Today I went to Springfield for my bimonthly appointment to have my blood drawn in a continuing effort to decrease the level of ferritin in my blood.
It had seemed like a good idea to do it at Baystate Health rather than tacking it on to an appointment in Boston so as to not have to either drive home fatigued or spend the night in Newton.
It went smoothly last time, but this time there was a glitch. The finger stick showed my hemoglobin to be 11. My orders said it had to be 11.3.
"Good news," the technician said. "You don't have to be drawn today."
It went downhill from there. "But I want it to be drawn. That's why I came here," I said.
I asked if she or someone else could try it on the other hand because there could be a variation in such a small amount of blood. The same thing happened twice at the donor center at Brigham and Women's; on the first stick it was just a little bit low but the second time it was fine.
The nurse supervisor said it was a good stick and they would not do it again. She said my hemoglobin was just too low, and of course, five years or no five years, the word "low" always causes a residual anxiety to kick in.
A resident came in and seconded the decision not to recheck. She agreed to page Melissa to find out if she would give permission, but Melissa didn't call back.
Since Dr. Alyea had said to get a mid-appointment CBC, I thought that while I was in the hospital, I would walk to the reference lab in the other wing and get that done. But when I got there, they said the standing order had expired and so I could not get that done either.
This whole process of not getting anything done took more than two hours.
On the way home I felt overcome with fatigue, as sometimes happens when I am driving even a short distance, so I stopped at a CVS to get something to wake myself up. I had a Cliff bar in one hand and a bag of mini Snickers in the other. I treated myself to the Snickers.
Melissa called later and said she would have given them the OK to draw the blood at 11.
The appointment will need to be rescheduled.