just had my 3rd bad blood draw, the shrink asked me to get labs done to check med levels and i went to the same place i went to last time which is when i had my 2nd bad blood draw and you might be wondering why i went to the same place after having a bad experience last time? well that’s a good question and the answer is this: i went to portland adventist again because i’m already in their system and because i can’t go to providence because i still owe them money from the last time i got labs done there which was right after my FIRST bad blood draw, a draw which was so bad that the doctor couldn’t even get any blood outta me so i had to go straight from her office to providence and never paid them. that was many, many years ago.
but it’s a good story so here it is. i was in the middle of starting the last leg of my drinking career(the leg which almost killed me and forced me to get sober) and was not feeling well but did not yet grasp that my alcoholism was the cause so i went to see a naturopath. i remember that i wore my slippers and took a cab(drunk) to the office over on hawthorne but had no idea how i was going to get back home(i was having trouble planning ahead at that point). when i got in to see the doctor she asked me a bunch of questions and i began to notice most of them were about my drinking and not about the supposed ailment i was seeing her for. she asked if i had ever gotten treatment for it and i told her that i had ended up in detox once where they had told me that i was pre-cirrhotic and had also told me that if i quit drinking for 9 weeks my liver cells would regenerate and so that’s what i had done and after 9 weeks(is that even true?) i had started drinking again. about the pre-cirrhosis thing the naturopath said(in what seemed to me a rather offhanded manner) that at this point i probably actually HAD cirrhosis and she wanted to do a blood draw to check my liver and my pancreas. she had these disposable hypodermic needles and tried to draw blood 3 times but could not hit a vein and apparently that’s the limit, you can only try a blood draw 3 times and then someone else has to do it. she was pissed and wrote me a prescription for blood labs and sent me off to providence. her only advice was to start going to AA every day(thanks a lot, doc).
anyways i had to hoof it all the way to providence on glisan in my slippers to get my blood drawn and before i got in to see the phlebotomist i had to do all this paperwork and the nice lady told me that i didn’t have to pay right away and that they would instead send me a bill. the phlebotomist there was a nice russian woman and i told her about what had happened at the naturopath and she said “i don’t know what the other doctor was talking about, you have beautiful veins” and hit one on the 1st try. about a week later i got a call from the naturopath who had gotten the results from the lab and she said to me, “i can’t really believe it but amazingly your liver and your pancreas are fine”. she almost sounded pissed.
anyways that was 6 years ago and after that i started going to a pcp at the bridge city clinic and they had a lab on-site so i just got my labs done there. the phlebotomist there never had any trouble finding a vein but i stopped going to that place about a year ago because there was a super high turnover rate and everytime i went i had a different doctor, i started going to a place called la clinica where i’m seemingly the only gringo and i have a great doctor but there’s no lab there. so last year when the shrink needed me to do labs i had to find a new place and since i couldn’t go to providence i settled on portland adventist and that’s where i got my 2nd bad blood draw. the person in the lab there seemed a little hungover and when she tried the left arm she couldn’t hit a vein at which point she started moving the needle around while it was in my arm. that was unpleasant. she tried again but no dice and then we switched to the right arm and she finally managed to draw blood but i walked around with a bruise covering my entire arm for 3 days. that was also quite unpleasant and it also kind of pissed me off.
but today when i had to go get my labs done AGAIN i still didn’t want to go to providence so i went to portland adventist thinking there was no way they were gonna screw up a 2nd time, right? getting admitted took 3 different people and too much time and then even though there was noone else in the waiting room i had to sit there for like 15 minutes. when i got called in it was a different phlebotomist who was also russian(is phlebotomy big in that country or what?) and she sat me down and started feeling around for a vein. she said something like “have you had problems before?” and couldn’t seem to locate one and i told her about my last visit and she said “you have very small veins and they’re moving around like fish(?)” and finally decided on a vein that noone had ever tapped before on the OUTSIDE of my arm. it took her a couple tries and even once the blood started flowing it was like a dribble and she kept having to fuck with the plunger and it took forever and started making me feel queasy. she tried to distract me w/small talk and when it was finally finished she said my expression had worried her. we’ll see how the bruising goes in the days ahead.
i was going to write about pumpkin patches and pumpkin carving(i’ve been knee-deep in pumpkins lately which makes sense because it’s coming up on halloween and wookie loves pumpkins regardless) but that’ll have to wait until another time, i finished 4 pieces yesterday and am going to continue getting my shit organized for the big move and the world series starts tomorrow and the giants are in it, october is probably my favorite month by far.