Having completed four back-to-back spinal taps on the previous four Fridays, last Friday we just had a clinic appointment. I prepared for it the same as I did the previous clinic appointments by putting “magic cream” on Lissa’s port, so that she wouldn’t feel the poke when they accessed it. Only they didn’t access her port. They told me (after I got there) that they won’t go through the port when she doesn’t have any medication she’s supposed to get that week. If they are just doing blood tests, she’s to go to the lab (before arriving at the appointment, please!) where they poke her with a needle in the usual way.
Lissa doesn’t like getting poked with needles. Lissa really doesn’t like getting poked with needles. She tells herself over and over on the way there “but it won’t matter, because the cream makes it so I can’t feel it, so it will be okay.” You can probably imagine her reaction to being told that she was going to be poked somewhere else, where there was no cream.
I was a bit irritated to have all this sprung on us after we got there, (not to mention being told to go to “the lab” and when I saw no signs directing me to “the lab” going back and asking what signs I was supposed to be following, and they repeated “the lab, it’s right there” and nary a mention of “outpatient services” which is what the signs actually said) so I just let her scream and cry and freak while I sat there like a lump until the poor person who was supposed to be drawing her blood finally asked me for assistance — at which point I stepped in and was firm and no-nonsense, and in a very short time had Lissa sitting still and getting her blood drawn — but I just was feeling very ornery about it all: they were the ones who didn’t warn us in advance, so it seemed only fair that they should have to deal with the inevitable hysterics. (Only, of course, they couldn’t, and I could, and it needed to be done.)
And that’s all that happened. After the blood counts came back from the lab I was told “counts are good, come back next week.” The doctor didn’t even look at her. I stopped at Walmart on the way home, and bought her some hats, because I was feeling at that point like we had gone through a whole lot of bother and had essentially nothing to show for it.