Human Pincushion

There are very few joys in being a human pincushion. I get my blood drawn at LEAST twice a month and have an IV line placed every 6…8…wait…now 12 weeks. I’ve never been afraid of needles – except for that one the young intern (whose intense fear of screwing up was only thinly veiled by an air of confidence) used to put my arterial line in before my craniotomy – and it’s probably a really good thing.

One of the only joys – and that’s stretching the term ‘joy’ a lot, just to be clear in case my sarcasm isn’t coming through – is when you get a phlebotomist (aka vampire) who is so good that he can use whatever size needle he wants and gets my veins to cooperate in one try. One try means no digging around with the needle, no going for a second vein, no sighs of frustration after the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th attempt fails. Unfortunately, I only get to visit this superhero of a vampire when I have to do blood tests between appointments at Stanford.  My doctor (family medicine – she sees me when I have sniffles – not to dismiss her value in any way, but everything else seems like sniffles after you learn you have brain cancer) kindly orders my labs so I don’t have to drive so far for a simple blood draw.

In other news: Remember all that waiting I did for my Temodar last week and how it was rendered useless because my dosage was changed? I’d gladly take more of that waiting over dealing with the new pharmacy that our insurance would like us to use for specialty medicines. Just to give you a flavor – THEY called me yesterday and then put ME on hold to wait for a representative to become free to speak to me – 5 minutes later. I then spent at least an hour on the phone with them – most of that time on hold. I got another call today to inform me that there’s a delay in my prescription and I should receive my medication within 7 days or so. If that’s a problem I can call them back to likely be told it will take 7 days anyway. Oh, and the anti-nausea meds my doctor ordered are handled by another department…so if I want those, they’d be ‘happy to transfer me to another representative.’  Apparently they mean something different when they call themselves a ‘specialty pharmacy’ (insert snarky joke here).  A ‘morning’ delivery window is nothing compared to this horrific customer service experience.

Results of both my blood work and pharmacy dealings are still pending.

phlebotomy-training-in-colorado

 

Note: this is a generic picture, not me or one of many that have drawn my blood. It’s usually advisable that a phlebotomist wear gloves while handling someone else’s blood. Oh, and my arms are WAY less hairy.  

pharmacy-medicines-tablets

 

It sometimes feels like I’m taking this many, but I’m not.

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