Friday, July 05, 2013

Vein Hope

Today I got up filled with worry. I have to go get a blood test, routine stuff, but this is always a bit of an ordeal for me. I am what they call 'a difficult poke' ... I imagine that could be a compliment or an insult in various circles. So I go in knowing that I'm going to be jabbed several times. Occasionally when the moon aligns with mars they get it first time.

The worry, though, isn't about the poke. or pokes, that I am going to endure.

It's about the poker, the one wielding the needle.

The lab where I go has a variety of staff. Some take the frustration of getting me with ease and humour, some act as if my veins are acting under my direct command as they bob and weave to evade the needle. My experience of being physically poked isn't half the issue ... not even quarter. It's all about the attitude.

I have my favourites, of course, those I know who will take time and be thorough and will treat me as I'm a human being with veins rather than a vein surrounded by needless flesh and bone. It's not really possible to ask for a particular person as it's a pick a number, wait for turn, sit in a room, wait for who comes. When someone comes that I know is testy, I tense up. When someone comes that I know is kind, I relax. It's simple.

I was thinking about my worry this morning and wonder if that's how those who receive service always feel. Do staff in group homes, or in hospitals, or in shelters ... know that they, if they chose, could be the presence that relaxes, the person who is looked forward to, the person that someone wishes for? Do people think about how others anticipate them?

There is so much under our control.

It's about how we set our minds, about how we allow our attitudes to frame our interactions. I hope I get the woman, who I now realized chooses how she will be, who makes the right choice, over and over and over again.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful insight . . . I once asked if clients would ever be permitted to "choose" their care-givers. The answer was a quick "NO - they would just pick their favourites!"

Duh! Silly question, I guess!

Here's hoping your veins stood at attention this morning and saluted!

liebjabberings said...

I'm thinking about what you said of getting whomever is next up in line - when you are a difficult person to get blood from.

I don't want to go back to my doctor for needed maintenance because I can't talk to her.

Yet I have choices.

If I am the customer, I should be able to say a word to the supervisor, and get the right person for bloodwork, etc., assuming I'm willing to wait until that person is available. I (or my insurance company) am paying, after all.

I shall probably have to find a new doctor - an inconvenience. But doing without necessary health maintenance is worse.

Thanks. ABE

Anonymous said...

Dave, when you go to the lab, do you take a number? If a lab person comes out looking for the next victim, and you know it wouldn't be the best person for you, can't you just say, "I'll wait for the next one, thanks" or turn to the next one in line and say, "Please, go before me". It happens all the time at the lab were I go. At first, the lab folks wanted to know why, people told them, now they don't ask.

Webster said...

I, too, and a difficult poke, so before they even get started I tell them that I have baby veins with valves close together, and they tend to roll - if that information will be of any help to them. I am usually thanked, and rarely am I poked more than twice. They also may put on a heat pack or a warm towel for a few minutes, and I do remember to be well hydrated before.

Just sayin', because I feel your pain:D

jwg said...

I'm also a hard stick .You need to be as sharp about medical consumer rights as you are about disability rights. You have the right to refuse care by one provider and request another. The lab where I go to get tested has student interns and I simply request one of the two regular technicians.

Anonymous said...

It is so simple you wonder why folks don't get it. Attitude is everything. Caregivers often need an attitude adjustment. When I have a difficult procedure that I know is trying for all I usually say something like: "I am often a tough one for getting blood. I just want to thank you ahead of time for your patience." Seed planted - and often they feel they need to live up to your appreciation. Work well most of the time.

Jayne Wales said...

It's exactly that I remember a mum telling me she had to leave her little daughter everyday on a ward where she knew that some staff were going to be unkind to her. She was a young mum, no choices, her mother in law was hard on her, her daughter" put away". She used to watch for the face and the mood of the person coming on shift, powerless but relieved or terrified when she saw it and she had to leave. She could not understand when she told me why the tears were rolling down my face. She had told people before but it never elicited that response. Oh tha stories that just really get to you and how I know that some people just still dread the person who comes.