Posted by: Trigger | 17 January, 2008

I’m a heat-heat-heat-heat-heating machine; watch me get down, watch me get down…

Oh wait, those are not the lyrics to that one song…

Anyway. Today was “let’s go to the doctor” day. Did you miss that memo? Well, shoot sucka.

I went to the doctor. I don’t mind seeing the doctor. In fact, I work with lots of doctors, and hope to someday be a doctor myself (weee! I am just gung ho about going a quarter mil into debt! weee!). I find it is best to lump lots of things into a single visit, though. So as to minimize time spent waiting, and etc. So today I was going for my “well woman exam” – that’s code for pelvic, pap smear, and etc. It’s nice, because many insurance companies pay 100% for these visits (no co-pay, no deductible, nada), since they’re key to screening for bigger, uglier (read: more expensive for the insurance company) problems. But I digress.

Since I work at a hospital/med school, I had a short commute to the office. Popped in partway through the work day, easy peasy, right? We went through what I was there to see her about that day, and I requested to my thyroid hormone levels checked, because I feel like my temperature regulation is really out of whack these days – I’m hot and then cold, and hot, and hot some more, and REALLY hot when I’m trying to sleep. So the doc asks if I have a family history of thyroid problems – no, I don’t. And then she comes over to start the exam – you know the drill, look in the ears, look at the throat, listen to the lungs – and as she does so, she touches my back with her hand holding the stethoscope, and exclaims “Wow! You are hot! We’ve got to take your temperature!” (notice the use of exclamation points – to really prove what I said about her exclaiming those sentences…)

So, my temperature turns out to be a benign 97.3 degrees F. And yet, I’m hot to the touch. Huh. Curious indeed. Hence, we had the hormone levels drawn.

Now, I’m not in the slightest queasy about blood. Not at all. Okay, well, I do get a little sweaty palmed in anticipation of my OWN blood being drawn, but that’s it. I perform routine blood draws on women of all shapes and sizes for my job, and it just doesn’t bother me – needles, blood, the lot of it. So I sit down, I’m chit chatting with the phlebotamist, talking about this and that, and soon she’s all prepped, the tourniquet is on my arm, the alcohol has been swabbed over where my little vein is bulging, and it’s go time.

She misses. She tries again, same arm. Misses again.

Switches arms. Applies tourniquet, swabs alcohol over THAT bulging little vein, grabs a smaller guage needle, and misses again. And again.

We’re at four pokes here, folks. I’m at least 95% successful at obtaining vein access within two pokes, if I can brag about my mad phlebotamy skillz for just a moment.

Finally, lady goes and grabs a nurse to come and get my blood. At this point, I’m politely asking if they can send the tube with me, so that I can return to my department and have a friend/coworker draw my blood, lickety split. (I have easy veins to draw from here, PEOPLE!) I am informed that “Oh no, it’s fine. WE WILL be getting blood from you today.”

Which, I gotta say, was sort of creepy to hear her put it like that.

But, fifth poke’s a charm, and my little red top vial filled with the blood sample in a jiffy. As she removes the needle, lady #2 says, “Yeah, that’s probably going to leave a big bruise. Just FYI.” Score. That’s really about all a girl can hope for, five needle pokes and totally righteous bruise, plus a heinous skin reaction to the adhesive on the tape they always use to cover the place they drew from…I hope that, at the very least, this can shed some light on why my internal heater is so often set to full blast.

And: Seriously, next time I’m going to draw my own blood.

(I guess I’m done whining now. Have a nice night!)



  1. um, i would seriously DIE if they had to poke me that many times to find blood!!!

  2. ew ew ew ew ew. I feel like the one thing that should be taught in doctor school (or nurse school) if nothing else is drawing blood. If they poked me more than once, I would have been out. You’re a trooper.

  3. Wait – can you really draw your own blood for tests and stuff? Is that what doctors do?! I. Would. Hurl.

    Anyhow, hope they figure out what’s wrong with your body thermometer! (Also, I’m the same way, hot cold hot cold, and am rarely at a comfortable temperature, so when you get a diagnosis, do share!)

  4. I’m with DG. I would have died. Giving blood makes my arms curl up and my face contort into a shape that is not pretty. Blech!

  5. OMG! And also, yikes! Blood makes me squirmy. Especially poking around for it. Ew. EW EW EW!


  6. This is interesting because I wound up having my thyroid tested at my “well woman” exam too, and it turned out that I have hypothyroidism. And also, the nurse had a really hard time finding my vein and even once the needle was in it took forever to get enough blood, and then I had a really dark bruise for days. It’s still there, actually, although very faded.

  7. sheesh…..i hate giving blood and if someone kept stabbing my arm, i might have passed out.

    am also getting my woman exam on monday. just thought i’d share.

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