Saturday, April 23, 2011
Pheresis From Hell (Long)
OH good grief. This is exactly what I felt like on Friday when I saw the "new" pheresis tech. My appt. time was 1:00. We were there at 1. She was there at one. We'll just call her Pokey (more relevance than just being slow). She fiddled with the pheresis machine for AN HOUR before she even started moving it into my room, in s-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n. Good heavens. Talk about molasses in January.
This was doing NOTHING for my confidence. I honestly don't think this child EVER had done pheresis peripherally in her young life. Not that age always means experience and vice versa. But in this case, OH yes. I was almost shaking by the time she started getting ready to start the actual treatment.
First, she scrubbed my anticube veins for like 30 seconds with betadine. I'm like, Helllllooooo have you ever heard of an alcohol wipe????? Then walk down the hall to throw it away. Then get new gloves on. Then scrub the other one for 30 seconds (she was actually looking at her watch). Then walk down the hall, throw it away (I'm like, you got something against a garbage can in here or somethin'??) Then down the hall to get new gloves. Here's an idea, GRAB MORE THAN ONE PAIR IF YOU'RE GOING TO TAKE THEM OFF EVERY 2 SECONDS!
Then the blood pressure cuff. They always do it on my lower arm, because if they use the automated ones, they always blow up WAY too tight and it hurts like hell and I get a ring of bruises around my arm. So she put the cuff on the top, of course, and walked away. If puffed up, my eyes are bulging out of my head and my hand is purple, but it finally stops and starts to de-puff. (Yes, that IS a word). But then it starts puffing up again.
I just yelled "Would someone get this thing OFF me??? It's killing me!!!" Well, THAT actually got her moving quickly! Ug. So she moves it to the bottom and it was like 145 over 85. I said, "That's it? I thought it would be like 200 over 140 by now!" Went over her head.
I should have known. First stick on my return arm. Holy $h!t. PAIN. In spades. Then she's moving it in and out like she'll magically hit a spot if she "jimmies" it around. Problem is, that's a razor sharp fork tong you're "jimmying" in there. Then she's poking the vein around it, so the pain goes from a 9 1/2 to a 12 and I yelled "Get it OUT! You're on a nerve!" So she takes it out.
(I do think I managed a normal-decibel voice once or twice before the poking began). So return arm, second poke, good to go. She takes blood first, which I'm amazed she remembered. Starts running saline, and it stings, but it's bearable, so I'm not ABOUT to say anything.
My draw arm has a huge vein. It's a little crooked, but Helen Keller could find it. Well, Helen she was NOT. I don't know WHAT she did, but this poke actually made me CRY. Usually it's just gritting teeth, squeezing Doug's hand praying, and going to my happy place. This was some of the worst pain I've ever felt. I don't know what she did. I'm in agony. Can't sob or yell now because I have a 1/2 inch needle in my other arm. So I lay there crying. Like back-arched-off- the-bed-pain. So many thoughts going through my head....I'll spare you the deep, philosophical ones and just tell you that if I ever see Pokey again, something is going to snap. And it's not gonna be me. : )
So it ran faster than Wednesday, purely by the grace of God, after she FINALLY got started. We were there til 4...should've been done by 2:30. My dear friend Linda was visiting me. She used to be the charge nurse at short stay where I was at St. Mary's and told one of the nurses there to call Michigan Blood and say "Never again." (About Pokey Helen). I was like, that's cool, you saved me a phone call!
So today I feel like I've been run over by a train. I can't hold the phone very long, because my veins are so bruised it hurts like heck to fold my arm up.
So that was my Good Friday. How was yours??