Friday, March 26, 2010

When success may be doubtful

It was 6:40am on a Friday morning, this particular Friday morning. I was in my car driving myself somewhere ... I'll tell you about where a little later as it relates to this story. Well, on the radio I hear an OnStar commercial which rings a bell with me as I recall seeing a TV commercial with their feature in operation. It's their "Stolen Vehicle Slowdown." Heard about it?

Googling "OnStar," I arrived at their website and quickly located SVS. I was scanning the page for something I heard on the radio as a tagline to their commercial. What it says about SVS:

Using GPS technology OnStar can pinpoint the location of stolen vehicles and then work directly with police to facilitate recovery, using exclusive technologies like Stolen Vehicle Slowdown® and NEW Remote Ignition Block.

Well, I didn't find the tagline, but I did find something similar, "Ability to locate stolen vehicles varies with conditions."

The tagline I was looking for went something like this, "success is dependent upon conditions." Huh? Isn't that true in life and in really ALL circumstances; i.e., that whether or not YOU will be successful at something is pretty much going to depend upon all the conditions or circumstances that come into play?

So, where am I going with my story? Well, I asked hubby to take me, but he said today was a banner-busy day for him. I ventured out early by myself, hoping to be the first in line where I was going. When I arrived at 7am, I noticed the facility was dark, but that the Curves next door was hopping. The sign on the window said 7:30am. Drat, I thought ... let's see what's happening with the women in Curves. I opened the door and was immediately greeted by a friendly attendant who thought I was her 7:30am appointment arriving early. It sure was interesting watching all the women on their stations, going round and round in that circle, and changing stations every time the recorded voice said, "change your stations." Every 30 seconds!

7:30am arrived, and sadly I had to leave Curves. Stepping into Quest Diagnostics, I let one woman go ahead of me and then I signed in as #7. When they called me to the window, after all the formalities, I said, "I am a hard stick." I felt that I had done my due diligence and that THAT meant something. I sat down and a few minutes later another lady called me to the window and said that I now had the pleasure of meeting my patient responsibility there at their facility and would I like to make my patient co-pay payment. "Sure," I said, "I like being responsible." I handed over my HSA card, but the system didn't like it. I was thinking ... er, "when success may be doubtful." I'll look for that bill in the mail.

I sat back down and probably 5 minutes later they called me back. "Sit in chair #1" the girl said. Oh, good, I was thinking. I've sat in that very chair a few years ago and I had success. Jason, a young man with the longest hair, pulled back in a ponytail, that he had been growing for some 11 years, stepped up to bat. "Well, hi there ... you sure do have long hair." I guess I was looking to make a connection with this fine young man who was going to try and draw my blood ... first. "Hello ... I am a hard stick ... you'll want to use the butterfly ... yada yada."

Jason applied the tourniquet to my upper left arm and began to explore his opportunities for success in the crook of my arm. Well, what seemed like ages whilst I was looking at the ceiling, taking deep breaths and trying to think of pleasant things. Well, before you knew it, Jason walked to another station. He conferred with one of the women ... and next thing I knew, the first lady was up to bat. She selected my left hand and went for the tiny vein which was conveniently marked with a bruise from the previous week's adventure at another Quest Diagnostics facility.

"Yes," I said when asked if I was hydrating myself with water. "A couple of bottles; more than usual." I'm thinking because I have the tendency to be dehydrated, that surely contributes to my not having success with my tiny, blood-drawing resistant veins.

"Oweee" and a few tears ... good grief that hurt as she maneuvered the needle seeking that tiny vein. "Did you get it?" I asked. "No," she replied. Good grief, "when success may be doubtful." It was about this time that I "think" I started to work at controlling an escalation of drama on my part. A few tears, some lightheadedness, and perhaps another oweee and some light wimpering. Not quite a drama queen though.

Hello, lady #2 up to bat. By this time, a warmer had been placed on my hand by lady #1 I think and I really thought the needle was still in my hand working on filling up that tube. Nope! The warmer was transferred to the crook of my arm and lady #2 took her shot at it. Holy moly batman, I don't think she got the message that I was a hard stick and used the butterfly. She tried a real needle in my forearm. OWEEE! Boy did that hurt. Two more tries and then finally success!

Only one hour in this facility opposed to the 2 hours of the previous week, but the previous week, it was 5 tubes vs. today's 1 tube.

