My Diabetes Inklings

Dear Nurses, you are all AMAZING!

Last week I touched on feeling a tad nervous on getting some testing done to determine how my pancreas reacts with a load of glucagon. Glucagon is a naturally producing hormone in our body, which is in charge of raising our blood glucose levels. So this test would see how much insulin my pancreas would produce after a high glucose load. (Although I don’t think she used a lot of glucagon, it looked like a mini one). I was admitted into the Royal Melbourne Hospital elective surgery unit for this procedure as it was ordered by my private endocrinologist, who was partly based at RMH as well. It wasn’t meant to be a big deal and I would be in and out in 15min. So I was brought into the recovery room for other patients who have had surgery. The endo who was requested to perform this test for me joked that this was largely over the top for a simple test (the fact that I had a bed and tele was a bit OTT but I wasn’t complaining!).

However what was meant to be a simple test, ended up in a fair bit of (non-serious) drama, with having a nurse, a nurse manager and the endo fussing around me because my veins were playing up. I’ve had this issue before and I know I have small veins. The fact that I was over-tired, stressed dehydrated and fasting probably didn’t help either. Each good vein they found and used, no blood would come out of it. And each smaller vein they used was popped because the needles were too big for my petite veins.

After 2 long hours, the nurses had tried 7 different vein sites across both arms, popped a few veins, gave me several bruises but were still extremely encouraging and determined. It took a while but all the vials were eventually filled and the glucagon test was successful (blood was taken at 0 and 6 mins of glucagon administration). That the was the biggest thing they were worried about, that they wouldn’t be able to get blood after the 6min mark. But they did it! I think almost every trick in the book was used. From using hot compress (because my hands were apparently the coldest they have ever seen) to sitting up and dropping my arm down. Towards the end of it, I was on the verge of tears and felt like an utter failure and kept apologising for all the fuss my tiny veins had caused. My endo was anxious about missing out on her other patients and I felt so terrible that I had taken away so much time. However, on the other hand, I was grateful they looked after me really well and fed me and gave me something to drink before I did the remaining bloods.

The lovely cannula that was in my only good vein and still didn’t want to give blood.

But I just wanted to thank all the nurses and my endo for being so patient and persistent and taking the time to see me. I really don’t like being the center of a whole lot of fuss and I’m so sorry I took up 2 hours instead of 15mins! Hopefully the tests produced usable results!

After I had finished my role as a pin-cushion, I felt so miserable I drove home and crawled into bed and slept the rest of the afternoon. Mum was home so she made sure I had some lunch and kept my fluids up as well. It’s so nice to have someone to look after you, I’ve decided. No matter how independent I like to be, still good to be a sook once in a while. But the fact that I slept the rest of the day was probably another sign from my body that it just needed a break and rest, instead of stressing out over things. So now that I’m almost fully recharged and refreshed, I can go back to working on my research proposal for next year, finding a job over summer, finalising my thesis, writing blogs etc. 🙂 Full steam ahead!

4 thoughts on “Dear Nurses, you are all AMAZING!”

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