Well the last week has been a strange one, it started on Friday morning when hubby and I both got a text message from our doctors surgery telling us we were being invited for the Covid vaccine. I had only done the vaccine calculator a few days prior and it had been saying that Mr Myasthenia Kid due to his medication for Psoriasis and being a carer would be in group 6 and I was unlikely to be vaccinated before the end of May into June. So I was pleasantly surprised that we both got the invite. We are both booked in at different times as one of us needs to be with Dembe, as he is never left spoilt pooch that he is. Mr Myasthenia Kid is getting his at 9am and I am getting mine at midday.
I am a bit worried about getting the vaccine as a few of my friends in the chronically sick community have been poorly after. Some of them had been unlucky enough to get Covid and are struggling with long Covid. Others had Covid and had very few symptoms and are reacting very strongly. My own dad was vaccinated a few weeks ago and he still has a sore arm at the injection site. My mum was vaccinated at the beginning of this week, as far as I know she is doing ok. I am happy to be getting the vaccination, I know there are many differing opinions. To be honest if Mr Myasthenia Kid didn’t work in retail I don’t know if I would be quite so keen to get it. My risk has always been that he brings it home to me and I get exposed to it that way. As we are both over weight ( but not morbidly obese or a BMI over 40 ) we are at a slightly higher risk of complications should we get it. What worries me more about Covid is the possibility of Long Covid and having terrible complications that impact me or hubby for the rest of our lives. Life is hard enough with my health, it would be even harder with Mr Myasthenia Kid also sick and he would struggle mentally if he had to lead the life I do. I see the arguments raging on social media every day for and against the vaccine, everyone is entitled to their own opinion but screaming at each other doesn’t change minds.
I just had a very sobering experience and it has left me feeling sad. I went to our post box ( a hangover from when we had the Weims who ate post, including a cheque for £500 once!) and as I did, I happened to glance up the road. All piled up in front of the house where both my neighbours have recently passed away, are all their belongings in black bags. Their relatives must have people in doing a house clearance. I will be honest we hated each other. But to see the sum total of their lives packed up in black bags ready to be taken to the tip really upset me. They were loved by their friends and family but the things they cherished lie out in the street in rubbish bags. It really hit me hard, probably my age and having to accept my mortality. It just seems so tragic that their lives can be summed up by the contents of those rubbish sacks. It is the first time I have seen something like this. I know many people have to clear houses after relatives pass away, it is the first time I have seen it. I didn’t like it.
Sorry this post is a bit of a mish mash but that’s how my week has been. Yesterday I had to go and get some bloods done to check my electrolyte levels and to have the first of what I am assuming will be regular CA125 blood tests. For those who don’t know what a CA125 test is, it is a test used for diagnosing Ovarian Cancer – well one of them, You can find more information here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ovarian-cancer/diagnosis/ I am having this test because my mum had a rare type of ovarian cancer back in 2018. Thankfully she is in remission and doing well after a huge operation to get rid of the huge ovarian cyst she had which contained a minute bit of cancer. She was incredibly lucky it was found when it was, it was mainly found due to the size of the enormous cyst on her ovary which was the size of a rugby ball. Although the type of cancer she had was rare and not one that runs in families, my gp and I both think that it is a good idea to monitor what this marker is doing. Although in my mums case her CA125 was barely raised, when her cancer was removed. She now has to have this blood test very regularly as she is still being monitored by the hospital. She is in remission and won’t be classed as cancer free for at least another 2 years. I was absolutely fine yesterday having the test but for some reason today I have started panicking about the result. It is a bit silly really, I need to have the test, I pushed for it and now I am terrified. Life eh?
Yesterdays blood draw was a bit of a disaster. Having my bloods done is never a pleasant experience unless I have a highly seasoned HCA / Phlebotomist / Nurse taking them. Otherwise I end up with a frustrated medical professional and multiple stab wounds. I sort of knew I was in trouble when I had to ask for paediatric needles and explain that me having Ehlers Danlos Syndrome meant taking my blood would be like sticking a needle into an elastic band. I have small veins that will blow at the slightest provocation. Yesterday for some reason I was in one of those moods where I didn’t want to make a fuss. I should of as I have been fucking butchered.
When she went for the crook of my arm, a place that hasn’t given up a drop of blood in years I should have spoken up. I didn’t. I was put off saying something as I could sense that this person wasn’t going to accept anything I said as gospel. I have had a few of these appointments of late, the last one with a hospital consultant that told me I didn’t have a spontaneous CSF leak in 2016 because my MRI didn’t show any signs of it. When you are met with that kind of ignorance there is no point fighting it. I must get a load of my CSF leak info leaflets together and put them in my handbag so the next time I am met with this shit I can casually leave one with them to read and educate themselves.
