Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Why I Love Blood Tests

One of those occasions where I wrote the post title first, then went "hmm" and sat back, doubtfully stroking the beard I don't have.* And then had to go look up the correct spelling of the word "occasion". I definitely feel it looks better with two S's.

I've never been a massive fan of blood tests, and my opinion of them hasn't exactly improved with much closer acquaintance. And trust me, diagnosing a TSH-secreting pituitary adenoma involves a very close acquaintance with the phlebotomists of your local hospital.

People are weird, so there's probably at least a couple of oddballs out there who positively enjoy having their blood weaseled away by an overgrown thumbtack, but I am not one of them.

Additionally, one of the things they mysteriously forget to mention before you undergo transsphenoidal hypophysectomy surgery - and frankly, who knows if I spellt that right - is that afterwards, you have blood tests every hour for the first six hours, then every two hours for the next twelve hours, then every four hours, etc. In layman's terms, this translates to being repeatedly woken in the middle of the night by a very nice nurse who is attempting the impossible, viz., sticking a dirty clean great needle into your arm without waking you up. It is deeply unpleasant.

But I do try to see the sunny side. For instance, blood tests are much more fun than injections, especially injections into muscle. And injections of lanreotide, which really smart; it's a bit like having liquid stinging nettles injected into your hip. Blood tests are also, I imagine, fun than diptheria. In fact, once you start to think about it, blood tests come out looking positively rosy. Plus, when I go in for blood tests I get the chance to catch up with the lovely endocrine nurses at the hospital/the lovely Caribbean & Australian nurses at my GPs.

I do tend to get a bit faint after having my blood stolen, particularly if they've taken a reasonable amount - I'm okay with one vial, but there have been occasions when they've taken fourteen, which does make me a little woozy. But I've had so much practise now that I inadvertently discovered the cure - a drink of Ribena beforehand does wonders, and sugary food afterwards is also good. For best results, return from the hospital to a glass of orange juice and platter of Haribo and chocolate orange slices prepared by a lovely boyfriend <3

*Actually, following a youthful fall from the monkey bars, I do in fact have a large (yet fortunately solitary) beard hair which grows from the scar tissue in my chin. Sexy.

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