Thursday, June 28, 2007

I am NOT a guinea pig!

One nice thing about spending one day a week at the hospital is that I know all the staff and they know me. Every week I get my blood tests, and if you have ever given blood, or had simple blood tests done yourself, then you will know it takes five minutes at the most.

But yesterday I was given a male nurse that I didn’t recognise. I presumed he had been transferred from some other department, he was in his late 40’s and I didn’t suppose he would be a trainee nurse.

How wrong I was.

The nurse stuck the needle into my right arm – my good arm – and as soon as it went in I knew it had missed the vein. It was agony. I looked the other way and distracted myself by trying to imagine a brand new colour (hours of fun). He struggled to fill the first few bottles – it took five minutes each to fill them with my blood. However, by the time he came to fill the last two bottles he had ‘lost the vein’. He hummed and hawed as he tried to find it again, before deciding that he’d go for a different vein instead.

He pierced my skin again, and missed another vein.

Oh my God, this man is incompetent. I thought in horror as I tried to find something else to distract myself from the pain. I could feel the blood trickling down my arm to my wrist. That never happens!

He took my other arm. I could tell he was getting flustered by this point; his face was shiny with sweat and there was something – a vein, a muscle? – pulsating in his forehead.

I won’t bore you with the details, but if I were to say that my skin was pierced seven times (when normally it is once), and the blood was everywhere except in the bottles, five veins had been jabbed at and he had even been considering veins on my hands, I left that room with four plasters on my arms after 45 minutes. That’s 40 minutes longer than normal.

And me, being me, just sat there, praying he would go and ask another nurse to do it, but being too polite to tell him to back off and leave my poor arms alone.

I am in absolute agony. Agony, I tell you!

P.S. It looks worse in reality than in the photo.


Despina said...

That sounds like quite an ordeal and you appear to be in a state, you are so brave! Don't ever be polite about things like that - if he'd done that to one arm he had no right to think he could move over and do it to the other one. Is it really painful?

-()- Despina hug for you x

Princesse Ecossaise said...

Aww thanks for the hug Despi! Och I know I shouldn't have allowed him to do that; I just felt sorry for him! I felt embarrassed for him...I think that kind of politeness is some sort of British thing. There's no way the French would have allowed that!

It is indeed really painful, it's very difficult to sleep with unbent arms! try it! almost impossible hehe.

Jez said...

Fucking hell! Was his name Zorro?

You have complained loudly, haven't you? The man is clearly in the wrong job, and if he's in any way responsible for people's health and wellbeing, that is a dangerous thing, for you and for the next poor sap that gets lacerated by this incompentent twunt.

If you haven't complained, please please do. This shit should not stand.

(By the way, your word verification thingumijig doesn't seem to work in the Opera browser. No reason you should particularly care, it's just that weirdos like me who use obscure browsers have to fire up Internet Exploder to leave a comment.)

T.D. Newton said...

My Lord, how nightmarish. I feel for you, getting blood drawn is no fun at all but he might as well have been wearing a black mask and carrying a whip this time.

Good job turning on the word verification :)

Jez said...


Yeah, but you will get tonnes of spam. It's inevitable. I don't mind opening another browser if I have anything of earth-shattering importance to say.

T.D. Newton said...

I prefer Firefox 2.0 but I have to run IE 6.0 for work-related web-based applications. I've never used Opera. I love the customizability of Firefox, especially AdBlock Plus and Filterset.G. I don't have to look at those stupid MySpace ads EVER AGAIN.

"Punch George Bush's mom in the mouth and win ten million Playstation 3's loaded with ringtones FREE FREE FREE"

Lis of the North said...

Oh princesse your arms look such a mess. Did you ask the nurse whether he'd actually been to nursing college at any point in his life??
Poor love xx

Princesse Ecossaise said...

Lol! damn it I really hate those awful ads...

I never used to get much spam without word verification, I shall be on the lookout and do what needs be.

Not sure how to make complaints at the hospital - I feel pretty sorry for the guy (yes I know he shouldn't have done it that way!) if he was a trainee it's really a shame and although he's responsible someone else should have been there watching. A trainee nurse should never be left alone with a patient.

Still I can't help thinking what would happen if I had been a child or an old frail pensioner. Would he have continued to jab them? Maybe I should make an official complaint for the sake of other patients...

Princesse Ecossaise said...

lol Lis! I should have, instead I avoided confrontation, stupidly.

Dad was absolutley raging! Insisted I never, ever allow that man to take blood from me ever again! But will I find the courage next time to say 'I'd rather have someone else'? Hopefully.

sugar007 said...

Oh my gosh. That looks painful. How many bottles of blood, do they have to take? I agree, this is not the time to be polite!!

Jez said...

Firefox and Opera are both much of a muchness - both fast and have adblock options. IE7 Pro ( is an add-on to Internet Exploder that is supposed to do the same thing. Haven't tried it though.

But really - there is no reason on this earth that you should agree to this guy (was he blind and one-armed?) going anywhere near you again. The point of complaining is that he should be nowhere near ANY patients. Sometimes you should give inexperienced people some slack, but a mistake as big as that cannot go unchecked. I could do a better job than that guy (although I don't recommend you testing that theory out).

Stratfordgirl said...

Poor you. Hope your arms get better soon - that looks really painful. Hope you're not suffering too much xx

Zhu said...

I've just seen the new Mickael Moore movie, Sicko, where UK health care is praised. Don't tell me he's wrong ! :D

fracas said...

Will you have the courage to refuse that bozo? You'd better. I think you should print that photo and keep a wallet size so next time you go in, just show them your arms and say you need a different person.

Ouch. It happened to my daughter once (though not as bad) and it was all I could do to not seriously hurt the nurse.

If I could fuel you more than once today, I would... just for that.

Miss Despina said...

Haha you called my boyfriend a weirdo but I'm still your friend! He likes using exploder, just because it gives him a chance to grumble! Hope you're healing up Princesse, and managed to sleep with un-bent arms x

Princesse Ecossaise said...

Owww the arms are extremely swollen and weird today! I look like I have elephantitis :-( poo.

Hahaha Oh but Despina 'twas HE who said he was a weirdo! Don't shoot the messenger! :-p (plus, weirdos are much better than 'normal' people)

Sugar - it was four bottles of blood they had to take..Harsh! But they were small bottles, test tube size. Still, unpleasant! They probably had 8 bottles it was just half of it was on the chair and my clothes!

Ah Zhu, ummmm well...errr...the good thing about UK health care is it's totally free!! ^_^

You know Fracas my dad said exactly the same thing! He told me to print the photo and take it with me anytime I need to go to the hospital for blood tests. I might just do that. At least it would back me up if I'm told he's to take my blood again!

Bill Blunt said...

You MUST complain, Princess! Your treatment looks to have bordered on assault.

Don't worry about any repercussions in the future, if you complain. You will be treated with kid gloves - dare I say it, like a princess!

Incompetence in matters medical is not something we should tolerate...