Hello Lovelies! I know, another life-stuff post… but I’ll have a non-life-stuff goodie toward the bottom off the post. I hope you all don’t mind these type of posts! Sometimes I need an outlet and there is a human behind this blog :). It’s super long, but I hope you’ll hang with me.
I was supposed to have a long relaxing weekend, but I kind of put it to the back of my mind that I had a doctor’s appointment this past Friday. It was your typical and not-so-typical appointment. But a little background first.
You see, I haven’t had a checkup in about 3ish years. I’ve had white coat hypertension for as long as I can remember, due to one thing or another that just gave me unnecessary and sometimes prolonged anxiety. I’ve had a history of high blood pressure and cholesterol, and was borderline pre-diabetic (all of which also run in my family), and I had been taking meds up until about 3 years ago when my eat, sleep, work schedule was just so erratic that it was hard to keep up with taking all those pills when I was supposed to. So when they ran out, I never went back in for a follow-up or refill. Prior to going back to school I was monitoring my bp for a bit, it was high – systolic (top #) between 146-155 and diastolic (bottom #) between 89-103 (a normal bp for an adult should be under 120/80).
When we started taking vitals in third quarter, I noticed that my bp had risen quite a bit, it was starting to fall in the 150-170 over 110-120 range. Because I needed to start gathering stuff for externship next quarter and had to have a physical done and immunizations, etc, I decided to finally drag my butt to the doctor. I set it up to establish a rapport, since I had never been to this clinic before, to obtain a physical, get TB tested, and to revisit with my high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-pre-diabetes, and migraines. I’m sure anxiety over not having been to the doctors, as well as other factors played in, but when the medical assistant first took my BP it was 199/136. The highest it has EVER been before and it is quite high. The MA was even freaking out, he said, although calmly, “I’ve just never seen a pressure that high before.” — thanks for that by the way MA, good way to calm my already rampant anxiety! (I made a mental note to never do that to a patient in the future.) Anyway, my dr and her nurse practitioner did their examination of me, the MA came in and did an EKG – which turned out to be fine and my heart didn’t appear to be enlarged. The doc put me on a new med it was a combination of two of the meds I had been put on previously, but conveniently compounded into a single pill. I’m to follow up in 2 weeks to see if the med is working and if so then she’ll clear me on the physical. They also set me up an appointment for my pap, which I haven’t had either, in quite some time.
All this time, I was fasting from 7:30 the previous night because I knew that if they were going to do a cholesterol panel on me and check my liver enzymes/protein levels, I needed to fast for at least 12 hours. So I was starving! But I’m getting ahead of myself. After the examination was over, I headed over to the lab to do the bloodwork. The phlebotomist had been drawing from another patient previous to me, I didn’t see him change gloves when he started working on my stuff, unless he did it when he was briefly out of the room. In prepping my arm, he wiped the area with the alcohol pad, and about 3 seconds after that he wiped it with gauze — which you’re not supposed to do, you’re supposed to just let the alcohol air dry. It’s funny how you pick up these little things. But we were talking about this in class and my classmate had a phlebotomist wipe the alcohol off with a cotton ball right after. The alcohol does its disinfecting in the time it takes to dry, so wiping it off or fanning it dry with your hand or even worse – blowing on it, just kind of defeats the purpose.
The needle gauge this phlebotomist used was HUGE, it was a lot thicker than the ones we used in CMP class for phlebotomy or even for injections in IPC. It looked to be probably a 20 or ever higher gauge. I don’t know why?! Maybe it was because he had to take 6 vials and wanted the blood to flow quicker? Still though, I had gotten used to being around needles, but that thick one gave me a little start. Then he left the tourniquet on for quite sometime – the entire time he was drawing blood for 6 vials, which was not quick at all! The longest you’re supposed to leave the tourniquet on is ONE minute because after that the blood begins to hemolyze (think of it as your red blood cells bursting). Then he let the needle slip out of my vein accidentally and a big puddle of blood came out since it was still being suctioned by the tube that was still attached to the vacutainer — which then finally prompted him to remove the tourniquet, but the tourniquet ended up in the blood smearing it along my forearm. As I held the gauze to my puncture site, he labeled my tubes – many of which weren’t filled very much, so I hope he got enough blood because ahem I do not want to do that again for a long while! What’s more… yes, there is more. Instead of tossing the tourniquet with blood on it in a biohazard container like you’re supposed to with anything that has bodily fluids on it, he set it on the counter. I mentioned to him that he should probably toss it, and instead of tossing it in that biohazard that I mentioned, he dropped it in the trashcan next to the counter. Great OSHA standards guy!
Ok… at that point I was still very very much starving and was beginning to get a slight headache, but had to still drop by Immunizations to have them input my shot record into their systems – but no one was about and after a few minutes of waiting I skipped it, and went to pick up my meds from the pharmacy. That took forever! My initial appointment was at 9:10, since I got there early, they took me in at probably about 8:50. By the time I got out of the pharmacy it was around 11:35. Luckily, I had packed a protein bar and coconut water, but left it in my car. So I consumed that when I got into my car, then went to the store, picked up some sushi and wraps and other food stuff, drove home and ate… probably about 12:45 at that point. Needless-to-say by that time I had a slightly worse headache. I took my 1st pill at 1:30. Everything went downhill from there. From the anxiety, from not eating until the late afternoon, probably what I ate too as it tasted a little funny, and from taking a brand new to my system pill, I went into a state of what I imagine those who go through drug detox do. I had the headache, the chills, the cold sweats, vomiting – oh the vomiting!!! UGH!!!… pitiful debilitating malaise. I was in hell. That was my Friday and most of Saturday! I’m feeling a little better today thank goodness!
I had to go out and buy a new digital blood pressure monitor since the dr wants me to do a bp diary, and I wasn’t sure if doing a manual check on myself was accurate (I watched some youtube on it, but still… plus it’s a PITA trying to put that kind of cuff on your arm without assistance and then trying to juggle listening while pumping and holding the gauge… it’s different when you do it on other people) and I knew the results on my digital wrist monitor weren’t always on point. Since I’ve been on the new med (day 3 today), my bp seems to be way down, if this new monitor is correct. 🙂 So yay! On the path to mending!
That was my saga and why I’ve been absent. Thanks for sticking around, if you’ve made it this far into this post! 🙂 <3
For the good non-life-stuff news! After I get back later tonight from dinner out with the hubs, I’m going to get that giveaway, I’ve been mentioning for a few months now, together and posted! 🙂 Stay tuned!
By the way…