Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cruel and Unusual

Ohio thinks so.

I went for my follow-up endoscopy this morning. I will admit I wasn’t in a good mood from the very beginning. First, the endoscopy was suppose to be two weeks ago but the day before I found out the hospital now expects full deductible the day of service. I offered partial payment, I was told sorry we want more. I wrote an e-mail to complain about my treatment and was fully aware to have money this morning. Second, the hospital layout is confusing and signage sucks. This is a newly acquired hospital but within the same system which I have sought treatment for six years. So even though this was my third visit there in a month I’m still getting lost. So once I made it to registration at 6 AM, I was irritated, hungry, tired and cold.

I finally get registered pay the balance of my deductible and the nurse calls me back to prep area. They do a pregnancy test and tell me change. Oh, you know how nice I thought it was that this hospital had oversized chairs in the waiting area? Well, they did not have a large gown. The nurse had to go over to another department and borrow one. So I change and get in bed. Which was GREAT because for past procedures they have tried to start the IV and then have me wait more until the exam room was ready then want me to change clothes etc with and IV in my arm.

Here’s my IV issue. I have ONE good vein. It’s a very good one, but if you miss it then well I don’t want to think about that. I was told of this “good” vein when I was 11 years old and being tested as a possible bone marrow donor for my sister. The guy who took my blood (probably the first time I had ever had blood drawn) told me “you have a very good vein here, remember to tell people where it is in the future”. And that I have. Today, however, they refused to listen.

My nurse and his assistant could not see or feel the vein. I’m not sure how that is, but they decide to have the anesthesiologist come in and try. Now I have been in the hospital numerous times, had many procedures…my IV access is non-existent except for this 1 vein. Over the years people have tried my hands, feet, even my wrists with no luck. As for my wrists, they are OFF LIMITS. I have let them try once and no success no one gets to try again. It’s a mental thing I know, but it’s pointless for them to try given the emotional trauma this would cause me. During longer hospital stays I’ve required a central line, and I’ve even had a medi-port. But my good vein usually holds up for short procedures like today.

So the anesthesiologist said he does not even want “stick me for no reason” since that vein has a valve and can’t take the catheter. I explain to him that it’s been used for IVs numerous times, to which he then says “exactly” it’s over used and won’t work anymore. WTH? At least try!

So he looks at my hands and wants to try for a vein in my center of my wrist. I say no, and I point out a few other spots that people have been successful in the past, not often but yeah this one time someone got an IV to work there. He looks but doesn’t try. Instead he goes for a vein in my hand right below my thumb.

FAIL. <-- Just as I told him…no one has ever gotten an IV in my hands.

At this point another guy came in and started looking as did two female nurse anesthetists students. So I had a guy search each arm and the nursing students putting tourniquets around my ankles looking for a vein on my foot. I’m trying to show them all the other spots and mention that in the past they’ve had to use my neck.

PSA: Needle sticks are contraindicated for lymphedema affected limbs. Not to mention the tourniquets hurt like at muthaf***.

Given the difficulty I didn’t play the lymphedema card, I let them look. But once again, been there done that. People have tried and failed at starting an IV in my foot.

He tries to start one on the inside of my upper right arm. FAIL

I decide to strike a deal. TRY my “1 good vein” and if that doesn’t work I’ll let you go for my wrist. This is HUGE on my part. Oh I added, and if you do my wrist you need to drug me ASAP.

And still he REFUSED to even TRY. His reply “I know it’s not going to take the IV catheter and I don’t want to stick you for no reason.”

Hello what do you think you’ve been doing the past 2 times???

So then the other guy goes for a vein in my left foot. I cringed from the initial pain, but it was nothing I hadn’t endured before. But then he started “the dig” and I scream “OUCH”, I’m also so emotionally upset by all this I start crying. I scream again from the pain and ask that he please stop if it’s not working. He replies “you have to let me get to the vein”. The students are trying to comfort me as I ask a 2nd and 3rd time that he please STOP since it’s obviously not working…just like it has NEVER worked.

He stops.

Again, I offer my neck. The guy has me turn my head and within minutes the IV is in…finally.

During all this the students were asking me questions. One of them was “have you ever had issues with anesthesia?” My reply “only THIS issue”.

I really do not understand why he would not try the ONE area I told him had a good vein, the area that has work 99% of the time. He said I know you know your body, but I know my job. WHATEVER.

After that, everything was smooth. I had the endoscopy but won’t know the results until I see my surgeon next week.


  1. OMG, I've been there, done that too! Exactly the same story.

  2. Serioulsy why would YOU let them poke you anywhere ELSE. I have small veins and have one good area too. I INSIST they start there lawyer scientist I could care less when it comes to MY body and where you stick me I am so NOT a pin cusion!