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Arterial Blood Gas Analysis

Posted Aug 07 2010 10:00am

When I got home and checked the test request form, I realised that I needed to go to different Pathologist in the busy chaotic town. It worried me a little. My local friend offered to come with me for moral support.

I phoned the pathologist’s office just in case I need to make an appointment. Nobody answered the phone. I assumed they were busy. So I decided to just walk in. After all, it is just a blood test, isn’t it?

I picked up my friend and drove to the busy Marketplace shopping centre. I prefer to park underground as it is less busy and stressful. Since my friend insisted, I drove into chaotic ground level car park. She spotted the pathologist’s office from the car, but it looked empty. So, before we pulled out wheelchair, she went there to check if they are open. She came back and told me they were moved. *sigh*

On the form, there is another office listed in the town. There was disagreement between us about the possible location. But we agreed to drive to the area and find out. Getting out from the chaotic car park took lots of energy out of me and made me very exhausted. There was too much sensory information to process.

I preferred to drive to the premises as close as possible. At the same time, I knew this town is so chaotic and messy that it’s not easy for a wheelchair user to get around… My friend suggested to park at the place she knows well. She insisted that she would push me in wheelchair all the way. So, I agreed.

It was another stressful challenge to find the pathologist office. Eventually, we got there. It was not wheelchair friendly office at all. If I didn’t have my friend with me, it would have been much harder challenge just to get there, if it wasn’t impossible… I didn’t expect to go through such stress today…

With the sigh of relieve, I handed the test request form to a receptionist. They knew we went through stressful experiences to find them. The receptionists looked at each other and rolled their eyes with the expression of “I cannot believe this”.  They told me that I needed to go to Logan Central to have the test and I also need to make an appointment. I was too exhausted to get emotional.

My friend pushed my wheelchair all the way back to the car. On the way, she learned that pushing wheelchair is not as easy as she thought. I phoned to the pathologist, but my friend did the talking for me. So, I made an appointment the following day. I had no idea how I would be the following day, but I just wanted to get it done as soon as possible. Thankfully, my friend said that she would come with me again.

I crashed at night. Good news was that payback hasn’t started the next day.

Driving to Logan Central on motor way was less stressful than driving in the chaotic town. Finding the entrance to the business complex was another challenge. I didn’t drive into the right place, but my friend pushed wheelchair again.

The staff at the pathology place were very friendly.

I had two people attending on my test. One was learning or practising how to take blood from artery and the other was supervising. They introduced themselves and told me what they are going to do and what I would be feeling and etc. They worried if I would faint during the procedure. I assured them that I wouldn’t faint because of fear. I’m a tough girl!

They took time to get things right, which didn’t worry me. They figured out that my right wrist has better artery response to take blood. So it started.

I didn’t feel pain until it reached deep vein. Then, I started feeling a bit of pain to deep nerves along my arm. It wasn’t as bad as I anticipated, but wasn’t successful. The supervisor told the trainee staff that what she got was not arterial blood. Apparently, they can tell it by looking.

They apologised to me. I assured them that I didn’t get upset. They tried my left wrist. This time, the supervisor did it. It was obvious she has more confidence than the trainee. She put extra pressure on my hand area and it disguised the other pain I would be feeling. It was quick, too.

Although I didn’t worry much, the trainee staff put dramatic pressure bandage around my wrist to make sure I don’t get bruises. My arm was sore. But, it wasn’t the puncture wound, but deep muscles in forearm and biceps.

She explained to apply pressure if bleeding doesn’t stop. In my opinion, the needle they used were so thin that it is impossible to keep bleeding.

My friend pushed me back to the car. She looked a little tired, too.

We packed the wheelchair back in the boot. When I shut the boot, I couldn’t resist the opportunity. I cried, “Oh, No!!! My keys!!!” while looking at the closed boot. I saw the upset face of my friend. I smiled at her to let her know I didn’t lock my keys in the boot. As soon as she realised I was playing a joke on her, she was in disbelief that I can be cheeky. I was hoping to cheer her spirit. She said she would be looking for an opportunity to get me next time.

On the way home, we stopped at the local library. I needed to pick up the book I requested online. I asked if she would go and pick it up for me while I wait in the car. It was no problem by her. For me, it is a challenging distance and obstacles. So, I got my first library book since I moved here about 3 and half years ago…

I thanked my friend for her support. Things can be so easy when someone did it for me. Probably, she wouldn’t really understand how much help it is for me.

I dropped her off at her place. She kindly invited me to inside, but I didn’t have enough energy left. Her house is two stories. I cannot handle the stairs, either… But I would like to accept her invitation one day.

It was a great relief that the Arterial Blood Gas Analysis has done without much drama.

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