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Learning stuff about stuff

I just love how I have lots of stuff to write, butt can't come up with the right titles for the post. Then, I have issues writing. That said, yesterday's pre-surgery physical was interesting.

I found out that I'm two inches taller than I thought, and thus not over weight. It's hard to have a good self-concept of one's own body when one has no idea what to compare oneself to. So, I just run a BMI calculation online. Not perfect, I know, but most of the people I know here aren't going to tell me that I look like a porker. I'm excited that I am taller, but now have to admit that some people are right about that. I don't know who I've told that "I did not grow", but I appologize about that. Also, it must not be true that coffee stunts your growth.

Everything is fine, which is nice. I had to have a couple blood tests, one was for hemoglobin (sp?) which was good. The other was creattinin (sp/). The last one is not going to be in for another couple weeks probably, but was just a precaussion since I am on Celebrex. The veins in my right arm are apparently hard to find, so I ended up having it taken out of my right wrist. It didn't hurt, although I was warned it might be tender. It really was just a little bit of pressure. I did wonder something, though. They needed two tubes of blood, but only stuck me once. I get that they can attatch tubes to the needle, but how does that all work? I really wish I could see what that is and how it works...

My doctor liked my "RSD sucks" shirt, which I was glad about. And Julio did great; he was very well behaved in the exam room.

One last random question. Does anyone know if it's true that having injections and bloodwork done from the side of your body the RSD isn't on is what you're supposed to do? I seem to remember reading that it's better to try to prevent the spread of RSD. I don't know where, but I do remember reading it, or hearing it.



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Jan. 26th, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Blood work.
They use separate vials to collect blood. They fill one and move to the next one.

Jan. 27th, 2007 04:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Blood work.
Thanks for explaining that... I think I'm probably too curious for my own good, but I definitely like knowing how things work.
Jan. 27th, 2007 07:14 am (UTC)
the RSDSA site has a page about patient care. They recommend that any needles be used on the UNaffected side, but request a pediatric needle, because they are smaller and cause less trauma. Also, you can ask the nurse to heat alcohol swabs under warm water before applying it to your skin.
Jan. 27th, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I thought I'd seen it somewhere, but couldn't remember for the life of me where it was (smile).
Jan. 27th, 2007 09:52 pm (UTC)
I obviously can't speak from the RSD perspective, but I know that I don't like needles or even the blood pressure cup on my left arm where they removed a piece of my shoulder bone. It's uncomfortable, and I much prefer that all this stuff happen in my right arm even though I'm right-handed.
Jan. 28th, 2007 01:48 am (UTC)
Yeah, I can definitely understand why that would be painful! For me, it's not as obvious because the RSD is just in my left leg. Thankfully, no one has tried to take blood out of my foot yet, and I don't think they will (smile). I hope people are understanding for you like they were for me.
Jan. 28th, 2007 01:22 am (UTC)
lab stuff
You can take the girl out of the lab - but you can't take the lab out of the girl. I taught laboratory science for eight years.

If there is trouble finding a vein - have the phlebotomist put a warm compress over the chosen venipunture site. A small hand-towel works well, making sure its not too hot for your tender skin. Leave it on for a few minutes and the veins will respond by coming to the surface. Aseptic technique then follows. The vein is first punctured with the hypodermic needle which is connected to a translucent plastic holder. The needle actually has a second, smaller needle with a sheath that seals after each tube is drawn. It becomes a two-way system. When a vacuum test tube is pushed down into the holder, its rubber cap is pierced. The vacuum in the tube sucks blood though the needle and fills itself. The tube is then removed and another can be inserted and filled the same way. It is important to remove the tube before withdrawing the needle, as there may still be some suction left, causing pain upon withdrawal.

Hemoglobin is the protein molecule within red blood cells that carries oxygen and gives blood its red color. Normal range for hemoglobin is different between the genders as part of a complete blood count. Anemia is sometimes seen in patients receiving Celebrex. In controlled clinical trials the incidence of anemia was 0.6% with Celebrex and 0.4% with placebo. Patients on long-term treatment with Celebrex should have their hemoglobin or hematocrit checked if they exhibit any signs or symptoms of anemia or blood loss.

Creatinine is a chemical waste molecule that is generated from muscle metabolism. Creatinine is produced from creatine, a molecule of major importance for energy production in muscles. Approximately 2% of the body's creatine is converted to creatinine every day. Creatinine is transported through the bloodstream to the kidneys. The kidneys filter out most of the creatinine and dispose of it in the urine.
Jan. 28th, 2007 01:52 am (UTC)
Re: lab stuff
Thanks for explaining that! I was wondering how everything fit together. The hemoglobin test was supposedly just surgery related. But I'm definitely glad they tested it, considering what you just wrote about Celebrex.

I remember that they had to wrap my arms in hot towels to get the veins to come up when they put in the I.V. before surgery last time. So this unfortunately seems to be an ongoing probleem...

Thanks for explaining all of this!
Jan. 28th, 2007 06:53 pm (UTC)
Re: lab stuff
Sorry, Nickie. I got carried away with my 'teaching'!
I also took Celebrex and it drove my blood pressure sky-high. My body didn't tolerate it very well at all. The doctor can also order a complete metabolic panel which includes liver function (enzyme) tests to check the body's dealing with Celebrex. In your case there is no real cause for concern.

no one has tried to take blood out of my foot yet, and I don't think they will

This is what I'd always taught my students: "The only time you can draw blood out of an adult foot is, if they have no arms." Your part? Just say, "No!" The hot-towel wrap can be done before a blood draw as well as the insertion of the IV needle. A 23-gauge pediatric butterfly needle can be used for both, if need-be.

I won't let anyone take blood-pressure readings or withdraw blood from my RSD side. I make it clear that my whole right-side is off-limits.
Jan. 29th, 2007 02:23 am (UTC)
Re: lab stuff
I'm sorry that Celebrex had such a bad reaction for you. You didn't get carried away, you explained a lot, and I really appreciate knowing how stuff works.
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