Tests You Can’t Study For

I’ve been dealing with this swelling thing on my lips, fingers and toes for a few years now. It doesn’t happen often, and has never ‘hurt’ me (it sure has made me look weird), but it still scares the living daylights out of me.

Oh… did I mention, I have no idea what sets it off?

I went for more tests today, trying to find the trigger. It’s probably not an allergic reaction… unless it turns out it is.

I really should have gone for the tests a week ago, but they’re blood tests. I’m not sure how you are, but I am a 100% All American Wimp when it comes to anything with needles.

My blood was drawn at Yale/New Haven Hospital. Like most big hospital, Y/NH has become a medical factory. On the second floor of the Physicians Building is a ‘drawing station.” My wait was short, just a few minutes before I was led into a small room.

Judith, my phlebotomist, scoped out the lab request and started thumbing through a book. Nothing. She looked in a second. Zip, again. One of these tests was so esoteric, she needed to look up the instructions for giving it.

By the time all was said and done, six test tubes of blood had been drawn. I’m not quite sure what makes one vial different from another, but they each had individually colored caps and labels.

I’m not going to lie. For the first thirty seconds after the needle went in, my arm burned. Then things calmed down and the next few minutes went easily.

I was still a little frazzled when she told me we were through, and then proceeded to put a Band-Aid on my arm… my hairy arm. That will probably hurt more than the needle.

I’m now thinking, maybe I’m ready to donate blood. For me, a guy who almost couldn’t get married because he couldn’t take the blood test, that would be quite an accomplishment.

I guess I should wait until they find out what’s in it first.

Blogger’s addendum: What kind of freak am I? I actually took the picture of the vials of blood just so I could post it here!

4 thoughts on “Tests You Can’t Study For”

  1. “What kind of freak am I? I actually took the picture of the vials of blood just so I could post it here!”

    The best kind of freak. The self-aware freak.


  2. Got a suggestion for you. I have to have blood drawn for tests every few months. I learnd to have them hit a vein in the back of my hand. Hurts a lot less and easier to hit. If you ask them to do it there they will.

  3. Congratulations, Geoff. I have such a pathological fear of needles that I haven’t been anywhere near anything medical since I had mono in college … and that was a *long* time ago. My fear of not knowing what’s going on with me hasn’t yet overcome my fear of finding out, which is probably a bad thing, but there’s nothing I can do about it since I can’t afford therapy. :}

    I hope with all those vials they’re able to find out what’s causing your problems!

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