My new primary care doc recently told me I have rather serious osteoporosis. She ordered a bunch of blood tests to fine-tune my treatment options; she ordered some other routine tests as well.
One of those tests was a lipids panel, and it had to be done fasting. D. dropped me off at the lab this morning shortly after they opened and I still had to sign in and wait about 30 more minutes for them to take the half-dozen people already there ahead of me.
When it was finally my turn I was weak and cranky from fasting. They took 8 tubes of blood! I'm surprised I was still conscious.
Some of the diagnostic codes my doc wrote on the lab slip might not be accepted by Medicare as a valid diagnosis to support doing such a test, so I had to sign a form indicating if I wanted those particular tests done anyway and, if so, accepting financial responsibility for the bill ($156).
And one of them was the one I had to fast for.
I was so tired I didn't have the energy to get pissed off. I was just glad I got home in one piece and was finally able to have breakfast (two hours later than I usually do).
At least the lab people were nice. I was in a bad mood and felt weak, but I tried not to be bitchy with them. I think I succeeded; I'm not sure. My recollection of this morning is kind of hazy.
. . . Thinking about those 8 tubes of blood . . . I'm reminded of when my sister had cancer and asked me to get DNA tested to be a stem cell donor. I had to get my blood drawn at one lab and literally hand-carry it across town to the DNA lab where the actual testing would be done (the DNA lab didn't draw blood themselves).
I remember holding those tubes of blood in my hand and marveling slightly at how warm they felt, like a living thing almost, held captive in those slender vials. How many of us have beheld our own blood outside our body, not bleeding from a wound, but held safely in a vessel, subject to medical ritual? It was strange, but not creepy; it was even a bit thrilling. My blood would yield its story --- my story, really --- to the technicians, who, like white-coated oracles, would read the signs found in its base pairs and HLA types to determine whether or not I bore the key to restoring my sister's immune system.
I wasn't a close-enough match. My sister passed away three years ago.