Heart attack

My Heart Attack

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Blood test and hot weather

I had yet another blood test at Grove Surgery. I had the results for the last one (it showed I had a low cholesterol level of 4.8.) No explanation as to WHY I needed a second one. A mystery, certainly. If I was going through that stress again I was going to ask to get the same doctor to do it, as it was not as stressful as it could have been before now, due to the fact he used a special thin needle. I went to book the appointment and found that the doctor who took my blood the last time was on leave, so it would be a good two, three weeks in advance, which I was prepared to wait for. So, yesterday, I went to the surgery. I decided to walk there (it's only about a 20-minute walk along the Redway, along the side of Saxon Street and then down beneath Standing Way, using the underpass and into the estate where the surgery is. I took my iPod, and plugged myself in using the earphones. I have plenty to listen to, having downloaded quite a few podcasts from iTunes. In fact, the weather being especially hot and pleasant, the walk there was quite enjoyable. 

You have to sign in at my surgery using the computerised system (I think most surgeries use this system, and if enough use them, will make the rather 'up-themselves' receptionists redundant.) The blood test was scheduled for 9.40, but I didn't actually get called into the surgery until at least 10.00, a wait of at least 20 minutes. I beg the question: why bother to have this system if it can't run to time and you waste 20 minutes just sitting at staring at a load of sick and injured people who inhabit the waiting room? Can they get a better selection of reading material to read, or even have a coffee machine or video on the audio-visual screens, which show such boring a repetative material anyway?

I enter the doctor's surgery. He doesn't seem exactly prepared for the process of blood-letting. He disappears off to find the required surgery, leaving me laying on the couch. He comes back and attempts to take blood. Success! He is able to find a vein, not in the usual place, inside the bed of my elbow, but much further down, almost on my wrist. I feel nothing, but the needle remains in my arm for quite some time. He removes the needle from the vein, places a bit of cotton wool on the place where the needle went in, and tells me to press the cotton wool with my finger, to help stop any bleeding. Meanwhile, he says he's managed to get blood down his shirt, while he tips one half of the blood he's taken into a second vial. I sit up, with my finger still pressed on the cotton wool. He is still fussing about trying to get the blood (mine!) off his shirt front. This has never happened before, not to me, not whilst a nurse or doctor is extracting blood from my arm. One expects a professional to be able to attempt this procedure without blood being spilt. Fortunately he manages to put caps on the vials to prevent any leakage.

He then has to print out labels for the vials, and this seems to cause some sort of problem, as he's not sure which way round the paper goes in the computer printer. I imagine it would need a certain amount of skill, as the label required has a tear-off strip, which must go into the printer drawer the correct way round, otherwise the label will not have the printed area in the right place (which is exactly what happens.) He screws up the mis-printed label and puts a second blank sheet in the printer drawer, but this time it comes out printed correctly. He hands me both blood vials with the labels attached, which I take to the reception desk.

I still don't understand the need to have this second blood test. I have been told nothing as to the reason, although, over the last couple of weeks I have been feeling light-headed, and think it may be something to do with blood pressure. The doctor took my blood pressure after I had the blood taken, and it shows a relatively normal result. It may be something to do with how my body is coping with the medication I am on that the second blood test was done. I won't get a result for a couple of days.

It is exceptionally hot today, very unseasonal for the final day of September.

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