THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2009

I was up early today, LOTS of blood work to get done with a couple of them fasting since 8p last night. I also wanted to be the first there to just get it over with. I arrived at 7:30a, found a space right in front and realized they were not open until 8a. Okay, time to listen to the radio. Little by little I watch a few people come and go from the front door of the lab. I wonder, do they just think they’ll come back later since it is closed? DUH. Holy Dum Dum, Batman. The lab is CLOSED, closed. And has moved to the Cal Pacific Medical Center. So I book it down the street, and still make it as the second person on the list.

Let me say up front, my dad is a Hematologist. I am SCARED of needles. How funny is that? Over the years I have learned which are the least painful, espeically when there are many vials to fill. I recommend the green butterfly needle. This has a bit of  a larger bore needle (to vacuum the blood out faster) and a long plastic tubing that the tech can attach the vial to collect the blood. The new needles have a VERY cool new retractable feature so when the tech is done, the needle is pulled into the hard plastic core to protect the tech. I LOVE this invention.

Butterfly Needles

Butterfly Needles

In this photo you will see the blue butterfly needle as well. This is a smaller bore needle. This hurts SO LITTLE, but does take longer to draw the blood.

The lab techs couldn’t have been nicer. They saw the number of vials they needed to draw—14!!!—and felt immediately my anxiety. The whole process went really quickly…Here is a YouTube video of a guy getting his blood taken to show you what to expect.

MY TIPS

Follow instructions. If they tell you to fast, follow that carefully. This could throw off your results, and ultimately delay your cycle.

Eat. Make sure you have something with you to eat after you give your blood. This is not like  giving a vial or two for a regular office visit. They collected 14 vials of blood.

Get up slowly. You may be lightheaded. If they have some juice, drink it. Don’t try to be tough, drink your juice!

Give yourself some time to rest. If you can, try to just take an hour at home on the couch to recoup. I went and got my favorite latte and muffin and enjoyed the previous night’s TiVo of Law & Order.

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