Friday, October 31, 2014

A Halloween Blood Letting

I had to get a bunch of blood drawn for a laundry list of tests my doc wants to run, so, with a cynical snicker, I scheduled it for this afternoon. Needles don't necessarily scare me, but medical stuff in general does, since I associate doctors' offices with panic and pain and general awfulness. So what better day to do something scary than Halloween, am I right?

Plus I had secret hope that the nurses would be dressed as vampires.

So I just got back, freshly bandaged on both arms, uhthankyouverramuch, and maybe this is just the Xanax talking, but life is pretty dang good right now.

I know you guys are probably sick of hearing how wonderful John is, but he really outdid himself today. Before we left I briefed him on what the phlebotomist would need to know (sometimes my anxiety makes it hard for me to talk), and as soon as we arrived he ratcheted his usual charm up to 11. Within minutes we were laughing and joking with the guy doing our paperwork, and when the worker revealed that *he* was the best phlebotomist there, John shamelessly used every compliment & trick in the book to get him to do my blood work - up to and including offers of bribes. 
("I will go next door right now and buy you a sub. You want lunch? Let me get you lunch.")

The worker, whose name was Abi, was eventually won over (though he laughingly refused the bribes.) And even though he was supposed to be working the front desk, he agreed to make an exception for us.

True to his word, Abi was the best blood sucker [snerk] ever, even without a vampire costume. (Poo.) He even agreed to use a butterfly needle, which - pro tip! - is so much less painful. I barely felt the pinch! Which was especially nice, since we needed so much blood that he had to do both arms.

While we waited for all the vials to fill, John played an episode of Frasier on his phone for us, and kept me talking and joking. He tells me he only got woozy once. (Did I mention John sometimes faints at the sight of blood? That's love, my friends. TWU WUV.)

I also practiced some slow abdominal breathing when the nerves got especially bad, and was surprised how much it helped. Within less than five minutes my freezing hands and feet were warm again! I always shrugged off breathing exercises for anxiety, but now I think I'm sold.

Anyway, I've been meaning to have this check-up for years, so it's a relief to have the scariest part over with. I'm hoping to get a clean bill of health so I can really start tackling by anxiety treatment - but that's for another post. For now, your Halloween Treat:


That's John the Death Eater, boogieing down with Bellatrix at the Yule Ball during Dragon Con. 

And one more, since I feel like this post needs at least ONE creepy Halloweenish photo


 (Also from DC - because someday I will post the rest of my cosplay photos. I will, I will!)

Maybe I can convince John to put on his mask & robe tonight while we hand out candy. :D

Oh! And one more treat:

My art winner this month IS.... Renee from PA whose profile says she's an attorney & has a little girl! Which I hope is specific enough. Heh.

Congrats, Renee, and please e-mail me your mailing address & choice of art prize from my Pinterest give-away board!

And to everyone else: have fun tonight! Eat lots of candy! Oh, and share pics of your costumes over on the Epbot FB page! That'll give me something fun to look at between answering the door.

25 comments:

  1. Instead of costumes and candy this year some friends and I are doing a candy + ghostbusters marathon :D well I am not doing much candy...diabetes is such a fun sucker :(. I hate having blood drawn and though I don't get overly anxious with out fail i always get a headache.. i am pretty sure its psychosomatic for me. It is so awesome that you have a guy like John to be awesome in times of need like that.. makes me feel all mushy and the dust in the room starts goin to my eyes.. I hope all is well with the results and maybe you guys can boogy down in your capes and masks at the door! Happy Halloween!!!

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  2. I was a skeptic about breathing exercises for my anxiety as well, until I was finally convinced to try them, and now it helps me SO much I don't know why I was so stubborn. :)

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  3. Glad your blood draw went well. Had my experience this week with the butterfly needle. My veins are blown from chemo and just roll around in my arm. But a butterfly needle in my hand works every time. Happy Halloween.

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    1. Hi there, I just wanted to say good luck with your chemo. I know how hard it is on the body. I'm sure you've had enough of needles to last you a lifetime. Do you have a port cath? It's so much easier when they have to do the draws. Anyway - stay strong - even though it's so hard to do when you have cancer. Many blessings to you.

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  4. Hooray for easy blood drawing! I've had both bad and good and it's amazing how a skilled professional makes all the difference

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  5. Butterfly needles are, indeed, the bomb. Glad your appointment went well.
    I believe you've seen Darth Maryn's Hallowe'en costume this year (Jedi Rapunzel) but I'll go share my makeup now (I can't wait to wash my face! Or, yanno, touch it!)

