Wednesday, 25 June 2008

It's alright Ma (I'm only bleeding...)

Yesterday I had a blood test. These are an occupational hazard for the professional UC sufferer. Christ only knows how much of my blood they took when they were still struggling to decide if I had an IBD or not. I'm a pasty looking guy at the best of times, but back then I was really rocking that 'heroin-chic' look... Anyway despite pints and pints of the precious red stuff being taken I have barely been able to approach them with even an iota of courage or masculinity. God, I hate it so much. I'm not a 'fainter', as the phlebotomist so succinctly put it, but I am a 'can't-look-fist-biting-panicy-almost-tearful-big-girls-blouse'. So, what was special about yesterday? Well, originally I was asked by the rheumatologist to go for the blood test in April. Knowing my innate ability to 'forget' to do these things I went straight over to outpatients to get it done there and then. However, up the hospital its a take a ticket and wait your turn system. Disturbingly they use the same tickets as the Deli counter in Tesco. I guess there are only a few ticket distributing machines available on the market - but I think they ought to go out of their way to find a different one. I took my ticket and realised I was number 90. The sign said next up was 48. I waited as long as I could, sweaty-palmed, becoming more and more agitated, starting to hate everyone in front of me. It is not healthy to displace fear into sociopathy, so in the end I chickened out and ran away.

Now, I'm due back at the rheumotologist next tuesday hence I finally had to bite the bullet. But herein lies the point to this post. Locally we have something called a polyclinic. Usefully it's very close to my school. I phoned them. They do bloods by appointment only. So I made one (mentally that meant I HAD to go) and off I went at 9.55 for a 10.05 appt. I was there slightly early, no one else was there: they whisked me in, bled me and sent me on my way. I was back in school by 10.05. I didn't even have time to consider what was about to happen. Admitedly I still had the shakes, heart-rate was up, nurse asked me if I wanted to "lie down", but, bloody hell, I felt much better about the whole affair. So it's they polyclinic for me from now on. I highly recommend them (though I don't know if they are peculiar to this area).

5 comments:

Maria said...

I haven't heard of a polyclinic. We have phlebotomists at our GP. Some are better at taking blood than others which makes a big difference.
My son also dreads having a blood test. When I think of all the unpleasant things you all go through, it surprises me that you dread the needle in your arm.

Rich said...

Hi Maria. You're right, but I am getting better. 5 years ago I struggled even to get through the doors of the hospital. How old is your son?

Maria said...

Hi Rich
He's 18 (and a half). He was diagnosed just 7 weeks ago.

Rich said...

How's he coping?

Maria said...

He tends not to talk about it and he isn't one to show much emotion. He's been looking forward to his gap year which has just begun before going to Uni, so I'm hoping the break will do him good.
He's taking Mesalazine tablets and we saw the Specialist last week who informed us that his UC is going into remission. Let's hope it stays that way.