Friday, June 29, 2012

All good deeds part 1

SB and I have had a rather bumpy ride for the past two weeks.  I'll start with two weeks ago.  On Saturday we arrived at the Central Blood Donor Center with several of our friends to join the marrow registry.  As soon as we passed the entrance I knew that things were going downhill because the marrow registration process required drawing blood rather than the cheek swab that is done back home.  SB has a huge problem with needles.  Getting a flu shot is about all we can manage per annum.

I went first and as I was entering the donation area, I told the nurse that SB had a needle phobia and requested to be present when they drew his blood.  Her reaction was less than confidence inspiring; she kind of nodded at me and blew me off.  I repeated that I would need to be present when they drew his blood.

Once I was done, I stood up and walked to the entrance where SB was already in a chair with the blood pressure cuff attached.  Hong Kong's Nurse Ratched was leaning over him with a needle in hand.  Clearly they had decided to ignore me.  It's amazing how people think that SB's large size should mean that he's tough.  I would think that they should take me more seriously because of his large size.  Have you ever had a 200lb man freak out on you?  I could see that SB was already completely tense and silently panicking.  By the time I reached him, he had tensed up so much that his vein had disappeared back under his skin despite the blood pressure cuff.  Instead of releasing the band and starting over, Nurse Ratched apparently decided to go for it and stabbed in the general vicinity of where the vein had been. 

Surprisingly she did not find the vein.  She then tried to remove the needle but it was stuck in his arm as he was so tense that he was shaking.  "Relax!" she shrieked at him while yanking at the needle.  "We need to draw blood from your other arm," said her demonic assistant, at which SB responded by going into some sort of mini seizure and passing out.  Even passed out, he was tensed up with his arms and legs at 90 degree angles like a cat in rigor mortis.  The rest of the staff were trying to recline his chair but he was stiffly bent with the needle still lodged in his arm.  Finally he went fully unconscious and they were able to lie him down and pull the needle from his arm.

He woke up green in color, sweating profusely and disoriented.  Then he proceeded to vomit loudly into a bag.  Since he was seated at the first chair in the donation room, all the other donors had to walk past him.  After a few minutes Nurse Ratched had enough and stomped off, taking her demonic assistant with her.  She was replaced by a more empathetic woman who gave me a fan to try to cool the sweat soaked ball of misery that was formerly SB.  He spent the next hour and a half making ornery demands, passing out, and vomiting.  He wanted my ipod.  He wanted me to fan him.  He wanted a pillow.  Where the crap was I going to find a pillow?!  I swiped an arm rest pillow from the chair next to us.  Then I realized that the fan I was using had a large graphic of a syringe and a drop of blood.  No wonder SB kept looking at me and vomiting.

We ended up pulling a runner.  The well meaning nurse wanted to keep checking his blood pressure before allowing us to go home but he wasn't getting better in a room full of needles and bags of blood.  I half dragged him out of the door while the staff tried to get us to turn around.  We stumbled to a taxi and made it home without any more vomiting.  He slept for the rest of the day, curled up and still sweating.

I have a feeling that we're not getting flu shots this year.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Oh my gosh! That is quite the ordeal! I am glad that you all survived!