Friday, March 20, 2009

The human pin cushion - the saga continues

Well Dad, I've got veins like yours. They're safely tucked deep down inside my body, under layers of skin, fat, and muscle. They like it down there, where it's warm and dark and cushioned . . .

I've been trying my best to be good, really I have, but I had the nurses shaking their heads in frustration today. Lab work required 13 or 14 (I lost count) vials of blood to be taken from me this morning. A great nurse yesterday (who drew blood the first day) put a heating pad on my arm to see if the veins would rise with heat and be easier to access. She was happy with the results, and marked two veins for the next morning's draw.

Well, this morning at 6:15, the heating pad went back on and 15 minutes later, the first nurse entered to draw blood. She didn't seem too thrilled when the first stick produced no blood. So in came nurse #2 for stick #2. She got me on the first try and began to fill vials. Unfortunately, 9 vials later, I dried up.

She then tried another vein (stick #3). No luck. That brought on nurse #3 and stick #4. Again, no luck. I'd now been lying there for about 45 minutes, was throwing off the breakfast schedule, and the nurses were looking nervous.

They seemed to have given up hope when from out in the hall I hear a cheer. The cardio experts, who are given my left arm to poke (while the other lab work comes from the right arm), have agreed to let them poke my left arm, so off we go again.

Nurse #4 enters and sticks me with #5. She hits the mother lode and fills up the remaining vials quickly. We all celebrate!

After breakfast, I have my first of 4 isokenetic labs. Basically, I'm maxing out my knee, ankle, abs, and back muscles in short reps on a couple machines that look like steroid induced weight lifting machines at a gym. It's not even hard enough to break a sweat.

All in all, the day went great. We started a new 1000 piece puzzle, I had my first physics lesson, finished a book provided by the Raymonds (thank you! The Water Room was good!), and watched a little NCAA b-ball.

Sadly though, I had to say goodbye to a new friend. Red and I were just getting to know each other. I'm confident that she and I would have had a good time together. She did absolutely nothing wrong. It just didn't work out. I don't think I can say any more. But she didn't do anything wrong!

Best wishes to you, Red, as you return to your home, work, family, and dogs! Our time here was too short, but we'll stay in touch. You've really got me thinking about impacting lives like you do.

Good night everyone. Lights out in 50 minutes! They're serious!

1 comment:

  1. So they take out a liter of your blood and THEN make you exercise? Oh's not like you need lots of blood to carry oxygen to your muscles or brain when you work out =) Ha, my blood pressure always drops so low after giving blood that it's all I can do to sit up for a while! You must be tougher than you know!