Bad Blood (Vessels)

When I was in the lab, I told the phlebotomist who called me back (before she started) that both sides were equally bad. I guess she thought I was kidding, so she got a normal (non-butterfly) needle. She got so excited when she found a vein in my left elbow and she finished getting her supplies prepared. 

It wasn’t long before she realized that when I said bad, I meant horrible. She switched to the smaller (blue) adult butterfly and tried for the same vein on the opposite side. And guess what happened?! Nothing. Well, nothing except the pain of her digging in my arm with a sharp implement. 

She told me I was being nice & most people don’t behave that way when they can’t hit them. I told her I expect it on any draw. (I do.) I also told her that I would be her toughest case this week. It wouldn’t be a jump to say this month or this year. Even saying of the person’s entire career wouldn’t be exaggerating. 

People remember my veins. 

Anyway, she had another person come in & she found a viable one on my right hand. They told me to say go in the hand the next time, which might sound like good idea except that they really aren’t any better than any other spot. The only thing consistent about any vein on my body is that it will be a hard vein to stick. 

I just wish that phlebotomists & others who stick me would realize I’m not joking or taunting them about my veins. If they’d go into the blood draw in the mind frame that this will be hard & they need to be more cautious, it might take fewer people to do them.1

Anyway, I hope that they got enough blood to do the test. 

  1. This isn’t me speculating. You remember the part about people remembering my veins? When they do, they’re more careful & can usually hit them more easily. 

The Fat Girl Treatment

My letter to an attending at the family medicine:

I am very disappointed in my appointment from today.

I requested Vitamin B6, Vitamin D, & Parathyroid tests. I have a history of B6 def. and an ongoing issue with Vitamin D def.; as for the parathyroid test, I understand that vitamin D and hyperparathyroidism are related. While the B6 & D test requests were accepted, the PTH test wasn’t. Instead, I’m getting my TSH level checked, which gets checked every year and is always normal. The PTH request was to make sure that that isn’t playing a part in the D deficiency. My mom has a D deficiency that has caused many fractures. I want to prevent that from happening to me.

I also requested a referral to pool therapy. My knee has continued to buckle when I’m exercising. I also feel like the muscle in my leg has gotten weaker. I would appreciate being able to do pool therapy so I can exercise more often. The therapy could also prevent injuries that the D def. & my EDS could cause.

A nurse said I had high blood pressure again. It’s funny how I have geographical hypertension. If I’m in the family medicine clinic, I have it. If I’m across the hall at the gynecologist or down the street seeing the rheumatologist or the hematologist or the ER staff, it’s on the low end of normal. The “hypertension” I get there is related to the machines and a lack of competency on the part of some staff members.1

I was also a bit annoyed that the doctor looked at my chart and declared me to be a prediabetic. My chart doesn’t indicate this. My A1C is normal. My random blood sugar levels are low to normal. My fasting sugars are normal. My glucose tolerance test is always normal. The only “prediabetic” thing about me is the insulin resistance and my weight. My sugar is normal.

I’m a bit disgusted that I’m always given the fat girl treatment. I went in, said what I needed, and why I needed it. I was then told on the PTH that I was wrong about what I needed. I want my parathyroid checked because hyperparathyroidism is linked to vitamin D deficiencies, especially ones that are long-term, which mine is. She thought I wanted my thyroid stimulating hormone checked. Considering that most of the tests they do for hypothyroidism don’t even work with people who’ve had it confirmed via antibody tests, I really don’t want unnecessary thyroid tests done.2 She also ordered tests for cholesterol, which is typical. I get it done every year, even though it is recommended once every five years for someone at my age & risk level. Doing it so often is wrong, especially if you factor in that every unnecessary test puts unwarranted stress on my fragile veins.

  1. The test is done multiple times on the same arm within minutes and seconds of the last test with the wrong size cuffs. None of the nurses know how to do a manual check. In addition to the faux hypertension, always leave with redness, petechia, and bruises. I’ve also been given blood pressure medicine before for it. Taking that medicine caused me to become hypotensive. 

