The Bean Blog (currently on hiatus)

Friday, July 09, 2004

Stuck with a Needle Again

I had blood drawn this morning. I've been dreading this for weeks, but I finally did it, and I didn't pass out. Goodie. I never used to be afraid of bloodwork. In fact, I sort of looked distainfully at those who were afraid of needles. Yes, it hurts a little, but really, it's not a big deal. Then I had to have blood drawn after fasting (to check glucose and cholesterol and all that good stuff). I was fine the first time. The second time, I passed out. That's what scared me this time around. I didn't want to pass out.

I attributed my passing out to the fasting beforehand. I tend to eat as soon as I get up. I think I'd be fine with a half an hour or an hour of being up before eating, but getting bloodwork done is never that easy. Take for instance today. I got up at 7:30am, took the 8am train into town, was at the lab by 8:30am, and then had to wait until 10am before it was my turn. By that time, I was completely stressed out about the whole thing.

In addition, I had to pee in a cup for some test or another. When I arrived at the lab at 8:30, I had to pee, but I figured that I should wait so that when my name was called, I'd be ready to go. By 10am, I really had to go. But you get stuck in that conundrum: Okay, it's 9am now. I really have to go. If it'll be another half an hour till they call me, I'll be fine, but if they call me in five minutes, the tank will be empty. Then at 9:30am you're saying, If only I had gone at 9am. Now, should I assume it will still be another half an hour till they call me? Or since it's already been an hour, I should assume I'll be called any second? Then you look around the room. Who the hell was here when I got here anyway? But you can't figure out how many people are ahead of you. You've been too busy obsessing about 1) passing out and 2) having to pee to pay attention to who was there and who wasn't.

Now, to top all of that off, it was cold in the waiting room. I would love it if someone could explain to me why air conditioned buildings must be kept at a temperature of about 55 degrees when it is 85 outside. I mean, you dress in shorts and a t-shirt in order to be comfortable outside, then you walk into a building and feel like you've stepped into the artic circle.

So I was anxious, needing to pee, and shivering by the time my name was called. But I did not pass out. Good for me.

As an aside, did you know that you have to sign a special piece of paper in order for them to test you for HIV? For all the other tests (that I had anyway), the doctor just checks off a box on a piece of paper and says, "Give this to the lab." But for an HIV test, you have to sign a piece of paper that says something along the lines of "The doctor is ordering this test and that's okay by me." And they won't even mail the results to my house. They'll only give them to my doctor, who can then tell me. Learn something new every day.


  • I can relate to the lab drama. Whenever I have to give a urine sample AND wait for bloodwork, I just tell the receptionist when I arrive that I have to go to the bathroom right then and can I please have a cup? They are always happy to oblige, and then I can wait my turn for the bloodletting in (relative) comfort.

    By Blogger Rita, at 8:51 AM, July 16, 2004  

  • That's a good tip, thanks! Receptionist types always intimidate me, but I'll give it a shot next time around. Of course, I'm hoping that I don't have to pee in a cup or have bloodwork done again for a long time...... :)

    By Blogger Oz, at 1:14 PM, July 16, 2004  

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