I’m Bleeding On Your Floor

A week before I make my quarterly trip to the nephrologist I go in for lab work. Three out of the four visits all they do is draw 3 tubes of blood. Besides the blood draw during the fourth visit, I get to pee in a cup. The lab gal goes through the entire required procedure for the ‘specimen’ as if I’ve never had the opportunity to do this before. Here’s how my last lab appointment went.

I arrived at least 15 minutes prior to my scheduled time only to find out that there was a whole waiting room of other ‘appointees’ ahead of me. After signing in and getting my number off the hook, I let the Pickle Queen take the last available seat, while I patiently stood in a corner hoping I wouldn’t get the ‘ole gal that thinks she knows the only way to draw blood and that’s HER way.

Now, I know that physicians sign an oath that is filled with do’s and don’ts along with a few will’s and won’ts, but evidently the lab personnel are not held to the same standards. Sure enough, when my turn finally came, out comes the one I was hoping against.

After once again reciting my name and date of birth (I’m getting that information tattooed on my forehead) and assuring her that I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink but water and black coffee, she told me to make a fist and not to open it until she told me to. While making a fist, I asked her to stay out of the vein that has a very prominent bubble rising above the rest of the visible vein. I tell her that I tend to leak and that the entire area will turn black and blue from the accumulating blood. I look away as I hate to see the blood slowly seeping into the tubes.

When she told me to open my hand and took off the rubber band as she was done, she placed a small wad of gauze and a skimpy band-aid on the puncture wound in the very vein I had asked her to stay out of. I won’t tell you what I was thinking when I saw this. After looking at each label and assuring her that it was my name that was on each tube, she hands me the specimen cup, and as usual tells me how to use the wet wipe and to be sure to get it up to line she had drawn on the cup. As I was heading to the restroom she also reminded me in front of everyone in ear shot to be sure to tighten the lid securely.

I must have been so intent on ‘peeing in the cup’ properly that I hadn’t noticed that the band-aid and gauze had come off. I looked down and sure enough, there was blood all over the floor. Not giving a hoot at this point, I headed back to the lab with the required amount and the lid tightened to where they would need a channel lock pliers to get it off. I was leaving a blood trail like a freshly shot deer on new snow. As I sat the cup on the counter I made a comment that I was bleeding on the floor.

“Thank’s for telling me. I’ll get ahold of housekeeping,” were the words that came out of her mouth. Evidently she hasn’t read the revised version of the Hippocratic oath recently, isn’t obligated to follow it, or doesn’t believe in “Do no harm”. Who will I get in three months? You can bet it’ll be ‘HER’ again.

Keep your fork

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