  2. To be honest, my TSH levels are closer to what you’d expect for someone with hyperthyroidism, not hypothyroidism. Always have been, except the time that I actually had medicine-induced hyperthyroidism. 

Mamma Mia, here we go again.

I spent most of the afternoon with mom at the hospital.1 She’s planning on going to a rehabilitation/skilled nursing setting for three weeks when she gets discharged. Part of the reason is that she can’t get in and out of the front door easily because the drop from the threshold to porch is several inches, if not a foot.2 It’s too much strain for her right now. The other reason is that she is going through physical therapy & will still possibly be on IV antibiotics3 when she gets out.4

She will also have to undergo some heart tests when she gets out. Apparently the heaviness feeling went along with some EKG changes.5 Lab work said she hadn’t had a heart attack. The Doppler showed no clots. The cardiologist was concerned & wants to make sure she’s not got an underlying heart issue.6

She seems better physically than she was when she left for the hospital, but she looks and acts so depressed. I want to fix it because that’s what I instinctively feel/do every time she’s depressed.7

One doctor suggested that mom has osteogenesis imperfecta. I thought that sounded a bit ridiculous. If anything,89 I thought it should be a diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos. Mom has always been a fall-er, but has only been breaking bones since I was a kid. Even then, she mainly had strains, sprains, and tendinitis.  And it’s only been in the last few years that the breaks happen with every fall. I suggested she ask the doctor about my idea. Maybe she will. 

  1. She broke her heel two weeks ago, had surgery the next week, got the cast off Thursday, and fell coming in the front door when she got home from that appointment. She busted her stitches and had to have them redone on Friday. 

  2. If my GoFundMe for home repair hadn’t been deleted, I would link to it here. 

  3. Her ankle may have gotten some dirt or lint in it, which could have exposed her to bacteria, so the two antibiotics are a safeguard thing.  

  4. One doctor said 6-8 weeks; another 7-10 days. 

  5. She just told me this today. 

  6. Other than the murmur, blood pressure, and other known issues. 

  7. Since I was an infant. 

  8. other than the known issues of Vitamin D deficiency & osteopenia 

  9. She’s on 600,000 units of Vitamin D right now. 

Review: 8 Minutes 

I cannot believe such a horrible and exploitative show was ever greenlit. Actually, considering that A&E has shows that publicly shame hoarders and addicts, it really isn’t surprising they would expand their dehumanization to sex workers. It’s also not surprising that they misrepresent prostitution with their assumptions that prostitution is always human trafficking or than all prostitutes have pimps. They also portray the women as being morally and emotionally weak. They’re also shown as being unintelligent, drug addicts, and bad parents. It seems that they (including the “advocates” who are former prostitutes who shame and yell at the “victims”)1 don’t view these women as being fully human because of their profession. That’s really gross.

The attitude of “Pastor Kevin” and his team towards prostitution, as well as the actual lack of resources that they provide to the women they’re “rescuing” is reminiscent of crisis pregnancy centers. There are grand promises they make to these women, but the reality of how they “rescue” them is a hotline number, a prayer, and a bunch of empty promises. None are trained to actually help or identify the people they claim to be rescuing. They coerce these women into talking about traumas and life stressors to at least two total strangers in the eight minute timeframe. They try to make these women trust them & seem shocked when they aren’t “empowered” to change. They seem shocked when they aren’t ready to leave a potentially abusive situation to go with a group of people who have emotionally abused you & lied to you in the less than ten minutes that you have known them.

Human rights and sex worker advocates have rightly called them out for doing more harm than good to these women & to the cause of ending human trafficking. And when there are even reports that the women that said yes are being reported to cops? Yeah, that really sounds like they want to advocate for these people. And their idea that they are saving these women or that all sex workers need saving really speaks more to the egos of the “savior” than it does the SW.

This show is messed up.

  1. I view the advocates as people who are dealing with Stockholm Syndrome.