Yesterday I had a screening visit for a clinical trial, and I was accidentally the subject from hell, because my visit took twice as long as it was supposed to. This probably makes me a bad person, but 1) mostly not my fault, and 2) I need the money. (Oh my god, do I need the money.)
Nurse: So.. how are you with blood draws? Do you faint?
Me: Um, yeah. A little.
Nurse: .. er, this study involves blood draws 2-3 times a week for the next 3 months, so –
Me: But, last time I was fine! So I think I’m getting better. I’ll probably be fine.
Nurse: Okay… *blood draw*
Me: See? That was fine!
Nurse: … I didn’t get anything. Other arm?
Me: Oh. Okay, cool.
Nurse: *blood draw!*
Me: … wait, I feel kinda..
She didn’t get it that time either, and as a cool extra bonus for her day, I passed out cold for like 10 minutes.
I had them try 3 more times after that (lying down this time), including one hand draw – but no dice. 5 tries total, and no blood.
I don’t get that. How can I have needles stuck successfully into my veins and just not bleed? Am I a superhero? I was pretty damned close to suggesting they just stab me repetitively with a 12-gauge and then wring my arm out over the lab vial. Worst veins ever.
Finally they brought in a phlebotamist, who pretty much just glanced at my arm and had 3 vials of blood drawn within 10 seconds, because I am sadly not a superhero, but phlebotamists totally are.
So the nurse and I were pretty happy to discover I don’t faint or even feel bad at all as long as people draw my blood while I’m lying down. So I can stay in the study, and I won’t be passing out 3 times a week. Excellent – so I figured the hard part of the screening test was all over!
Unfortunately, the ultrasound was… problematic.
OB/GYN: Well, I can only feel one of your ovaries, but I’m sure they’re both there! Haha. Okay, let’s just do the ultrasound… see, okay, there’s the right ovary… cool. And now the left one is… hmm.
*ten minutes pass*
OB/GYN: Uh, I’m going to have to get someone else. Hold on!
SECOND DOCTOR: Hi! I’m Second Doctor! Let me just check the… hmm. Err… well…
*ten minutes pass, during which the two OB/GYNs just stare at the ultrasound machine with furrowed brows.*
Nurse: Well, one ovary still meets the study’s inclusion criteria…
Me: Wait, are you telling me I only have one ovary?
OB/GYN: I guess.. we can’t find it? But if you want to have kids, you should probably have more imaging.
Me: What? And – wait, don’t they say it doesn’t make a difference if you have 1 or 2 –
OB/GYN: Yeah, but some women born with one ovary also have uterine problems that prevent them from ever having children.
OB/GYN: Or two cervixes.
OB/GYN: Don’t worry, you only have one cervix, though.
Me: … Great?
So, yes, there’s that. Who knows how accurate that ultrasound was, but – on the bright side – good news, people! Only one cervix here!
(After looking up the odds, I’m guessing I’m good on the child-bearing front. If not, I was already thinking about adoption for other reasons, so it’s all good by me – but can you imagine how I’d be feeling if I wasn’t? I’ll cut them some slack, because maybe they would’ve reacted differently if I’d seemed more upset, but… still! Crazy stuff.)