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Wasn't sure whether to laugh or run.

AllyJayAllyJay Member Posts: 710
edited February 18 in General discussion
I'm afraid this will be a somewhat convoluted post, but here goes. I've been on Warfarin (blood thinner) for over twenty years now, which means either weekly or fortnightly blood tests. Needless to say, even before catching a ride on Stephen King's Cancer Bus, my veins are somewhat buggered. After having a bilateral mastectomy in 2017, with total node clearance on the left and sentinel node on the right, my left arm is now out of bounds for blood tests. I went in to my usual pathology rooms to get my bloods taken, to find both of the usual ladies absent...one lady day off and the other off sick. A casual Dracula's Bride took me through and I extended my right arm so she could take a look. She wasn't impressed by the shitty veins on offer and started sussing out my left arm. I told her that the left side was not to be used and pointed out the usually used, very scarred veins on the right side. She wasn't having a bar of it, and her eyes kept swiveling to the other one (much like my five year old grandson's eyes as they fix on Granny's bag just before I leave...he knows full well there be sweeties hiding there). I explained to her that I'd had a total axillary clearance on the left side and therefor that arm was off limits. She had no idea what I was referring to and asked me to explain what the significance of the axillary clearance was and indeed, where exactly the axilla is. I explained that these were a bunch of lymph nodes, much like a bunch of grapes, situated in the armpit. She then patted my hand and said...."Ooooh never mind dearie...I won't be poking the needle into your armpit....I'll do it here....on your wrist." Between the patronising patting...the "dearie" and the sheer ignorance, I think I should receive a gold star for not slapping her. I did leave and returned today for my regular lady to do the job. Sheeshh....


  • Blossom1961Blossom1961 Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,793
    I hope you dearied her back as you took off.
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,817
    Oh dear - I know that not every nurse (or doctor for that matter) knows much about bc but you would at least expect them to know what the axilla is.  You deserve a gold star and a glass of something good to wipe out the memory.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,335
    Ah, the odd awful stabber! I had a stint on warfarin (I got an arrhythmia as a side effect) and given chemo etc was having 4 blood tests a week at one stage. With an axillary clearance. All fine until I too had a change of staff. My problem was she simply could not get a needle in to do the job. Anywhere!  I walked out looking like a dot painting! I very politely advised after round two that I would prefer to have someone else. And did. Happily I moved onto Xarelto and things quietened down. Most pathology stabbers are excellent. Which is why you should not need to put up with those who are not. 
  • AllyJayAllyJay Member Posts: 710
    Unfortunately other blood thinners are not suitable for me, although through chemo, and for a year and a half after, I had to do the clexane as my INR would have gone apeshit with the drugs. I have a condition called antiphospholipid antigen syndrome and my INR is kept very high...3.5 - 4.0 to prevent any more pulmonary embolisms or D.V.T.s.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,335

    I was thankful for anything and while there are some scare stories about Xarelto I’ve been on it for nearly eight years with no problems. Warfarin is incredibly well tested, stable and proven. My heart is healthy just the  electrics are a bit eccentric. Beta blockers keep the rate stable and Xarelto is ‘just in case’, the irregularity might encourage clotting. Also really good for long distance air flights ....if we ever get overseas again! 

  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,139
    Ah, @AllyJay I relish your posts, even when they describe the fuckuppery that we have to endure.
    Can you go the frankenportenfuckingthinginthearmorchest? 
    Honestly, I'm at the stage if I had to have regular bloods, I'd want my port back in. I know, not all facilities have trained staff that can use them but even the most dedicated addicts run out of options. Mxx

  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,139
    And, what's more, the Stab Bitches who refuse to acknowledge your decade of experience piss me off no end.
    I've seen the speculative glint in their eyes and their eye rolling dismissal of our concerns. THEY ALWAYS FUCK IT UP. Always. 
    They should be making cups of tea and observing more competent practitioners. Except they'd stuff that up too and make it like they want to drink it. Mxx

  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 4,476
    That’s a shocker @AllyJay!  What a dumb cow!  The rule of all medical things is ... DO NO DAMAGE!  So if a patient say ‘I don’t do that’ ... they should listen.

    I reckon a written letter of the proceedings would be in order!

    take care xx
  • AllyJayAllyJay Member Posts: 710
    @Zoffiel...I do still have my port... but finding pathology practices with port qualified staff are about as rare as tits on a bull. When my community nurse flushes my port six weekly, she does take my bloods for that cycle, which is useful, but other than that, the two usual staff who were both absent, know me and my veins well. The truth is I really did pack up laughing, and gripping Sam by the handles...remember Sam...my granny walker??...well I escaped with my legs sort of crossed and lurched out the door, before my somewhat shopworn bladder gave way. Next time, if my usual ladies aren't there...I'll just cut to the chase and hang a u turn at the door.
  • Keeping_positive1Keeping_positive1 Member Posts: 116
    edited February 18
    I have found the phlebotomists have very little training!  Despite that I wear a wrist band that specifies "no bloods this arm" they still ask which arm I want my bloods taken from.  I have to go through the drill of explaining to them the lymph node clearance I had.  I wonder if they got their certificate from the "Corn Flakes" packet.  I even ask them were they not taught that in their training!  Surely I am the becoming the patient from hell, but I don't care.  They really should know more their job better than us patients, but my experience is most do not.  

    There is seriously a lack of training and so many gaps in the course they do.

    Take care out there.


  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,817
    I guess a granny walker is hard to brandish as a weapon...
  • AllyJayAllyJay Member Posts: 710
    @Sister...I have had many planning sessions at 2am regarding upgrades and embellishments to my trusty walker. They include a bull bar up front,(further enhanced by an automatic tazer when button at pointy front is compressed). a pressurised air horn obtainable from sports shops, usually used at swimming festivals and boating, which would be attached to my frame with gaffer tape...ready at hand...and...and...what I really want is a set of four of those spinning blades to affix to my wheels...you know like the ugly guy in "Grease" had on his wheels in the car race held in the drainage canal???
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 4,476
    Do it @AllyJay - with pics!!!  Sounds brilliant.

  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,430
    Goodness me @AllyJay
    You certainly drew the damned short straw.  I just looked up
    antiphospholipid antigen syndrome 

    Make sure you have your witches screech down pat to waken the blood stabbers not doing their job correctly!

    Why do they patronise and or humiliate?  No need for it and extremely unprofessional 

    Take care
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,817
    @allyjay - you could also attach one of those skateboard things that they use with prams and motorise the walker - let 'em try to catch you then!
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