enthusiastic, anyway! Mean to bring in cookies to a waiting room full of fasters, but then it WAS Friday!

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    1. Hey Abby, I have to admit he did have more personality, but never did he reveal where the cookies were, I guess that is to be expected on Friday, Right?

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  6. There's nothing I dread more than a blood draw. Yes, I prefer a dental or ob/gyn visit!

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    1. I never was good at the blood draws myself Bijoux, Dentists I dread also, actually have a dental appointment tomorrow, hopefully it wont end up a bad blog post Ha Ha

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  7. I have to say, I admire anyone who wants to attempt to learn to draw blood or draws blood for a living, whether they be near sighted or a sign holder recruited for the day. I'm not sure I could do their work; its hard enough giving a dog his insulin shot twice a day; not sure I could poke needles into people (especially young children/babies) for eight hours a day!

    Do hope the lab tests all come back normal!

    betty

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    1. Hi Betty, I have to admit that the people in our lab are actually both professional and fun to be around, the cookie incident I think they could have shared in the back rather than out at the counter, but with the crowd there is no way there were enough cookies in that bag.

      I am not one for needles either, anyone who is responsible enough to draw blood and give shots has my respect, although I will "Poke" fun at them when I can :)

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  8. OMG I love the way you tell your stories. This one made me laugh out loud. It was the last line that did it. 'I say we take the cookies' ... hilarious.

    I don't think we have clinics like that, but how would I know. My blood is always taken by a nurse at the doctor's surgery, by appointment, with only me there. We do have to wait in line for flu jabs though, each October, and that's like a meeting of old friends. Sometimes people have hung back just to continue a conversation....lol. Happy Monday, I hope you have a good week.

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    1. Hi Valerie, Yes our blood draws are done at a separate lab from the Doctors office, as far as the flu shots go they are given at the office, but you can actually get them at a pharmacy also.

      I imagine the people who line up for them each year are the same, and if you are not friends already then you have made one.

      A Happy week to you also my Dear Friend.

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  9. OH ya...sounds the same as here in Canada... We get there about an hour before the lab technicians start working...and wait...if you don't get there about an hour before...you have a long wait... They use to have a tear off number system..I was out for a walk...so as I pasted the hospital... I popped in and took a number for hubby, before anyone got there... So hubby takes him time that morning...goes in about 10 minutes before they open...and he has number one.... after the stares he got..he never would think of letting me do that again:)))...

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    1. Bev, I can just see the looks he got walking in after everyone else with number one Ha Ha we don't have the number system here, they have you sign a list with the time you arrived, then they grab your paperwork off of the stack, I bet in this case you could sign in and come back in a while :)

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  10. This post is extremely funny! I really loved reading this.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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    1. Welcome Gina, I am proud you enjoyed it and hope to see you again soon.

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  11. oh my gosh..as a former health care provider I get and like this humor. I do not think the staff realized how much the scent was in the patient waiting room.

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    1. Hey Annmarie, I don't think they realized it either, but after they had drawn my blood a cookie would have been a nice reward don't you think Ha Ha

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  12. Another great post! I think most of us can relate to it. I also have to get my blood drawn every three months. After I'd been having it done for a while, one of the nurses told me to make my appointment right before their lunch time because their waiting room has to be empty before they can go. They have 4 different people who draw blood there. I've been going there for a while now and I've told them all the same thing. "You have one chance to take my blood, either get get it right the first time you stick that needle in my arm, or we're done. Not only today, but as long as I come here!" So far, so good!

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    1. Thank you Pat, I am going to try that right before lunch thing.

      I have actually stopped going to a lab completely because of a screw-up drawing my blood, I may have to go back and do a post on the mess ups, kind of a blooper post Ha Ha

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  13. I'm surprised a riot didn't break out over those cookies! Lol. I know the waiting room well. Luckily, I discovered I could make an appointment and skip the lines. Woo!

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    1. Angelia, I think had they not got the line moving right then there would have been a cookie riot.

      Having an appointment would be the way to go, however we don't get that option here.

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