Blood Test

I went for a blood test this morning, amalgamating two visits (one for methotrexate and one for warfarin) into one, and donating a total of three tubes.

My original plan was to rise at 6.30 and get down to City Hospital for just after 7.00. That was replaced by a second plan, rising at 7.30 and getting down to the Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC)for 8.30.

Like my last trip, there was plenty of Β parking and no queue.

Instead of tickets from the machine they are using laminated tickets you pick up from reception. Last time I mentioned that I wondered if they cleaned the tickets between uses. I noted this time, that they do. To be honest, today’s tester seemed much more on the ball than the last one.

They couldn’t get anything from the insides of my elbows, so they used something with a needle and flexible tube. This went into my forearm and the tube was screwed onto the end. It’s difficult to describe, but is probably a cannula. I always think of them as having massive, painful needles, but I have checked up and some of them look like the equipment from this morning.Butterfly IV Cannula 21G - Green | Kays MedicalI feel quite faint after looking at that. It wasn’t so bad this morning but I’ve had some really bad experiences with cannulas (or cannulae, if you want to be true to the original Latin).

After that I risked my life by shopping for bread and various other bits. It wasn’t essential, but it eases the pressure on the ingredients cupboard.

Then I went home.

After a late breakfast and a cup of tea I checked to see that I was still waterproof and started to consider my activities for the rest of the day.

This was, as you have probably guessed, fatal.

I had a phone call from the surgery. They had, in turn, had a phone call from the anti-coagulant service to tell them to tell me that my sample had not been acceptable. This usually means that the tube wasn’t full enough, though the filling should be automatic with modern equipment.

They printed me up a new request form, which I had to collect, and I then nipped into the nearby City Hospital for the test. There was no parking. I could have parked further away, but I’m lazy, so, after staring at the new testing facilities. I drove back to QMC.

It all went smoothly, we had a laugh about my second visit of the day and I got stabbed in the arm again.

If I was Richard Curtis this would be the inciting incident for a prize-winning romcom – Four Blood Tests and a Cannula or Blood Actually. These are just working titles, they still need some work.

I was so glad to get out that I can’t even rise to being irritated by the duplication of tests, or the demise of my cunning isolation plan.

I was slightly irritated by the presence of a Staff Testing facility at City Hospital. There were tents, signs, barriers and a Security Guard. There were no cars, no staff and no evidence that anything was happening. The testing regime will, I’m sure, come under scrutiny in the months to come.

As a final note – I saw a dead badger on the Ring Road – the first in over 30 years. You see dead foxes, because they live in town but the badger must have sneaked in as part of the wildlife resurgence. Unlike my projected romcom this is a story that doesn’t end well.

two specimens on gray background

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on


29 thoughts on “Blood Test

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    1. quercuscommunity

      To be honest the worst thing about blood tests are generally the parking fees. πŸ™‚ In this case, having planned to reduce my exposure to NHS staff (and vice versa) it was a bit annoying to have to go back.

      Always sad to see a dead badger but particularly so when it was in town.

  4. arlingwoman

    Poor badger. I saw one once running near a weedy dirt pile in the afternoon. It was a bit scruffy, but it hasn’t been found dead yet, which is one good thing. I am sorry for all your medical visits! I find them stressful and having to go back in one day would have given me a very bad attitude. I hope you’re amply supplied now with the foods you want.

  5. Lavinia Ross

    Poor badger! Tootlepedal may be right about foul play. On the other hand, I have seen some nocturnal footage of them. Like skunks here, they may be mainly nocturnal. I never see skunks on the road during the day, but many seem to get killed at night.

    Those are good movie working titles, Quercus. πŸ™‚

  6. tootlepedal

    We have frequent dead badgers on our roads. I sometimes wonder if they have been illegally killed elsewhere and dropped on the rads to dispose of them because I have never seen a live one on a road.

    1. quercuscommunity

      When I was a kid I don’t remember ever seeing a dead badger. I’m sure there are a lot more about than there used to be.

      Whether this is due to increasing numbers and increasing traffic, I don’t know.

      I’ve seen two live ones on the road. One was eating chips.

  7. Clare Pooley

    I see they used a butterfly needle. They are supposed to be better for people who bleed easily or who have a lot of scar tissue like me, though I have only had them used on me a couple of times. I think you might have donated an armful today.
    I have never seen a live badger either.

    1. quercuscommunity

      I have been lucky enough to see two live badgers – one eating chips in the early hours of the morning in a village in Somerset. That was a good, long view as the chips were still wrapped and the badger was lost in the effort of getting them out of the packet. Someone had obviously wrapped up the remains of their fish and chips and thrown them on the floor as they went home – the one time I’ve been grateful to someone for littering.

      The second was a fleeting glimpse as one shot across the road.

      Until I saw the dead one on the Ring Road I’d never even imagined they were present in the city.

      1. Clare Pooley

        It is amazing what creatures do manage to survive in cities! And now, with fewer people about there are rich pickings for those who dare!

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