My family doctor has been adding the services of a district nurse to my previous tests, so a cheerful young thing usually knocks on my door, takes the blood (if she can manage it) and I fall upon whatever food is to hand immediately. My symptoms mean that it is uncomfortable for me to go more than 3 hours or so without eating, and this can be accompanied by a certain confusion and fogginess if I am really lucky.
So it was with vague annoyance that I noticed last night that the consultant was expecting me to drive to the lab myself. I set off early this morning hoping that I wouldn't meet any other traffic, for their sake! When I got there, the adminstrator was new, and spent 15 minutes trying to enter all the tests into the computer and asking other staff for help since the tests seemed to be rather obscure. I sat gnawing the plastic on my seat as I watched a procession of other patients enter, be drained of red stuff and then leave again.
Finally my name was called. I sat in my comfy chair and was approached by a lady who obviously had plenty of notches on her syringe. I could tell by the calm confidence with which she approached me. But I still worried a little.
Let me explain; I am a woman with difficult veins. I never know whether to say so, since this has been known to remove totally the confidence of the inexperienced, and lead to long sessions of painfully desperate probing. My heart sinks when the district nurse is particularly fresh faced.
This time I need not have worried. She apologised with professional pride, saying that she was sorry it may have hurt, but she was obliged to use a deeper vein than usual. I didn't even notice, and it was done in a moment. No more district nurse for me, no matter the risk to other drivers!
I may have to buy her a box of chocolates...