Friday, March 02, 2007

Doctor Visit

Today I visited "Dr. Lisa," the family practice physician currently being seen by my entire household. (Sweet, isn't it?) This was my first time to see her, and my first time in about three years to go in for my physical and whatnot. (I did visit the Health Fair last spring and get my bloodwork done.)

As I'd been told beforehand, Dr. Lisa was great - she took plenty of time to ask me lots of questions, and to listen to my concerns. (When I told her my maternal grandmother died of ovarian cancer, after telling her my dad and his parents all have Type II diabetes - from which my dad died last year at the age of 53 - she said, "You have a sucky family history!" Heh.)

Her other comment, later, was, "Boy, you really do not like to have your cervix touched." This is very true, but I survived, as usual.

[Note: Anyone with blood phobias - hello, Sally - should stop reading now. I'm inserting a pleasing graphic to ensure total isolation.]

See, isn't this pleasing?

When she was done with me, she sent me to get my blood drawn by one of her assistants. I used to have a lot of trouble getting blood drawn, but lately I've been fine. I basically got over my blood-draw phobia by donating blood a few times. This had the negative effect of making some of my veins no good, but I also got much calmer about having blood taken. The last time I got tested for stuff - at the Health Fair - I had no trouble at all.

Unfortunately, today was difficult. The first time the woman stuck me, it didn't hurt at all. The bad news was that it also did not pierce a vein at all. She worked in that area for a while, with increasing amounts of pain, but got nowhere, and gave up to find a different spot (nearby, as it turned out). The second attempt was very painful but successful.

I didn't like how it felt, but I was fine - after all, I am a trooper about this stuff now. I told her how they sometimes have to take it from the back of my hand, and how one person once took it from my wrist. (They use tiny needles for this and it takes forever.) I told her how the next person, after the wrist person, said, "Don't ever let them take it from your wrist! Have them do the back of your hand!"

Then I said, "We have to stop talking about this," because I was starting to feel faint. She started asking me questions about where I work, and I was answering for a bit, but then I just started feeling worse and worse and couldn't answer. I tried desperately to think of other things. Blood was rushing in my ears and I leaned over to put my head on my hand. She called in another nurse who put a cold compress on my forehead. I just felt worse and worse until I felt I could not take much more.

Eventually I managed to mutter, "Are you almost done?" and the other woman who had come in said, "She's already done, honey," and I said, "...oh, I didn't know she was done..." and she said, "That's because you were out." Oh.

I could have sworn the needle was still in, but sure enough it was gone, a band-aid was there, and the rubber-bandy tourniquet was also off my arm. After a minute, they walked me very cautiously to an exam room where I lay on a table for a few minutes and drank some Hi-C before gradually sitting up and being allowed to leave (with an admonition to eat something on the way to work; I'd been fasting for the blood tests, though I didn't feel hungry at all, even before passing out).

They made a note on my chart and will have me lie down in the future. I know this isn't uncommon but I was surprised that it happened to me, especially since lately I have not been phobic about this at all. I am also surprised how terrible it feels to pass out.

1 comment:

momm said...

Aside from your maternal grandmother, my mother, the other women in the family have lived long lives so far. Her older sister who is still alive is in her mid 90's and their mother lived into her 90's. My father's mother lived into her late 80's and your maternal grandfather lived into his mid 80's. Margaret and I have both outlived our mother's age when she died of cancer (46) so I'm thinking that maybe it was the type that is not the genetically inherited type. So I think from my side of the family things don't suck so much. The diabetes thing can be managed to some extent through diet and exercise.