I'm going to start this post with a definition. Mainly because, until this Summer when Stephanie told me she was going to take some classes so she could be one, I had no idea what a phlebotomist was. But also because I like to call things what they are... If it's a duck, call it a duck...
A phlebotomist: an individual trained to draw blood, either for laboratory tests or for blood donations. They are also responsible for performing Phlebotomies.
I'm no phlebotomist, but as a girl who's had children, I've had some experience with having blood drawn and this just doesn't seem up to par. (Excuse my pasty white arms)..
As mentioned above, I do know a phlebotomist and I think I need to consult her for her professional opinion on my latest run-in with one....
Last week I needed to have some lab work done. (No, I'm NOT pregnant)... I'd talked to my dr. about having my thyroid checked. I feel drained and tired a lot, I'm always hot, and I weigh more than I want to.
I'm a Google-er (which many times has led to self diagnoses) and this time was no different. I'd determined my lack of energy, my body's inability to control my inner thermostat, and my weight were due to a thyroid imbalance.
After discussing my symptoms and self diagnosis, my dr. thought it would be a good idea to have the thyroid checked. Of course she might have thought it would just shut me up for a while, too, though... Either way, I was relieved and saw this as my chance to get medical proof that I indeed did have a condition and DW could stop saying I spend way too much time self-diagnosing on the Internet. The bad part about the whole deal was the lab work that would be needed...I am a straight-up SISSY when it comes to needles and blood...I used to pass out and the first time I had my blood drawn when I was pregnant with Cooper, they made me lay on a bed to have it done. Dramatic, I know. I'll claim it. I have gotten slightly better over the years, though, and I can now have it done sitting in the chair like a big girl.
My Dad got back from Africa last Sunday, so he was off from work all week and I'd asked him to take me so that he could hold AB while I was having it done.
The girl at the desk called me back and told me I'd be in Room 1. I walked in, shut the door behind me and settled into the big plastic chair with a magazine, expecting to be there a few minutes. I was flipping through the pages when this big tall girl flings open the door and gruffly says, "Are you OKAY?" I was a little confused and sweetly said, "Yeah..." (with a smile, because I want to keep all those girls with the needles on my good side and I could tell she was aggravated)... She rolled her eyes and said, "Well, we keep doors OPEN around here, don't be shutting the door..." I apologized and she walked off.
She was ticked... I was confused... I shut the door out of habit---you always shut the door at the doctor's office...???? I don't know if I looked like the kind of person who'd try to swipe needles or what, but rest assured, I am not (but if I was) the stealing kind of person, the only thing in that place that would have any value or appeal to me would be the little individually wrapped anti-bacterial wipes. I love to have those in my car and diaper bag. (LOVE that they give them out at Chick-fil-A, too!)
I was hoping that the same girl wasn't going to be drawing my blood. I had a feeling that my hopes for saving my veins were in vain. (Ha!) After waiting about 5 more minutes, she came back in the room, grabs my arm and puts the band on it as tight as she possibly can. I tried to do start some small talk. I told her how much I dreaded having my blood drawn and that I always have... yada yada yada...This is my standard conversation for procedures such as these and typically the NICE phlebotomists laugh and say "it won't hurt a bit"....She had no time for sissies though or conversation. Without so much as a warning, she pokes me and I swear it felt like it went in one side of my arm and out the other. Then she puts the cotton ball on the entry site and wraps the longest piece of "stickier-than-duck-tape" tape on my arm so tight that my skin was overlapping. Then she took off her gloves and started putting away everything, still silent. I asked if we were done, to which I got a "yep"...
With that, I walked out to the waiting room to get my Dad & Annabelle and get the heck out of there. On the way to the truck and as we were running errands I kept telling my Dad that my arm was still burning and hurting... later when I got home, I took the tape off and I've been sporting this bruise for a WEEK now.
I took this picture today and I know it doesn't look that bad, but it's starting to fade.... it really was worse... either way, I've never gotten a bruise before when I've had blood drawn and it's never hurt as bad as this did either. So a lesson was definitely learned... I'll never shut the door when I go in to have lab work done again. I'm just doing my public service for the week and passing the tip on... So, if ya'll go in to have blood drawn, "don't be shutting the door!"...it will just make your phlebotomist ill with you and she'll take it out on your veins.
Oh, and just in case you're concerned about my thyroid... don't be.
I got the results back...turns out my thyroid is normal. I know, I was shocked, too. ALL the signs and symptoms pointed to thyroid disorder.... Looks like I'm hot all the time because, well, it's hot most of the time in Florida--and I'm tired because my 10 (nearly 11) month old keeps me chasing her all day, and if I'd stop eating so many cookies I wouldn't weigh as much. Go figure...