Once again on Wednesday, it was time to get more blood tests. We are still trying to get to the bottom of the reason for the Hyperhidrosis problem. You may recall, I initially put this down as a side effect of the Amitriptyline in a previous post however Amitriptyline reduces secretions as I had discovered at the time of this post from last month. The initial blood tests they ordered then have come back inconclusive so I had to go and have a further cocktail of tests. You can find out more about Hyperhidrosis from the NHS.
Preparing for blood testsTo get myself ready for the blood test the best thing I could do was to follow the advice I had previously been given:
So I made sure I kept drinking throughout the morning before I went to the hospital and in general did quite a good job of putting it out of my mind although the fact I had a headache didn’t help. As an aside I had to go out whilst Andy Murray was playing his Quarter Final a Wimbledon, Michael was somewhat amused by my worry that he didn’t win the match because I wasn’t sat there cheering him on! Sorry, that’s just how my brain works sometimes…
The Politics of the Testing
As I have established before I am not the best at having blood tests. I used to be phobic of needles up to a couple of years ago. Now I no longer fret about the tests beforehand but I still often go light headed or worse after the tests are done. I always warn the staff about this so we are all prepared for the possibility I may near enough hit the deck. The majority of Phlebotomists I have seen have been absolutely fantastic with wonderful reassuring “chairside” manners. On Wednesday though that wasn’t the case. The first thing he wanted to do was to question why I was having the test there rather than at the GP’s over the road. I did explain that I always come to the Phlebotomy Department because the GP’s are not set up with the correct chairs in case I do pass out. It took quite a bit of persuading before he would even do the test. I am curious as to whether any of my UK readers had similar problems with a department not wanting to do tests ordered outside of the hospital. Considering I was by then feeling a bit stressed I did want to point out that the N in NHS stood for National and my GP’s were only over the road, but I wasn’t brought up to say things like that so I didn’t – I just thought it!
The Blood Test
So at any other time, you can look at my inside elbow and see veins quite easily. However, when I need to have blood taken this seems to happen:
As you will know if you have had blood tests, who hasn’t? Before a needle has even been considered the tourniquet is placed around your arm and when you have Fibromyalgia this can hurt! First, it went on my left arm and he had a good prod around with his fingers. Off it came and onto the right arm and again another good prod. Thankfully this time he went for the alcohol wipe so we were in business. Usually, at this point, I feel a stinging sensation (even though the Phlebotomist has clear instructions not to tell me when they are going to do it so I don’t tense up) this time, however, there was no sharp pain, good, but there was a deep muscle pain instead, not so good. Thankfully it didn’t take too long for him to get the blood he needed.
So how did I survive this time? Why oh why is it that the needle is out it is all over and at that point, I go drip white, pour with sweat – attractive and everything seems far away. Luckily knowing what can happen I always have Michael with me. He organised some water for me and the Phlebotomist put the fan on (I don’t think the sticky hot weather helped) and I finally came back to the present. So not nice. Two days later and there is the smallest of a bruise where the needle went in, but the place the tourniquet went on both arms is still tender to the touch. But then I am used to things being tender to the touch all over – that’s life with Fibro.
Do let me know if you have had problems with hospital politics in the comments below. Do you have Fibromyalgia and Hyperhidrosis? I’d love to hear from you too. Either drop a comment below or join the new Facebook Group where you can join the conversation.