Living with M.S.

"Living with M.S. is sort of like training for a long race. The harder you try, and the longer you keep at it, the stronger you become.
Eventually, looking back, you may be amazed at the power you possessed, even when you had no idea it was within your reach." (Linda Ann Nickerson)


Let's leave the blood draws to the experts

Best beware of the fumbling phlebotomist.

MSers tend to be experts at enduring needle sticks. Hey, plenty of us do our own shots at least a few times a week, if not daily. And we can pretty much count on our multiple sclerosis specialists to order up blood draws during neurological check-ins.

You know – vitamin D measurements and all.

We’ve all heard horror stories of doctors poking around for veins. Most of them don’t draw blood as often as the phlebotomists in the clinic and hospital labs.

On the other hand (or forearm, as the case may be) most of us have come to accept lab visits, usually feeling grateful that these expert needlers can get the job done fairly painlessly.

That’s usually the case.

But it sure wasn’t my experience this time.

One might think a major university medical center would employ the most experienced and skilled phlebotomists around. Most often, they probably do.

But everyone has to have a first day on the job, right?

I'm not even sure it was her first day of the job. She looked rather (shall we say) seasoned. Just trying to give her the benefit of the doubt.
This fumbling phlebotomist shoved my sleeve up, snapped the rubber strap onto my arm, and started stabbing.

“Just a little poke,” she said.

It stung. It burned. And it seemed to go on forever.

The next day, I noticed a half-dollar-sized dark purple welt on my forearm.

What was she, a jabber, a jouster, or The Jabberwocky?

Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky
by John Tenniel
Vintage / public domain artwork

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