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  6. ALWAYS dress up to hand out candy. Note: this advice comes from one who dresses up for a desk job.

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  7. I have a blood test tomorrow, so I have to skip the candy. Since you liked "Soul Eater", I wish you a Happy This is Halloween!

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  8. Count me in with the pro-butterfly needle crowd. You can barely feel them, and I've never had a vein blow when having blood drawn with one.

    Hope your tests come back clean!

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  9. So glad that all went well for you this time!
    Here's a little something to make you smile, the knitted animation is finally finished and out in full. Be warned, there is knitted nudity and plenty of double entendres!
    http://m.youtube.com/?#/watch?v=huytU80fv0o

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  10. So glad to read that you had a medical experience that wasn't awful. I'm always so surprised and grateful when my husband, son, or I have an appointment or a procedure that doesn't turn into a nightmare (since that seems to be so rare). My son just had to have a very minor gum operation, and the periodontist was so awesome that I seriously considered baking him cookies afterward, heh! Most of the time I end up wishing I could bake the doctor, not bake FOR the doctor.

    Oh, and I'll absolutely NEVER get sick of hearing about how wonderful John is, so brag on, Jen. It's always great to read about two people who are in love and who take such good care of each other. Yay for compatibility, respect, and support! I'm so lucky to have an amazing husband, too, and I never take that for granted. I try to show him and tell him every day how grateful I am to share a happy life with him.

    Hope you got lots of cute trick-or-treaters last night who appreciated your cute steampunkin and scary wreath!

    Congrats to Renee from PA for winning the art give-away this month!

    KW

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  11. I'm glad that your Halloween went so well! John is a really awesome fellow. I hope to be as lucky to not only find a lover, but a best friend as you have! You guys are too cute and I love reading about your crafts, adventures in cosplay, dealing with life's quirks, and everything in between. Thank you for sharing!

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  12. Happy Halloween! I hope that you had a great day despite the medical stuff. I'm so used to it all that needles don't phase me anymore. Giving yourself shots on a regular basis will do that. Hopefully you won't get as used to it all as I am and you will get a clean bill of health! Hang on to that John - he's a good one.

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  13. I hope you were able to convince John to hand out candy as a Death Eater. I feel your pain on the blood thing, as for the longest time I needed monthly blood draws, and my veins suck. The butterfly needle is great if your veins are close to the surface, but mine aren't so they don't work on me. I hope you have good results, so you can get the treatment you need.

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  14. I'm glad the blooding went well, and that your anxiety was under control for it. John is truly a star. I actually don't mind needles, but I invvariably react to the surgical sticky tape they use afterwards, and then I always bruise around the pinhole and have raised itchy red welts where the tape was...One day I'll remebber to bring my own bandaids!
    How are Lily and Tonks?

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    1. Yes, that awful medical tape!! Such a great idea to bring your own bandaids; I'll have to do that next time, too.

      Cats are doing great; Lily has been med-free for something like 6 weeks now, still no signs of over-grooming! I'm still paranoid and convinced it will come back, but for now: happiness.

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    2. Latex and/or adhesive allergies are super common, ask them to use paper tape on you, no more welts!

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  15. I never get sick of you bragging on John. =) You guys both rock, and I'm happy to know you/y'all're happy. =)

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  16. Ack! That's me!!! I won???? Wow I seriously never win anything !!! :)

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  17. The only disadvantage to the butterfly needles is that they do clot up faster than regular needles, so they can't draw any more blood (as opposed to the vein being the limiting factor). That may be why you had to have the blood taken from both arms. Butterflies do hurt less, and are great for small and or 'rolling' veins - but if your veins are a size that can take a regular needle, you may want to think about the pain of one poke with a standard needle vs. two pokes with a butterfly.

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  18. I thought this would be answered, but don't see it. I don't watch the show so I'm wondering.... is that a cupcake he's holding? And if so, why? If not, what is it?
    Jen -- it is YOUR blog. If you want to brag on your hubby then don't hold back.
    Maureen S

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  19. I love hearing about hubby being the hero :) It so sweet that you are so happy and so in love :). Could you please write something more about those breathing exercises? My anxiety strikes at some different situations and I would really love to try it then.

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  20. Jen... if you haven't already, look up the company Theranos and keep an eye on when they might come to your area. They are looking to revolutionize blood testing, first and foremost by using way less blood to do way more tests. And more cheaply, at that.

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