Friday, May 2, 2008

Bleeding for Godot

It's 4:30pm. My appointment was at 3pm and there are five people ahead of me. Two women on both sides of me who are coughing up lungs, an elderly couple arguing over which one is dying first and needs to go to the bathroom before they go anywhere and a 18-year old who looks as though he has a rash EVERYWHERE.

Me? I'm just here for a physical. I'm just thinking a quick disrobe, a few coughs, deep inhales and a blood test. How did I get into this delayed "Groundhog Day" sequel? At 5pm I'm in the exam room which is Latin for "extended waiting room #2". A robe that doesn't quite cover my comfort level, a table that hasn't been warm since an little Bobby used it as a urinal and three different size boxes of latex gloves. (um..please choose the extra small gloves when you arrive doc, please)

A lab tech comes in to take my temperature, blood pressure and two tubes of blood for testing. I have had many, many blood tests in my life, but I still can't watch the needle enter my skin. Now I know why. She pokes, prods, squeezes, looks for veins that aren't there, muscle that is and hits only nerves or bone or anything but a vein for the next 20 minutes of my now shortened life. Two complete misses with that weapon of mass destruction.

Now seriously. I can not and would not be able to take blood from someone else, but if it WAS MY JOB, I would find a way to do it right..or at least not recreate the Spanish Inquisition. She had to ask the doctor to prick me the third time but by then I would have settled for an amputation before letting that lab tech stick me again. The doctor completes the test and ends my exam asking how I have been feeling. Actually, I didn't feel sick at all until I came to this office. but now I'm coughing, arguing that I need to go to the restroom before I leave and have a rash that won't stop itching but cheerfully respond, "I'm fine doc, same time next year?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice, well appointed VETS office woof!