I digress, so she starts on the crook of my arm. I know this isn’t going to end well. Of course because I am half asleep due to my appointment being at the crack of dawn I forget to read her the riot act of absolutely under no circumstances is she to dig around. I get woken up with an electric shock like pain as she strokes the needle over a nerve. I want to say FFS but I dont, I take a huge breath in. She then says helpfully *sarcasm* you are very sensitive aren’t you. I wish we didn’t have Covid as my husbund would be here telling her she was talking out of her behind. He says at every opportunity that I am as hard as nails for everything except dentistry. I have had a lumbar puncture when the aneasthetic worse off, I have had the sides of my toe nail removed without aneasthetic as the ring block has worn off. I am not a dainty little peach that bruises at the slightest contact. I am in pain because your technique is shit. It probably works on big juicy normal veins but my veins are c*nts and I tried to tell you!
It does what my veins always do, fills the tube up, looks promising a few drops go into the vial and then its stops. She digs around, I try not to react as she already has me down as being a pansy. When she gives up, I almost have tears in my eyes with relief.
This is how it is looking today. The bruising is inside and moving my elbow is sore.
I then suggest the back of my hand as there is a place between the first two knuckles on my right hand which is always a sweet spot. This is ignored and we move to the side of the back of my hand. The tourniquet is so tight I am pretty sure that I am going to be bruised from its application. Without a word of a lie two hours after the blood draw, I still had the marks of where the tourniquet had been tied on every area of my arms.
This next spot is the same and is worse in the fact that I know the vein is blown before she seems to. I have to say now hand on heart this is the most painful blood draw I have had in all my 40+ years and I have had a boat load.
As you can see I am the proud owner of a multicoloured wrist, that feels like it has a marble under the skin from the blown vein. Also I would like to point out none of these photos have had any filters added, my bruises actually look worse in the flesh!
I just want to point out even though I have EDS, I RARELY bruise like this from a blood draw. I only bruise like this when someone has taken no notice of what I have told them and thinks that my veins need no special treatment.
This one was very painful as whilst the vein was blown she was again stroking the needle along my nerve endings and was surprised when I kept jumping.
Our doctors surgery has a policy of three attempts and then you get re booked for a blood draw with someone else. She did ask me if I wanted to continue. After having to get up at 6am so I could make it to the appointment semi- conscious, there was no way we were trying every single vein in my body to get blood! So we went for vein number three on the back of my left hand.
This one did give up the goods at the rate of a slow trickle, she did insist on continually moving the needle about which I hate because I find it so painful. I must’ve turned a bit white on this one as she kept asking me if I was ok. I was fine just in pain and when I am in pain I go quiet and very white. This one blew as well, so I had the joys of her continuing to attempt to get the blood out whilst I could see the surrounding tissue turning a nice livid blue. The only good thing about this appointment was that I got the name of the nurse who can get my bloods on the first attempt. I have saved it on my phone so that all future blood drawers will be booked in with her.
This one is bruised but it isn’t anywhere as bad as the other two, as I am so pale the camera doesn’t capture the colours as well.
I was so tired after this appointment that I went to bed in the afternoon and slept for two hours. Something I very rarely do as it usually stops me from sleeping later that night. I was completely worn out by the stress and pain of it all.
I am keeping everything crossed that I don’t have to have them repeated any time soon.
3 thoughts on “A strange week”
Gentle hugs to you! Those bruises make me hurt as my arms have been covered in them during hospital visits. I am from California and during one procedure, nurse and doctors said my veins were “No good.” and they used my ankles. I can totally relate to your story and winced when you mentioned that they only attempt a few times on blood draws.
Wishing you comfort. Take care.
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Thank you hun,
I am very lucky they they aren’t too sore if I am honest. My wrist is a bit stiff due to the swelling but other than that I am ok. In the past when I am in hospital they have attempted using my feet but couldn’t get anything so called the specialist team in that have ultrasound and can find your veins. I find really experienced Phlebotomist’s and Nurses who have a knowledge of EDS or who just listen to me can usually get a vein on the first go. It is when they don’t listen to you and start digging and pinging nerves it winds me up!
Look after yourself and thank you for commenting xxx
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You are so right about having experienced nurse and techs. They make all the difference. Sorry that you have experienced those non-listeners. It is traumatic sometime.
Be well 🙂
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