Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Blood tests......appointments?????

Every one at some point has had to have blood tests.  The worst type are those 'fasting' ones.   First, because as soon as you know that you can't eat anything after a certain point, you are starving all night long.     Now for older Catholics this is not as hard.  We used to have to fast on Saturday nights till after Mass on Sundays so we learnt a few tricks.  The first trick is to eat an early supper, then to watch the clock and eat again right before the 12 hour mark b/f your test.   Then, as we would figure that we wouldn't receive communion till half an hour after Mass started, and similarly you don't get right  into your lab add about half an hour more before the cutoff.   The other thing is to decide to go to bed earlier than usual so the morning comes faster.....  Just a little trivia to help those younger or non-Catholics cope with this type of scheduling.!!!!!

Secondly, we are all aware that its timing, timing, timing.  We all know that if you get there early enough it will be faster.  As I have written in the past, its important to remember that a large number of the people going to these labs are elderly and so early is a very subjective term.  Arriving before the lab opens at least guarantees you a seat, and hopefully a quick turn around.   But if you want to be first I suggest you camp out the night before....trying to get up earlier than elderly people is like a dog actually catching the car.  Right?    Well not anymore........

So, I have had to get blood tests lately, and both times I have been delayed for a couple of reasons.   The first test I had to drive all the way into London, because OHIP will not cover the CA 125 test unless it is done at the Cancer Clinic....anywhere else it cost $45.00.    I could understand if the reason for the test was that the patient requested it for their own curiosity, but I have Ovarian Cancer and this is one of the tests used to give some type of idea if or how much the cancer is growing.....I mean come on I am actually a member of the club...don't I get it for free even then!!....I digress as usual.  

Well off I went figuring it would take me 20 minutes to drive each way, 10 minutes to park and walk ( I refuse to pay for parking), and maybe a minute to get the test......I was wrong.    First, they  couldn't find the requisition, then they couldn't find or reach the nurse, then I waited because maybe she was on lunch.   An hour and half later ( thank goodness I wasn't paying for parking) we decided that maybe someone else could write up a requisition for me.   I am not bitter about any of this because I have great admiration for the staff at the was just one of those days when the planets weren't going to align no matter what.   The upside to this delay was that I met up with a woman I haven't seen in months and we had a great chat.....needless to say she too was waiting for

So yesterday I decided that I would go for the fasting blood tests today.   Planning is important as I pointed out in the beginning.   I ate rather early, had a snack just before 8 and then went to bed early.  I had decided that I wasn't in such a hurry that I had to get up at the break of dawn so I figured 'how long can it take if you get there after 8?????"    WELL, let me tell you.....they have changed all the rules.  Not only that, I went to the building where the lab was to find a note that said "We've moved!"....across town.    So, now my timing is a little off, I haven't had coffee remember and I have to drive across town, avoiding all those people turning into the three Timmies I pass along the way.
I get to the 'new' place and park.   There happens to be a woman in the car next to me that I know so I stop and say hello.   It is 8:18 am at this point!    She says, I hope you aren't in a hurry cause Mom has been in there since 7:30 a.m.     GREAT!!!!!!   So I go in and there are wall to wall people....sitting and standing.   I hand in my paper work and sit down.  It is now 8:20 a.m.   

Nothing seems to be happening at one is being called.  Then I hear one of the nurses say, we are short staffed so if you don't have an appointment its going to be at least an hour wait.   GREAT!   So the guy next to me and I start talking.....we know people in common so its nice and passes the time.   Then a friend of his comes in.....he sits down with us and says....'did you know you can make apointments on line for blood tests now????? I realize that the only people being called have apointments and they are short staffed, so, the rest of us are being 'squeezed' in when there is time.....well that was it for me.  It is now 9:00 a.m. and no one who was here when I came in has been served yet.   I got up, asked for my paperwork back....left and went for a coffee.

When I got home I went online and made an apointment for tomorrow at 8:10 a.m.   Now I can eat till 8:10 this evening....because I have an alotted time........

Moral of the story, never think that some things will always remain the same.....even blood tests have moved into the 21st century......and now it doesn't matter how early you get there....the playing field has been leveled....old or not we all can make apointments.....HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!!!

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