A story for Beth

Beth made this comment in response to my unknown E2 numbers:

“And why oh why don’t nurses just volunteer levels? It annoyed me to always have to ask – its my blood for God’s sake!”

Exactly! It’s MY blood!

This jogs my memory that I wanted to share this story. Wednesday I had to get non-IF bloodwork in the same building as my RE. My IF bloodwork is a package deal, so I needed to get it done by the RE nurse and the non-IF test couldn’t be done by the RE’s lab. So I asked the “other” lab person to draw an extra tube of MY blood for me to take upstairs so that I didn’t have to get stuck twice in ten minutes. She asked whether I knew what tests I needed, and luckily I have an honorary RE degree so I said, “Yes, I need an E2 and an LH level, it’s the yellow top tube.” So she very kindly drew the extra vial and labeled it with my name and birth date, etc. I figured I was doing everyone a favor (not least of all ME). This was one less arm the RE nurse had to stick, one less patient to deal with in her busy day. Well, you’d think I had walked in with bloody dripping entrails or something. The office girls were all in a fuss. I guess I messed with the usual protocol and the office was a-buzz with panic. The one medical secretary actually said to me “I’m surprised they let you leave the lab with that” (“that” being the tube of MY blood).

I mean really, it was MY blood. It was in a sterile glass tube, inside of a plastic zip*lock biohazard bag.

Seriously. Do patients have any “rights”? We can’t read our three inch thick charts, we can’t know our lab results, and now we can’t have possession of our own blood?? Seriously. (Can you tell I’ve been watching too much Grey*s Anatomy??)

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5 Responses to “A story for Beth”

  1. annmarie Says:

    🙂 I can picture the madness in that office after you left!

  2. Mary Ellen and Steve Says:

    How silly that they made such a fuss. 🙂 I wouldn’t want to be stuck twice either.

  3. N Says:

    You know, here in Sweden, they just don’t tell you, even if you ask. I want to know, it’s my blood, my eggs, my lining, etc. Why oh why is it such a fight for something that I clearly should have a right to know.

    Good luck Beagle!

  4. zhl Says:

    Yeah, sometimes I feel like the doctors and nurses don’t realize it’s my body.

    Good luck on the rest of the cycle.

  5. Lucy Says:

    I think most nurses do their best to figure out the “need to know” level for each patient and act accordingly … although it seems like a lot of IVF nurses don’t realize how educated their patients are.

    I work as an oncology nurse, though, and I tell different patients different things about their results depending on who they are. For example, when I run a CBC on an old person who doesn’t “get” it, I will just tell them that “everything looks normal” or “your white count is a little low but nothing to worry about” without going into all of the details. If I started talking about neutrophils and hemoglobin to some of my patients, they’d get really confused and it’d make matters worse. Other patients (usually the younger, more educated ones) keep spreadsheets, understand their results, and want to know EVERYTHING … so I tell them everything. I try really hard to match the information to the patients’ needs. No matter how much or little I tell someone, I always ask if they have any questions and whether they want a copy of their results. That way, if I make a mistake with too much or too little information, they have a chance to get their questions answered.

    It’s tough though, because everyone is different. Some people want to know EVERYTHING and some people don’t want to know anything. 🙂

    As an IUI and IVF patient, I can tell you I never asked (nor cared) about my estradiol levels. It wasn’t information I needed to know – my brain was full with all of the other information I was dealing with and I knew my doc was on top of it and dealing with it. My nurse was in tune with me, though, and never bothered me with the numbers unless I asked. That’s a good IVF nurse – I was fortunate to have her. As both a patient AND a nurse, I wish all patients could get the info that they needed. I guess I’m just saying I know it’s a tough balancing act, though.

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