Sometimes I have these doctor visits that appear to be quick and easy trips. Usually for something as simple as a blood draw. Yesterday I needed a PT test which involves one quick blood draw. The last time that I went in specifically for this test, it took over two hours because there was no authorization and they were unable to get a hold of Dr. W. This time I had a prescription written out by Dr. W to get this test done weekly. I knew that it would be busy because the office had been closed on Monday for President's Day. Sure enough, the waiting room was packed. I checked in at the front desk and was informed that there was a line for blood draws. After a 45 minute wait, my name was called. Instead of taking the quick blood sample that was all that was necessary, he sent me to the front labratory because the orders for my test were on a prescription sheet instead of a lab slip. So I went and checked in at the main lab for the UCLA Medical Plaza and was given a number... 92. They were on 72. After another 45 minute wait, my number was called. They sent me back in one of the little torture cubicles to wait. Finally someone came to draw the blood. I've mentioned before that I am still a little needle-phobic and a lot of that stem from having difficult veins. The woman, who does this for a living, couldn't find a vein! She searched for a while and then settled on trying the inside of my right wrist. If you've never had someone stick a needle in there, I'll tell you that it REALLY hurts. I had been so frustrated by waiting so long and the pain pushed me over the edge and I just started crying. AND it didn't work - she couldn't get blood from there. Then she pulled out the hot pack and started looking on the back of my hands. First the left and there was nothing. Then the right and she found one that has been used before because there's still a mark there from more than 6 months ago. So she went for it and it REALLY hurt too. Thank goodness that time it actually worked. Then I was finally done and able to leave with two wads of gauze taped to my right wrist and hand... attractive. Twenty minutes later I took them off and the spot on my hand was already bruising AND it was swollen and still painful. All this for one little vial of blood.
Today I got the results of the blood test. My INR is at 1.5... it went from 3.9 to 1.5. We're trying to get to 2.0. If it drops any more, I'll have to start the shots again. Now I have to alternate dosages of coumadin between 7.5mg and 10mg. We'll see how that is working on Monday.