Monday, April 7, 2008

Will those marks ever go away?

A few days ago I wrote about what then was a pleasant experience, if you can consider having a needle injected into your arm as pleasant. At the time it was pleasant as I never felt the needle break the skin. The ugly leftover today, though, has erased all that pleasantness.

Because of a medical condition, I get poked about 20 times a year for blood tests. I don’t have a communicable disease; but I do have heart disease and other internal problems that require my blood to undergo periodic tests. Getting poked is not an unusual or scary event for me anymore.

Two of my doctors, specialists, need to test me at least annually. The third member of my medical team has me poked rather often to keep tabs on my blood and lipids. Since I have a plethora of stents inside me, my neurologist asks for one of the annuals. This year he decided I needed to be hydrated before the CT scan I was to undergo, so off to an I-V Therapy unit I went for an hour’s injection to help flush my kidneys after the scan dye.

The nurse who poked was, at the time I thought, one of the best I’ve ever had. She tried my right arm, and even though I had warned her I have “rolling” veins, she couldn’t find the one her preliminary exam had indicated was a good one. She moved the needle around inside the arm some but still not connection.

When the needle was inserted, I felt nothing. But the nurse only nicked the vein. A day later I wasn't quite as happy with her work.
So she asked if she could try the left wrist. Why not? She hadn’t hurt me at all and I had to have the I-V thing so I told her to go ahead. Again, I felt nothing. She was the best poker I’d ever had. This time she found a vein, connected the I-V thing, and began the pump. An hour later I headed across the hall for the CT scan.

She made a connection on the other hand, this time using the wrist area, but the remnants of her work are still with me. Not a pleasant experience.

Following the scan was a return to the therapy room for a second dose of the flush stuff, a basic saline solution. When it finished, I mentioned to the nurse I thought there was a little lump at the first spot on my right arm. She confirmed there was but said it would go away in a day or two.

It’s now been more than a day or two. My arm is ugly. My wrist is ugly. And I withdraw all the nice things I’ve previously said about the good poke that nurse gave me.

My visit with the neurologist is tomorrow morning. I’ll be interested to hear what he might say about a nurse that apparently knew more about my body than I and just poked because she knew what she was doing.

I tell the phlebotomists at the regular blood testing place about my floaters and they listen. They usually get the vein on first try every time. I do feel a slight pinch, but that only lasts for a moment. I’ll take that moment anytime over the ugly marks I now have that will take quite a while to finally go away.


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