Whew. What a day. This was as much of a roller coaster ride as I've had here.
I was prepared for it to be a good morning. A cardio nurse (we'll call him Nurse M.) had visited me two days ago to take a look at my notoriously difficult veins. He sounded positive as he said that he'd be in at 6:15 on Thursday to put in an IV cath so that the cardio team could take blood from me from a single port for the three required blood draws during the 4+ hour long scheduled cardio test. In addition, the nursing staff was going to draw another half dozen or so vials for testing from that same port.
Well, Nurse M began on the cardio arm this morning. He brought a heating pad and a UV light to see the veins with. When he didn't feel comfortable with the left arm, he moved to the right, looked again with heat and light, and stuck me (#12). Strike one.
He tried again. Strike two.
Now, don't start thinking poorly of Nurse M. This guy is an expert. They brought him in especially for me. He's drawn blood a thousand times. I'm just a challenge.
Nurses have been coming in and out of my room, and I've been prayed over by my lovely monitor. They're all rooting for stick #3. Before he sticks, though, he brings in two more people from the cardio team to look, too. They suggest that he try one vein on my left arm.
They leave, he tries, he strikes out, and to my horror, he leaves! He has been in communication with the powers that be, and they've decided to postpone my cardio tests.
For the next hour, I'm stressed about being kicked out and sent home. To be honest, I'm a little frustrated, but no one can help what's happening. They've always gotten the blood they needed in the past. It may have taken patience and extra sticks, but they always fulfilled the requirements and sometimes it happened on the first shot.
Make no mistake - I want to be here. I want to stay. I want them to stick me until they get what they want. I'm willing to give them the hand, foot, both arms, neck, or head if that's what it takes. (Red - former subject - you know how I feel. I don't want to go home.) Don't be afraid to dig around with the needle, either. I've got a high tolerance for pain. When I shot myself with the nail gun in November, I didn't even cry.
Fortunately for me, I had a visitor today! Heather Archuletta, the Pillownaut herself, was back for her 6 month bone density scan. It was great to meet Heather. She's the reason that I'm here. Her multiple interviews and incredibly in-depth blog about her experience gave me the curiousity, confidence, and exposure to the actual study that I needed to pursue this adventure.
Come to find out, we're from the same neck of the woods! Heather, who has moved around more than I have is now living in a home about a block and a half from a house I used to live in! It's an incredibly small world.
So, Heather's visit raised my spirits and the nurses and monitors are all pulling for me, too. They're a great bunch. As of 4:00 p.m., I've heard nothing from the cardio guys or the higher ups at NASA about my fate. I'm hoping that no news is good news. Stay tuned. We'll see what happens next.