Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Writer's World Wednesdays-Urgent Care Visit

For the past week I've been getting numbness in my hands and feet.  On Monday morning, I woke up with my left hand numb.  I've had that happen before when I was sleeping on it funny, but this time I woke lying on my back with my hand resting on my stomach.  I got up, shook it out, and got ready to head to the gym with my husband.  We were almost there when I said, "I think I need to go to the hospital.  I've got numbness down my left arm and it's not going away."  So we turned the car around and headed to Urgent Care. 

The nurse asked a few questions and then took me into an examination room.  The tingling wasn't going away, but I was a little less anxious since questions like, "Any shortness of breath?  Any tingling around your mouth?  Any feeling of heaviness in your chest?" were all answered, "No."  I was further reassured that I wasn't having a heart attack when my blood pressure came back normal.  However, my arm was still tingling.

When I told the doctor I'd had a bit of numbness in my feet as well, she ordered lab tests to rule out elevated electrolytes (heart) and blood sugar (diabetes).

Here's where the fun really started. 

I have deep, swervy, easily collapsible veins.  Whenever I have to do blood tests, I drink lots of water the day before and then about four cups prior to heading to the lab.  Still, the techs usually have a hard time getting a "juicy" vein even using the smallest needle available.  I told this to the first nurse who came to draw blood.  She caught a vein but couldn't thread the needle well enough to actually get blood.  She gave up and brought in "the big guns."  This guy was big alright, with his tattooed muscles and assurances he was "the best".  He gave up after two attempts.  The third guy came in and, seeing the normal spots for drawing blood already bandaged over, starts thumping on veins left and right.  Literally.  Left arm.  Right arm. (Makes a funny face.) Goes back to the left arm. Goes back to the right.  I said, "Since we've ruled out a heart attack, should I go home, drink lots of water, and come back tomorrow when I'm better hydrated?"  He went to check with the doctor.  "Nope, the doctor wants the blood drawn today.  I'm going to go get the 'big guns.'"

I'm thinking, he was already here and gave up.

Ten minutes later, in comes this petite woman who hunts left, hunts right, and then says, "This is going to hurt," and sticks a needle into my wrist.  She does manage to get four vials of blood drawn, though, so that's good.  However, she left the needle in my wrist.  On purpose.  Just in case the lab needed more blood or made a mistake or something.

I can't watch a TV show when someone's getting a needle stuck in them.  Blow them up, shoot them dead, drop them in burning acid, but don't stick a needle in them.  And now, here I sit with a needle stuck in my wrist for an hour waiting for the lab to finish their tests.

The good news is my electrolyte levels were fine and my blood sugar levels were awesome.  The doctor asked what I do.  I told her I'm an author.  The diagnosis?  I lean my arm against the edge of my desk when typing and I sit too long in one attitude. 

I feel so OFFICIAL!  I have an honest-to-goodness workplace injury. 

Until next time,


  1. So sorry to read about your work related injury but appreciate how your story ended on a positive note--well written account which made me smile at the end.
    :) Marie

  2. Oh Becca, that is a horror story! If I was in your position, and could afford one, I'd purchase a new device that uses laser light to illuminate veins for just this type if situation. I'll see if I can find the name of it for you.

    Thank God if wasn't your heart, or diabetes! But the work-related neuropathy is serious enough! Hugs!

  3. It really is remarkable whenever they need to draw Becca's blood. They stick her multiple times, but often in vein.

  4. So glad to hear you have no serious illness, but I'm sorry you had to endure so much pain to find out. Bet you'll remember to take a break from sitting at your desk for too long and not lean on the edge. What an awful way to find out.

  5. So glad you are OK. I thought I was hard to get blood out of. You take the cake!

  6. Sorry to see the blood bruises on the wrist. Sometimes that happens to me too when they draw my blood, I bruise very easily. Sorry to hear that it is a workplace injury. Had mine too from sitting too long in a chair. RSI is what they told me. Got it from doing repetitive things, thank you for sharing this.

    Timothy @ U.S. HealthWorks Pompano Beach


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