How much blood do those hospital folks really need?

How much blood do thosehospital folks really need?I recently had to make a rather unexpected trip to my local hospital, Baptist Health’s South Miami Hospital.

To begin with I must say that the staff and associates working at this facility are far beyond expectations and do an incredible job of keeping you informed and comfortable.

The only problem that I had was with the new medical procedures which I have written about previously. To begin with, what do they do with all of that blood that they take from me over a period of three to four days? I wouldn’t mind if they were selling it and I was reaping the benefit of the profit but there was no such thing.

The people drawing the blood tell me that it must be done every three to four hours regardless of whether I was attempting to sleep, or whatever. For some reason they needed and wanted my blood. Honestly, it looks exactly like anyone else’s blood except it came from my arms which have already been punctured way too many times.

This all began with what I thought was a minor chest pain. At my age, nothing, especially in the chest area is to be ignored. And so begins the many miles of being wheeled around the hospital to various x-ray rooms, and all the other rooms where they fire all kinds of magnetic energy through your body to determine what the problem may be. In my particular case it turned out to be my gall bladder.

Honestly, although I know I have one or had one: I have no idea where it is or what it does, but they decided to remove it to avoid the possibility of any gallstones residing there which might be responsible for my pain.

Now I needed to await the surgery which, although minor, is still surgery and anyone cutting into my body for any reason scares the hell out of me. All I wanted to do was go home to my own comfortable bed, eat the food that I like, watch TV, and go to sleep. None of this was on the menu for me.

In the old days, where I am from, you had a doctor and possibly a nurse who would see you through all of this, tell you what to do and send you on your way. Not nowadays. I had to see an endocrinologist; a thyroid specialist; the surgeon, of course, and all of their various assistants and service personnel.

Fortunately I had my spouse with me who, as anyone who knows her will testify, is one of the most organized people on the planet and she was able to keep a list of all the people poking, cutting, moving, and everything else that could be done to me because after the surgery and after you have been released it becomes necessary that you follow up with the various medical personnel to be sure that everything is going as expected. You ought to see my calendar right now. I don’t know how I found the time to write this column.

I really thought that I had neared the end of my pill debacle. Not so! Each doctor decided that certain pills were no longer necessary only to be replaced by other pills which will probably be unnecessary in the very near future. I admit to being mildly diabetic at one time and as a result took Metformin, a well-known diabetes medicine which I had stopped taking because my blood sugar was well within bounds.

During one of the many, many many blood tests that were applied to me one of them was immediately after I had eaten a small cup of applesauce, which was the only thing on my tray near worth eating. This of course momentarily raised my blood sugar and guess when they came to check my blood? You got it it. It was higher than normal therefore they put me back on Metformin. I actually have friends who on occasion call me to see who was taking the most pills on any given day. (Thanks, Tony.) I never thought of it as a competition, but if it is one I am well in the lead.

Like most people my age I have several of these weekly plastic pillboxes marked for each day of the week and then separate ones for morning afternoon and evening. Don’t ask me what would happen if I missed a morning or an evening but it would be pretty serious judging by my wife’s reaction on those days. I have forgotten to put gasoline in my car on occasion and not get nearly the reaction to missing one of my pill times.

What in blazes are all those giant machines that take EKGs, ECGs, x-rays, and all the other things to help the doctors see inside your body? I am sure they all are necessary for something but, holy cow, I would hate to be on the buying end of one of these giant machines nor would I want to be working in the same room with all those rays scattering all over the place and possibly causing cancer, headaches, tummy aches, and you name it.

Oh yeah let us not forget those little tabs that they have to stick to your body so that they can make the connection to all of their various probes. My advice? Shave your body as close as possible before going to the hospital because when these little tabs are removed, there seems to be no way to ease the pain other than saying “this won’t hurt a bit.” Oh, yeah!

One bit of advice regarding brain scans. I recently had one done and when the doctor looked at it on his computer his comment was, “there is nothing there.” Of course, I knew what he meant, but my dear wife had to add, “I have been telling him this all his life.”


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