Thursday, March 29, 2012

Down and out

No, not me – the blood techs who tried to start an IV. But I get ahead of myself.

Friday, the heart stress test

I should have realized that it was going to be that kind of day when I got to the garage so early that, lo and behold, there was room to park on the Johnny Mathis floor. Johnny Mathis? What the hell? I debated this, then put in a text.

Me, to Cori: Parked on the Johnny Mathis floor how the hell am I supposed to remember that??
Cori: What? No Tammy?

This is why I have the friends I do – they know exactly what I’m talking about, no matter how obscure.

Anyway, I decide to risk it, and head off to the Galt for the stress test. A good sign for a change is that the guy who comes to get me is, hello, a hottie! Sweet! I immediately impress him with my witty banter.

Cute medical guy: Have you ever had a stress test? Do you know anything about how they’re done?
Me, modestly: No, haven’t had one before, but I looked it up on the Google, so I think we can consider me an expert now.

He’s oddly silent at this, clearly in awe. Shrug, I’m used to it.

I then get hooked up to all kinds of machinery for the initial heart ultrasound. Which seems to indicate something, because the US tech decides I need an IV of something or other. To my paranoid mind, they’re being deliberately vague. “I think we need to do an IV. You know, just…..because.” Hmm. But little do they know about my “problem.”

Me: Umm, is an IV easier to put in than to get a blood draw?
US tech: Actually, an IV is harder because it needs to be threaded through the vein a bit.
Me: Oh.

The IV woman comes in, and I give her my standard spiel.

Me: Just so you know, it’s VERY hard for anyone to find a vein on me, they’re very tiny and roll around, so it usually takes them 6 or more tries. I don’t care about that, I just thought I’d tell you.
Nice IV Woman: It’s funny, but everyone who comes in tells me what a hard stick they are – then I come in and I could throw a dart from across the room and get a vein!

This strikes me as hysterically funny.

She continues, looking at my arm, “….but you might be the real deal. Let’s see what we have here….”

(Half an hour later….)

NIVW: Well, this isn’t going so well, is it….

We look down at my right arm, where she’s made 2 attempts, first after getting the babiest tiniest IV she could find. She then decides to go for the left arm.


Oops? I look down and see a rapidly growing bump on my wrist.

“You’re getting a nice little hematoma there. Umm, I’ll call for the other tech.”

Sigh. The other tech comes in, and as is usually the case she’s much more business-like than the first one. Then there’s her assistant, who starts plying me with blankets, and putting little heat packs all over my hands and arms, to help the veins plump up. There’s a lot of hustle and bustle for just an IV. I’m idly listening to their chatter, when I hear…..what?

“So we might have to use the VeinFinder, because I can’t find anything….”

A VeinFinder?? Seriously? This is awesome!

Me, delighted: You really have a VeinFinder? Is that like a Studfinder, where it beeps when it finds a vein?
New IV Tech: Well, actually, it does kind of work like that, though it’s a big machine so we’d have to move you to another room.

They’re debating that, then New IV Tech decides my shoulder might be a good place to start an IV.

Me: Oh, that would be cool, because that area is all numb so it wouldn’t even hurt.
NIVT: Why is it numb?
Me: Well, that’s the arm where I had all those lymph nodes removed. You know, because of The Cancer.
NIVT: Wait, you had nodes removed? This is your bad arm? No one told me that!

She starts backing away from me and disappears. This is starting to feel just a wee bit Monty Python-esque.

Then two doctors come bustling in, and take a look at what the ultrasound tech has been looking at. More cryptic conversation between them, then:

Doctor #1: “Blah blah blah, we’ve decided the images are good enough, blah blah, because we can’t fuckall on you in terms of veins, blah blah, so we’ll call good enough and you can be someone else’s problem some other day, blah blah blah.”

I paraphrase slightly there, but basically that’s what it was. Which is fine, though I’m disappointed I won’t get to experience the VeinFinder. Damn, maybe next time. At least I can be proud of the fact that I’ve broken two more blood draw/IV people. Yesssssss!

We finally forge ahead with the stress test, get that done, and I leave them stunned and amazed at what a fine physical specimen I am. Or something. The doctor calls that evening, and she doesn’t seem too concerned that I’m going to keel over at any moment, though she mentions something about increased pulmonary artery pressure, and the need for more tests. Greeeeeat. Can I just say never mind at this point?

1 comment:

Lisa Grey said...

Ummmm - why did no one know you'd had lymph nodes out??? Isn't chart-reading part of their paycheck???