Friday, May 22, 2009

The Only Thing to Fear . . .

As most of you know I have a slight aversion to needles--particularly those involved in blood letting of any kind.

Well, this week I had to get a blood test. As soon as my doctor mentioned it I broke out into a sweat. This was followed by an intense reprimand/pep-talk to myself.

"Anna. People get blood drawn everyday. It's not that big a deal. Don't worry about it. For heaven's sake . . . BE AN ADULT! Just suck it up! "

I called Quest Diagnostics and set up a morning appointment. I was actually feeling pretty confident when the moment arrived. (I knew I'd be in and out in five minutes.) When I got into the blue chair (why is it always a blue chair) I told the tech I was a little nervous and made a joke. A few seconds later I was out cold. Everyone was very nice about it. They were saying how common it is for people to pass out, etc. They let me rest for a while and then with one lab tech on each side I was helped/carried to a room with a cot(I started to lose consciousness again as we walked).

After resting on the cot for 10-15 mins I decided I was feeling steady and needed to use the restroom--an unfortunate choice. This is where things really went a rye. I walked to the bathroom just fine but felt like I was going to pass out again when I was in there. I called to the tech standing outside the door and she came rushing it. I laid on the floor but I kept feeling worse and worse. I had terrible stomach pain and my arms were tingling like they were asleep. The tech look really concerned and ran out momentarily to tell someone to call an ambulance.

By the time I heard the sirens I was really a mess. I was doubled over in pain and my arms were completely numb. I was waving them around and hyperventilating when the paramedics came in. The lab tech had kindly draped her lab coat over my bare behind so I wouldn't be embarrassed when they moved me onto the gurney. Oh, the indignity of it all! Actually, I was completely oblivious. I felt so awful I really wasn't paying attention to anything except the questions being asked.

They loaded me into the ambulance and I was so happy thinking that they would help me and make my pain go away. Unfortunately, no help was forthcoming. I was advised multiple times to "BREATHE" but I guaranty that was harder than it sounds. They tried to get a line into me but my blood pressure was really low and my arms were numb!--no veins!

Then things got weird. Some crazy guy on drugs started screaming and trying to climb into the ambulance. He managed to get into the cab but was pulled out. I could hear him yelling and growling and could feel the ambulance shake as he slammed into it over and over again. We had to wait for the police to come. More sirens. I have no idea what happened with that guy. As soon as the police arrived we left for the hospital. Just 2 blocks later we arrived at the emergency room (it was pretty close to the lab).

I spent the next several minutes throwing up into a pan and answering questions in between. Ten minutes later I was feeling just fine. Grrrrhhhhh! I spent the next several hours resting and being tested. I got to enjoy being stuck by 4 more needles--the cause of my being there in the first place.

In the end I was given a clean bill of health. Nothing wrong with me except for a fear of needles. On the plus side I had a great story to tell at work the next day.

8 comments:

stina said...

No. Way. That is intense! I'm glad you're ok! I don't even know what else to say. That's quite a story.

Alan said...

At least you have a GREAT story to tell!!

I wonder if you can request that they just put you under for the blood drawing.

The funny thing is that I was just telling Kristina the other day about your hard to find veins and how you had to suffer through multiple pokes.

Melanie said...

What an ordeal! I was reading that on the edge of my seat like a thriller novel or something! So glad you are ok!!

Cathy said...

Oh my....

Andy, Beth and Jennah, too! said...

whoa...

I'd hate to know that my bum was out there for everyone to see... I'd take a needle poke over that any day!!!

Andy al-muquds said...

I have three words for you before your next blood draw: Xanax

April said...

You poor thing! My heart was pounding; it made me think of how scared of spiders I am. What a story for sure!

momomom said...

Anna, that was the best post I have ever, ever read. I am intensely sorry that you experienced it, but man that punch line

"I got to enjoy being stuck by 4 more needles--the cause of my being there in the first place.

In the end I was given a clean bill of health. Nothing wrong with me except for a fear of needles."

Wow. Is "hyperbolic humor" a real term? Because I want to use it- what a great story.