Stab Me Again

Let's begin this tale with something sweet!

Chocolate bread pudding using the above link for Sally's Baking Addiction.

Have you heard of IV Therapy? Not the Drip Bar version, the hospital version. I've always had a hard time with phlebotomists not being able to get in my veins to draw blood. They (the veins) like to hide and they (the veins again) are deep. Hell maybe they (still the veins) are thick too? Have you tried stabbing a lone string of spaghetti in a bowl of sauce? That noodle won't sit still and unfortunately there isn't a twirl the fork in your spoon version of this process!

Recently a few tests (CT and MRI) have required dyes to be in my system for the medical staff to render an image of my sweet meats effectively.

Here's a typical scenario for me lately:

  1. Nurse attempts to find my vein with her finger tips.
  2. Nurse asks me to pump my hand into a fist.
  3. Nurse gives me a heating pack to rouse the vein from it's daily spa nap.
  4. Nurse sees a vein and says "There you are, you sleepy baby."
  5. Nurse rubs skin over vein with alcohol and watches vein pull sheets back over head saying "Five more minutes, mom!"
  6. Nurse prods vein with fingers again
  7. Nurse stabs at vein in a well intended attempt to stick that pig.
  8. Nurse says "nope" and apologizes.
  9. Repeat steps in another spot at least one to two more times. Apologies abound.
  10. Nurse waves white flag and says let me get the Big Dogsā„¢.
  11. IV Therapy arrives and slap, wipe, plink, we are in there and ready to go.

Now I just go in and say, "Call IV Therapy please, my veins went on a bender last night and are out to siesta."

Except this one time recently the IV Therapist did the slap, wipe, plink and said "I think I got it."

Record Scratch

Narrator: He didn't get it.

Skip ahead to me lying on the CT scan table, the medical team are imaging me from the other room. I hear the nurse say, "Ok, we are going to administer the dye now."

I feel a pressure in the crook of my left elbow where the IV is attached. That pressure does not dissipate. The nurse comes in with the Rad Tech and apologizes saying "does your arm hurt? Looks like we've had an infiltration." My first thought was "this hospital has rats or spies?"

I'm inspected by about 5 different people (Nurses, radiation tech, plastic surgeon). Considering I'm in no pain and there is no evidence of Compartment Syndrome, they ask if I want to try again with a different IV location.

I say yes, a different IV Therapist arrives, using ultrasound technology, finds my vein with no slap, but definitely a wipe and a plink and I was good to go.

Luckily there was no pain involved with most of this and I had a couple days where my forearm (just the left one) looked like this marvelous specimen of a sailor.

Robin Williams as Popeye (1980)