My Traumatic Blood Drawing Experience

Check out my uber cool wrist wrap from last Tuesday.

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They had to draw blood from my hand because I have super tiny veins. After sticking me twice in the arm and digging around in there, they still couldn’t hit the vein. I’m glad my eyes were closed (getting blood drawn freaks me out so I always close my eyes) the entire time because Brian said that they were rooting around with the needle stuck to my arm, moving it this way and that to try to get one of my veins. That would have totally freaked me out. Anyway, after getting stuck in the arm twice in vain, I finally just offered to have them stick my hand instead. That did the trick. Blood flowed and filled the large tube. This is my usual experience whenever I get my blood drawn, so if you’re wondering why I’m such a baby about it. This is why.

Although, when Angelita drew my blood a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t feel a thing. She’s amazing. She spent several minutes trying to locate a vein to make sure that she didn’t have to root around with the needle. Sure enough, she only stuck me once and hit vein on the first try. It was over before I even knew what happened. I was like, “Wow. That was easy.” I wish all my blood drawing experiences were like that.

When they were having so much trouble on Tuesday, I almost called it quits and rescheduled for a time when Angelita was available. It was after 5 PM by the time we got done meeting with Dr. Zayour (Brian kept asking questions) so Angelita had already packed up for the day. They ended up sending me to different lab. It was in the same building. I think it was their after hours lab or something. The ladies there were nice and all, but the experience was quite traumatic nonetheless. I don’t want anyone else but Angelita to draw my blood in the future.

Anyway, here’s what we found out from the thyroid sonogram. My entire thyroid is enlarged, although only the enlargement of the right lobe is obvious. The left lobe of my thyroid is probably 2 to 3 cm larger than a normal, healthy left lobe. The right lobe is about twice the size it should be. It is very, very enlarged. It’s amazing that it’s not affecting my swallowing or breathing for as big as it is. Anyway, part of what’s making it enlarged is that it’s got a gigantic nodule that is about the size of my left thyroid lobe (yes, that big) that is filled with mostly liquid and some tissue. There’s also a smaller nodule (compared to the major nodule, but still relatively large in size) below it. This one I think is mostly solid. My left thyroid lobe has lots of little nodules, but they are nowhere near the size of the two major ones. I think there is a bunch of them, though.

I believe the next step is to determine if these nodules are cancerous. The doctor wanted to do my scan this week, but we postponed it to the 20th and 21st because I’m traveling. Apparently the stuff they give you for the scan stays in your system for a while and will light you up on the TSA scanners. He said I might get detained or hassled at the airport because they’ll think I’m smuggling some sort of bomb. They’ve had it happen before and the airport security had to call the doctor’s office and they had to explain to security that the individual just had this procedure done, etc. etc. It was all pretty crazy to me. Since I’m leaving for Nashville on Tuesday, I figured that it would be best to just wait until after I return. I really don’t want to take any chances.

I think we’re just going to take things one at a time and figure out what to do next after we get the next set of results. I know what my options are though, and I know that everything will be okay. Can you tell I’m an optimist? Brian said I might have to apply for FMLA at work, but I’m trying to put that off. So far we’ve been able to schedule my appointments (the two that I’ve had) at 4 PM so it doesn’t disrupt my work day. I told him that, if it comes down to it, and I have to start missing a lot of work, then I might have to do that. We’re okay so far, though. I mean, come on. You’re talking about the girl who switched to a dental office that is open on Saturdays so that I can schedule my dental visits on the weekends and not have to take time off from work. I’m really bad about using my vacation hours instead of sick leave, too. I almost always end up taking a day of vacation whenever I’m too sick to go to work.

I’m actually thinking of buying a week of vacation next year in anticipation of doctor’s appointments. I used to buy vacation when I was in school because I used vacation time whenever I had to stay home and study for an exam or work on class projects. I haven’t bought any vacation the last few years though (since I finished grad school in 2008). I treat my sick leave like it’s money, always saving for a rainy day. Even though, I’ve always considered myself healthier than average (I rarely get sick) and never thought that day would actually come. It sounds like I might actually have to take a few sick days in the coming months. Good thing I have a gazillion.

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"What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility."

~ Leo Tolstoy