So ... isn't this crazy that I am devoting my blog post today to something that should be a non-event? I'm asking YOU! Don't they train the techs who draw blood to deal with people who have tiny veins which roll and which are resistant to drawing blood. When the lady at Curves told me I might want to stand in line to be the first in, I told her not to worry ... that I wanted to have the techs warmed up before they took their crack(s) at me.

Ah, what did I tell you when you started this journey with me today? Remember? "When success may be doubtful ... when it is time for a lab tech to draw my blood." Gosh, I'm thinking of OnStar and their commercial this morning. Too bad there isn't GPS technology that can be used to locate the best veins from which to draw blood!

I'm wondering this, how many of my readers consider having blood drawn as an EVENT? Am I the only blogger out there that considers this an event? I'm seriously thinking "success may be doubtful" might be the mantra I am stuck with when it comes time for lab work. Gosh, I sure wish I could change this.

I forgot to mention why I was having my blood drawn today. It has to do with cholesterol ... which makes me think, I will seriously NEED to secure a "low-cholesterol cookbook" for myself to learn some new low-cholesterol recipes.

My doctor ordered the VAP® (Vertical Auto Profile) Test and I'm thankful that it only needed one tube of my blood this morning. Googling VAP, I found that this test is indicated when the patient might be exhibiting risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. I found Atherotech's website and learned that the VAP test ...

is the most accurate and comprehensive cholesterol test available today, reporting 15 separate components of blood cholesterol as opposed to four in a standard test ... it is the only cholesterol test to identify markers for Metabolic Syndrome, a precursor for diabetes.

TGIF you all. Hope everyone has a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!


kimmanleyort said...

Oh my gosh, I feel like I have just had the most interesting journey through the mind of JaguarJulie. It just might be the most interesting thing I read today. Thanks!

Cheryl Kohan said...

Sooooo sorry you had to go through that awful experience, Julie. Another friend of mine had a similar experience while hospitalized and later learned that the technician was just out of school and not very well trained. Not a good thing.

Pastiche said...

Julie, dear heart I felt every stick in this post ... I'm one of those fortunate (?) ones who's had old-lady HUGELY visible veins in hands, feet and arms since childhood. Alas, my younger daughter has the tiny vein problem and I still cry when I think of her pain as a wee one and now as a youngish momma. Take heart on the cholesterol. Diet, exercise and statins can/do work wonders. I'm cursed with 'em myself through genetics. As you noted, "Success is dependent upon conditions" ... and I have high cholesterol despite excellent diet, exercise and overall attention to health.

PS You may actually like the dietary adjustments ... be well!

Julie Ann Brady said...

Kim, Cheryl, Lee! Ah, my regular readers and friends ... Well. This is what I am thinking ... I cannot believe I have gotten to this point in my life and never got to the point that having my blood drawn would not be a dramatic event.

Yes, cholesterol i.e. high cholesterol has been part of the family heritage. Having it flowing through both sides of the family doesn't help or perhaps dictates how I'll be going.

So, Lee ... despite your conditions, you still have the condition of high cholesterol? Well, what are we going to do about that now???

Tony Payne said...


Julie Ann Brady said...


Christine P. said...

I feel your pain. I won't bore you with details, but I had an elective surgery a few months ago. However, a just out of school tech did the pre-op EKG the day before. She messed up, couldn't really figure out how to hook it up. Time for surgery the next day they said I had heart problems (I DON'T) and that the surgery couldn't proceed. Got it straightened out thank goodness, but geeeez...isn't that stuff important enough to be sure it's done correctly??

Julie Ann Brady said...

Christine, oh no! When we are dealing with these type of medical occasions, it makes it clear that the principles of "zero defects" and "get it right the first time" are paramount. I also know, certain professions require highly-skilled practioneers. I'm glad they got that straightened out for you.

KGDesigns said...

What a terrible experience, but at least you've handled it with a touch of humor. Warren and I both have to have blood drawn next week. Not exactly a fun way to spend time together, but the lab we go to is pretty painless. My veins are shy too, especially when needles are in close proximity!

Julie Ann Brady said...

Kim, I'm glad you have a "pretty painless" lab. Just yesterday I was chatting with my neuromuscular massage therapist Todd about this experience. You know, trying to come up with a solution so as the next time will not be an equivalent event.

I'll be going to a 3rd location when that occasion arises. And, hope for the best.

I wonder if there is an alternative to having blood drawn other than NOT having it drawn?

Unknown said...

My advice is and always will be, either find a more professional service or a doctor who "feels your pain", sees to the problem and does not allow his patients to be "abused". You pay the bill so you are the customer who should demand good service.

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