between a rock and a hard place

Yesterday we decided to go to the lab in the late morning, in case we wanted to do something with B’s family. I scheduled an appointment for 11am, as in the past it has not been too busy. Not so this week.

There were several people waiting, and it looked like they were down one staff member. We were told that they usually have 3 people working in the morning, and then only 1 in the afternoon at this location. There were only 2 woman working. One was the new phlebotomist.

It turned out that one of the women waiting was very pregnant, and had been told to fast prior to her visit. She forgot to sign in and had been sitting there almost an hour, waiting. She was getting cranky, because she was hungry. I felt bad for her, although she quickly tried to blame the staff for her error. As best I can tell, she walked into the lab and took a seat. She didn’t make an appointment because she didn’t know she could. She had even gone to an incorrect address in Brea prior to making it over here.

The longer I wait, the higher my stress levels get. That is why we have tried to schedule things at off times so that I do not have time to stress myself out. The other thing is that I am very empathic. I pick up on other people’s feelings and feel them myself. I was definitely feeling the pregnant woman’s stress.

I was called in after a while, and it turned out there was a woman sitting where they had asked me to sit. Things had gone wrong for her, and they were having to do a draw from her hand. She had a pack on her hand, I am guessing to help make her veins show more easily. She was also understandably stressed. I am pretty sure the new woman had tried and failed to draw her blood.

The new woman tried to draw my blood and also failed. I think she was freaked out by the large heart-shaped black and blue on my right arm from last week’s draw.

They finished with the woman’s hand, and then brought in another woman to the same room who told them she needed a culture on her urine. The new woman was told to call the woman’s doctor to confirm that the tests on the form were correct, before she drew any blood. They let her sit there across from me while my blood was drawn.

The other phlebotomist, who last time used the tiny needle to give my veins a break, took blood from my left arm. She had to use a vein at the side, so this time it actually did hurt a bit. She apologized, and tried to make things go as quickly as possible. She had B bring me another cup of water before letting me get up. I was very glad to get out of there, although I wasn’t feeling very well. I really did think I might faint this time. It was just too much.

We came back to the house and had lunch and then I went upstairs to rest. When I went pee, I noticed some spotting. I decided it was probably best to check in with my doctor. Maybe it was my period? Of course my blood was now at the lab, and the results would not be ready for several more hours at the earliest.

I called and left a message with one of the women who answer the main line. When I didn’t hear back after almost an hour, I called again. I was told he had received my message, and I should just wait. It is clear that these woman do not like their jobs. It is sad, really.

I know that I have issues around asking for help, and around trusting people. They are linked. I have learned that you cannot trust people. They will always let you down. I am really not sure what to think.

A part of me knows that this could be the start of my period. It is plausible that after 8 weeks, my HCG has finally reached zero. I also remember reading something about how when you HCG gets below 100, bleeding is likely. Of course, this is just something I read, not something I was warned about.

The only warning I had about bleeding was 2 weeks ago when I had to call the on-call doctor because I was having minor pain on my left side, with the shakes and trouble controlling my temperature. At that time I was told that if I started bleeding, I should call back. I didn’t. And this is more spotting than bleeding. More like the first day of my period.

It thankfully stopped around 7pm. I pretty much spent the evening on the couch, trying to catch up on the TV shows we missed.

Oh, and the outlaws are thankfully back on their side of the Pacific. They left on Saturday night. I’ll post about that some other time.

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