In Vein
May 14, 2006

So, in the process of applying for life insurance, naturally, I have to go in for some insurance company basic blood test type physical. Coolio. I get there and the woman preps me for drawing blood. After having been through Hodgkin's disease in 1999 and again in 2001, having a little blood drawn doesn't bother me. So much so, that I usually watch the "little poke" and watch the tube fill up with blood. It's all no biggee to me.

So, as usual, I'm watching the woman make the poke and insert the first tube. Normal. Then she goes to switch tubes. I don't know if she'd just had a heck of a long day or if she was tired and fussy or just unpracticed, but she bobbled the exchange. I could feel the needle start to slide out, go back in ... and, I swear, I could feel it go through the other side of the vein. It hurt. But, okay, whatever. Accidents happen and I have a high pain tolerance, so I was willing to let it go. She puts the little bits of gauze on my inner elbow and the band-aid on top of it. Standard.

We go to the restroom for the obligatory pee test. Well, that is, she waited outside for me to produce the specimen! As I'm setting the now full cup down on the edge of the sink, I happened to look down at my arm. Blood. Running down my arm. Gauze is totally soaked through and I have honestly seen a lot less blood on a scraped knee than was pooled in my inner elbow and beginning to run down my arm.

"Umm, I never stopped bleeding," I tell the woman as she runs her little test strips through the specimen.

"Uh." She studies the little strip and puts it in its tube.

I reach over her and grab a paper towel as I'm thinking some direct pressure is probably necessary by now. "Umm, I'm still bleeding here ... I've never had this happen before."

She reaches over and grabs her second little strip and places it in the specimen and then studies it before putting that one in its little tube. We go back to the little examining room. (And, by the way ... this woman did not clean off the sink very well after placing that specimen cup there. Disgusting!)

On the way in to the examining room, I notice that now the paper towel has also soaked through - although at least some of that was simply from mopping up the mess that had run down my arm already.

"I've bled through this as well," I tell her, now brandishing the blood-soaked paper towel since I'm not sure what it will take to actually get her attention.

"Oh, you're still bleeding? Well, those little gauze pads are pretty thin."

Excuse me? That's all the concern or interest she can muster up? I have bled through 2 of her thin gauze pads, doubled over, the band-aid and now a relatively large paper towel for the bathroom and she's unconcerned about this?

Her solution? Not to tell me to consider continuing the direct pressure. Instead she grabbed 4 gauze pieces, folded them up and tried to tape those down with a regular band-aid. Hmm. And when it came time for her to give me the pre-printed sheet on how to avoid bruising, she kind of shoved it toward me and said, "Well, you're already bruised, so this doesn't really matter now."

Such concern. I'm so glad such a compassionate person is doing anything in the medical field; she has truly found her calling.

I really hope she was simply having a bad day.

But still ... this shot is from today, three days after she drew blood:


The pictures are somewhat washed out. It looks a lot nastier than this shows.

Posted by Red Monkey at May 14, 2006 10:16 AM | Never Underestimate the Power of Human Stupidity | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


michele said:

Damn hospitals and doctor's arent worth crap.
My 91 year old mother had a 10:40 appointment
He didn't get to her until 11:40..why do doctors
think their time is so important.

May 14, 2006 6:16 PM


AboutPaula said:

My god, that still looks bad. You should have complained about her, I certanly would've!

May 15, 2006 6:39 AM


regina said:

I'm a little p.o.'d for you! What a hag?! Sometimes it does absolutely no good to even wish evil on her ( like getting hit with a ton of "Dale Carnegie's "How to win friends and influence people" upside the head a few times...*channeling negative energy her way....*

May 15, 2006 7:00 AM


blueyes said:

Maybe you ought to have pretended to draw some blood on her and just stab at it to see what reaction you got lol

May 15, 2006 9:15 AM


guppyman said:

That's why you stay far away from those blood sucking vampires!

May 15, 2006 9:22 AM


Ma Titwonky said:

I can totally relate to this. I once bled all over the floor after a blood test and while trying to pee in a baby food jar, and I got about as much sympathy as you did. Where do they find the people who do this for a living?

December 21, 2006 1:27 PM
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