Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Nurse Wretched

Because I have diabetes, I go to see my endocrinologist every 3 months. I've been doing this for years, and years, and years. And either before or at each appointment, I have to get my blood drawn for lab work. I hate it. Every single time. It's something I never get used to.

I just switched to a new doctor. Mainly because my appointments took over 2 hours, and only 5-10 minutes of that time were spent talking to my doctor. The rest was spent waiting- for about an hour and a half in the waiting room, and then another half hour in the cold little patient room. I've never had any doctor wait on ME for that length of time-or any length of time. I started to feel a little disrespected that I had to wait on him that long and for mainly that reason decided to find a new endocrinologist.

Yesterday, I went to my appointment with my new doctor. I still had to wait a long time. About an hour in the waiting room. (But apparently, this is because they told me my appointment time was a half hour earlier than it actually was because they like to allow time to fill out the paperwork- which only takes about 3 minutes.)

Finally, a nurse came to get me. The first thing she asked me to was to step on the scale. I always say "no thanks" to the scale. I'm not over or under weight, and I've been the same size since high school, but I just don't like the scale. Once I realized it's my right as a patient to say, "no thanks" that's what I've done for years. I can tell it annoys the staff, but getting weighed would annoy me even more. So when I said my usual, "no thanks" the nurse was so pissed and seemed to take it as a personal insult! She just stared at me as if calling my bluff. Then she asked me how tall I was. When I told her, "5 '3" she looked at me in disbelief. So I said, "Does that not sound right?"
"Usually we measure people." So I said, "Ok, that's fine. I don't mind being measured." I stood up against the measurement tape on the wall and she said, "Hmmmm. You're 5 '2 and 5/8ths," totally proving that I was, in fact, lying when I said I was 5 '3.

From there, our exchange only became more uncomfortable and awkward.

Then it was time for her to take my blood. Let me say, that although I have a phobia about getting my blood taken, other than passing out a few times, getting blood from me is not a problem. I've been told I have good, fat, juicy veins. (Ewww. Sorry, but that IS what I've been told.) I've never had anyone poke around and be unable to get my blood. Until yesterday.

The nurse stabbed at me a few times, and then went from trying to be intimidating, to being sort of a blubbering idiot who seemed very unsure of her abilities. When I asked her what just happened. She just kept saying "I'm sorry" and added something about "I'm not use to doing this with gloves on and the vein wasn't where I thought it was." (Which seems like I lie when I think about it now.) I didn't know if blood was spewing or what, and was too afraid to look. She just bandaged it up and walked around to my other arm and started pushing my sleeve up.

Anyway, we got interrupted (praise GOD almighty) by the doctor, so she looked at me as soon as he entered the room and said quietly, "I'll come back and we'll do this part later." And I thought to myself, "Oh no, we will NOT."

And WE didn't. At the end of my time of talking with my new doctor about all the things you talk about with new doctors, I told him that nurse could not maker any more attempts at sticking her needles in me. As wimpy as it sounds, and is, I was nearly in tears when I told him. And he told me he'd send his "best" nurse in.

Which by the way, she was. She told me how easy my veins are to get at and got if over with nice and quick.

I like to think that after I left the office the doctor found the first nurse and fired her. I like to think I will never have to see her again. And I still like to think I am not just 5 '2 and 5/8ths, but a nice, solid 5 '3!


englishmaninLA said...

dear 5'2 and 5/8ths inches..sorry I mean
5'3"...a previous wife of mine (Lynn.sigh) must have had the same nurse..only in England. On taking a blood sample (or attempting to), after 14 attempts on one arm, 7 on the other, and lots of under breath muttering, she finally gave up saying "Your body must be cold". Oh? I guess so...especially after 2 hours in a 75+ degree clinic, huh?. I doubt it..how about just plain incompetence?
Unless there is a correlation to height...Lynn was (is) only 5' 1"...or was that 5' 0 and 5/8th inches..?..hmmmmmm...
Have a great day..
English in LA...

kerri said...

and by cold, did she mean dead? because i'm pretty sure your blood still comes out of veins when you're cold...AND since we're warm blooded animals how cold do we really get anyway? (unless, dead!)

thx for your funny comment Englishman!