Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Torture Chamber: A1c Blood Draw


This week I have the lovely task of getting my blood drawn for my next endocrinology (diabetes doctor) appointment. I have to get it drawn so that my doctor and I can make sure that everything is working properly. She usually checks for general things, such as, my vitamin D level (which has been low), kidney functions, but most importantly it checks my A1C levels. A1C is basically a measurement of where my blood sugars have been for the last 3-4 months. I hate being uber negative on here, but I hate getting my blood drawn. I usually pass out and feel foolish because I cannot handle the blood being pumped out of me.

I will never forget the first time I got my blood drawn. I was in the lab at the hospital sitting in a chair in a poorly lit room. Tears began to well up in my eyes as I looked at my mom because I didn’t want to have to do this. Then the tech brought in a little boy most likely around the age of 5 or 6, he was getting blood drawn too. He was strong and confident not making a peep. I envied him. While he was sitting there braver than ever they tied the rubber band around my arm and panic set it. But I was too embarrassed to throw a fit when the small child next to me was doing so well. The tech commented on my veins being good and then quickly jabbed the needle in one of the “good” veins. I don’t know what she meant by having a good vein, but now when I get my blood drawn I point the tech to my good arm with the good vein. I survived the initial prick, the panic began to reduce, I kept thinking to myself I can do this…I can do this…I’m doing this… then the world around me began to spin and go dark and I realized….I wasn’t doing as well as I thought. The techs helped me up and laid me down on a bed so I could recover. I felt like a total and complete idiot as the little boy in the chair next to me left with a sticker and a smile. I left with a tear stained face and hurt pride.

I still pass out. Not every time, but often enough that I bring something to drink with me and usually request to be laying down. I always show the tech my “good” vein so that she will only need to stick me once. Then I usually tell the tech how I am not good at getting my blood drawn and that I will be talking to her the entire time, just not looking in the direction of the needle. This method has worked very well for me, until recently. Recently, the thing that has been getting to me is the sound of my blood squirting into not just one vial, but also several. The moment that splashing noise begins the world starts to spin. I just don’t understand how my body has not just gotten used to this, I feel like I have gotten used to everything else concerning my diabetes, why is this so hard. I am almost 25 I should have the hang of this by now, but to be quite honest with you I am failing miserably.

I will wake up Friday morning, drive across the street to quest diagnostic (most likely still in my pjs) and wait until they call me back into that little room of torture. The techs are great, super nice, and I think they like my asking questions about them versus just talking about myself as I try to ignore the noise of blood squirting out of my arm. Usually, after they are done bleeding me I will ask to lay on the floor with my legs up and drink my juice. Once I know I can drive, I usually will get in my car drive across the street and tell my hubs about the adventure at the lab. We will see how it goes. Wish me luck! 

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