Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Heat, incompetence and dodgy LFTs

I flew to Wellington  yesterday, as you do. Only an idiot would catch a 12:30 flight down and book a 6:30 return flight.  Only a real idiot would say "No problem" when Air NZ cancel the return flight and ask is the 6pm flight OK? The flight down was great - cellphone use allowed on board! Could text but couldn't use foursquare because it had no idea where i was! 


The weather in Welly was divine. I worked on my short story at the airport (free WiFi rules) and then walked to the bus stop to catch a bus (as you do) to the Hospital. It's an open bus stop - no shelter. I thought "Glad it's not raining!" - if it had been I'd probably have taken the Airporter bus and then taken a bus from the railway station to the hospital. The bus was supposed to appear about 3:15 and I was there at 3:05. Tons of buses went past in the opposite direction and loads of school buses went past but no sign of no 11. The sun was beating down and after half an hour I noticed I was having double vision - crap the heat was making my optic neuritis flare! Finally after waiting 45 minutes a no 11 finally bowls up! Great I can still make it in time for my lecture (important when you're the one giving it!) Then at the next stop the drivers changed! And the new driver faffed around for ages! I did make it to the hospital just in time but not a picture of calm and serenity!


While I waited at the airport for my return flight I picked up an email from the angel MS nurse. And all my misgivings about the Eye clinic were confirmed. I'm wondering how many people who may have MS are not getting seen by a neurologist because Eye clinic is not referring them. Optic neuritis is often the first presenter with MS so the Eye clinic stands to see a lot of them. Here's the email:

Hi Nic,

I’ve chased this up with the secretary at the Eye clinic. She is going to follow-up with Dr X as there is no evidence of a referral being made although that doesn’t mean its not there or hasn’t been done!!………..but a good thing you contacted me.

I will follow-up with her early next week (Dr X is only in once a week apparently) and let you know where things stand

Kind Regards

Angel Nurse



I am so peeved with them! Incidentally Dr X is not one of the doctors I was seen by and isn't head of the team I was an inpatient under.


And just to make my life extra sweet, I got a call from the research nurse on the study I'm part of to say my Liver Function Tests (LFTs) are elevated so they want me to have another set of blood tests done - and it's always so urgent -TODAY! Like I have nothing else going on! I wouldn't mind but I've have a horrible neuralgia in my arm since I had the last lot done and my superstitious mind says it was due to either scarring from the dirty great cannula I had in for the IV steroids or she did a wonky job doing the blood collect - she wiggled the vaccutainer something chronic! Either way I'm not that keen to repeat the experience. I only have one vein suitable for blood collects, IVs, etc and I am not keen on having it ruined! All the others run from needles - they look fine and then skitter away from the needle. It's the sensible Plebotomist who listens when I tell them they have to take blood from my left arm.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I actually happen to be pretty good at taking blood... or at least I was 20 something years ago!!! I used to cringe at the sight of the nurses wiggling the needles to get the veins. I did my absolute darndest to get it right first time. And almost always succeeded even with small veins or when there was some other reason the vein was hard to get.

My biggest claim to fame was when a very overweight family friend came in one lunch time for an HCG test and I was the only one on. That was stressful, but I could just feel the vein through all the "padding" and got it first pop. AND THEN, she's back a week later for the full panel of tests for pregnant mothers and I had the weight of the prior successful attempt on my shoulders too... I sweated buckets with that one, but first time right again!

Unfortunately, though, I left the medical system part way through university.... :)

And I'd tend to agree with the scarring from the canula. When I was first diagnosed with heamachromatosis I had so many 470ml units of blood taken over the course of about 6 months that the scarring did become an issue. I was just lucky that I have good veins.