Flight of the Phlebotomists

This past week has been a rough one for me.  Actually, most of the last two weeks have been downright awful.  I ended up getting sick (again) and landed in the ER not once, but twice, and was admitted for 4 days the second trip.  I won’t get into the specifics of that, but let’s just say that I am currently in the market for an air-conditioned human-sized hamster ball to move into permanently.  Ok, not permanently, but you get my drift.

Funny things happen in hospitals.  You do things you would never normally do.  For example, the first thing they do is tell you to take off your clothes and put on a gown that opens in the back.  I have learned, through the years, to ALWAYS keep on my yoga pants or shorts.  But some people just let it allllll hang out.  *shudder*

I also do not and will never understand why a HOSPITAL BATHROOM looks like a dirty truck stop.  Seriously, people?  Apparently, hospitals are full of The Peeing Mantis and her buddies.  I don’t get how a grown person can walk into a public restroom and just hose it down like it was on fire.  Women, you are not excluded from this!  Don’t believe me?  I bumped into the woman who was coming out as I was going in and there was pee all over the seat and floor.  My dog has more self control than these idiots!

I ended up waiting for three and a half hours to get IN to the ER, and then another 6 hours before they got me into a room, where I get to banter back and forth with weirdo male nurse (nothing against male nurses… this one was just weird) about how horrible it must be for me to be deathly allergic to peanut butter, when it tastes so good.  Here’s a newsflash, slick… It really doesn’t matter WHAT it tastes like if it will kill you.  Then the other nurse comes in and starts asking you a million questions that you answered in the ER just 5 hours earlier.  I see you typing it into the computer… do you have completely different systems from downstairs to upstairs?  Do the laws of electronic data storage cease to exist once you have upgraded from the ER copay to the In Patient copay?  Am I paying extra for this “service”??  Sheesh.

But, upstairs there are drugs.  Sweet, wonderful drugs that end in -ine.  Drugs that make your toes go numb and you forget why you were there in the first place.  Drugs that allow you to fall right to sleep for the first time in days.  Then the fuckers walk into the room every 15 minutes throughout the night to check that you are still breathing, or wonder how many times you got up to pee.  Back off, Nursezilla!  I wouldn’t have to get up at all if you would let my happy ass sleep.  Then they want to know if you are in pain, so you lie and say yes and they give you more drugs so that you will sleep through their annoyance.  No? Uh, me neither.

3:30am – Bright light flashes before your eyes, and for a minute, you think you are dead.  Then you wish they were as the all too chipper voice of the phlebotomist says, “Princess, I am here to take your blood.”  I hear these words echoing throughout the hall as I realize there is an army of phlebotomists (phlebotomi?) in every room, slowly sucking the life out of us like a bad teen vampire movie.  Not the good one, either.  That stupid spoof one.  Seriously. I want my money back on that one.  Except the Segway… that was funny.  Any way, my mind wanders, as it is want to do, while she is doing this and I start to see the phlebotomists as an army of angry bees… hence my title.  I also hear “The Flight of the Bumblebee” floating through my brain, which pisses me off because it is 3:30 am and I want to be asleep.  Not dealing with LaStat and her needles.

Then, once you finally fall back asleep, the beeping starts.  From the IV pole.  Always with that damn pole.  And make sure you ALWAYS pick the vein in the middle of my right arm when I am right handed.  There isn’t any possibility that I would need to bend my arm at all.  So it beeps.  And beeps.  And you call the nurse in to de-beep the machine.  And she looks annoyed that she had to come in to deal with you.  Payback’s a bitch, ma’am.  Luckily for me, my sister is a nurse and she taught me how to silence the devil machine on my own.  Now the only time it beeps more than once is when the bag runs dry.

And then, promptly at 7 am someone shows up with “breakfast”.  I don’t know how they can call clear liquids a meal at all, but whatever.  Then… you are awake.  And no once comes to check on you for 6 bloody hours.  Really???  You can’t leave me alone for 6 hours to sleep, but I can stare at the wall for 6 hours straight.  Pffft.

But then it is time for you to go home.  The doctor comes in and gives you the all-clear.  You’d think you could just cut off the band and walk out.  But, sadly, no.  There is more waiting to be done.  I am convinced all the waiting is so that the hospital can collect another day’s copay, but whatever.  I usually use this time to do things like take a shower, figure out my income taxes, and ponder the early existence of man.  Did I mention it takes a while?  So they finally come in with your to-go paperwork and you think that THEN you would be able to leave.  But no.  Silly people!  NOW you have to wait for them to scrounge up a wheelchair so they can roll you safely downstairs!  But they can’t ever find one. In. A. Hospital.  So, after you wait another semester, they finally come in and say, “Can you walk down ’cause we can’t find one and I have to go home in 30 minutes.”  So, you walk downstairs with an overly chatty nurse aid like a kid getting walked to the Principal’s office to your awaiting chariot… the trusty silver Saturn and your prince.

“Get me the hell out of here… I’m starving.  Let’s go eat.”

About ElizabethBlessitt

Writer. Photographer. Organization Development guru. Rabid Scrapbooker. Partially terrified singer. Getting fit physically and emotionally. Will kick your ass at Jeopardy. Does Sudoku and Crosswords in pen.
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