Monday, 21 February 2011

You'll feel a bit of a prick

I had another pointless (if you'll excuse the pun), grumpy phone call with one of the warfarin nurses who told me to increase my warfarin dose and get ready to get a bit more practice in with the old needle. But I'm not cross with the warfarin nurses.

I'm not cross with anyone really. But certainly not the warfarin nurses. They are only doing what's best for me. It's not their fault they have to tell me to take clexane injections. And it is all too easy to take out the righteous anger you feel about being ill on the person who is most associated with the illness - the doctor or the nurse. It is an impulse to be avoided at all costs.

My second attempt at a clexane injection was not as good as my first, watched by the nurse at the GPs. I though that this was due to having to inject into an area that was already bruised from previous injections.

But my next one was - even though I say so myself - pretty darned good. The next one too. I am definitely getting the knack. Although the pulling out bit needs some work. It's just as well I'm getting the hang of it - my INRs have not moved a muscle and I may be on the clexane for a couple of weeks yet.

The area you have to play with - if play is the right work (and it isn't) - is not huge. You have to inject the stuff to one side of the navel and just below, but not too far away and not too near. Inevitably that means poking the same bit of flab.

And of course the anti-coagulation regime makes you bruise as well as bleed. I rarely bruise normally. I don't know why - I just never have. But I'm making up for it now. The arm where the blood test man flicked and waggled is now a rich damask of green and purple.

So I wasn't exactly looking forward to my blood test at the GPs this morning. Particularly as I had had a really bad night, unable to sleep despite being dog tired.

But my nurse was superb. She could have almost crept up on me and taken the blood without me knowing. She was a stealth-vampire. You really become appreciate of people's needle skills when you have a lot of jabs. Top marks.

'Just a little scratch,' she said as she was putting the needle in. They all say that now. 'Just a little scratch.' Even though that's not really the sensation at all. It's a prick: a little prick. But they don't want to say that. They don't want to come over all Carry On Matron! so they say 'scratch'.

But say what they like, you still feel a prick.

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