True Blood

3 Aug

As you may have gathered by now I’m not a fan of hospitals or doctors surgeries or anything remotely resembling a medical facility. They are simply not good places for my overactive imagination. Always convinced I’m about to be told I’m dying, the stress is just too much for me. Even walking into a chemist can cause palpitations.

So you can probably imagine my reaction as I leave a yoga class to a message on my phone from my doctor. “Can you call us back, we need to discuss your blood results”?  That’s it. Game. Over. I’m clearly dying.

I frantically try calling them back, but it’s too late, they’re now closed. Great. Only fifteen hours to go until they open again. Fifteen hours of fretting, worrying and self-diagnosing on Google.

Having mentally written my will on the walk home, I silently hand hubby the phone as soon as I come through the door and he listens to the message. I look at him with utter panic in my eyes as he promises me it won’t be anything serious and that I shouldn’t worry. Does he know me at all?!

The following day I’m awake at daybreak  as I sit and wait until they open. I make a frantic call at 9am and am told that the doctor isn’t available and will call me back. I stress how important this is to the receptionist. She hangs up on me. Do they not realise time is ticking? I’m bloody dying.

At work I can’t concentrate on anything apart from my iPhone. When it finally rings I’m almost too terrified to answer it. “Hello?” I say weakly. What I really want to say is, “hello, please tell me I’m not dying”.

I can barely hear her given the amount of blood pumping in my ears as she goes on to explain that I’m anaemic. Bloody hell, I feel like saying, could you not have told me that on the phone last night? Anaemia is really common during pregnancy and I know it’s nothing to worry about (I’d already found this out from Google the night before). So as my pulse starts to return to normal and my breathing slows, I feel a sense of utter relief that it’s not terminal.

Oh, but no, things are not what they seem as doctor then proceeds to explain that I also have enlarged red blood cells and either a potential vitamin deficiency or an underactive thyroid.  Enlarged red blood cells?! And so we are back to potential death.

As I manically ask a million questions and I’m finally reassured that my baby is ok, I discover I am to go back to the hospital for more blood tests. Great. More needles. My favorite. I’m starting to think medical professionals are actually vampires.

Off I trot back to the hospital, or ‘home’ as I now like to think of it. Back to the same bloodsucker in the antenatal clinic, who clearly hasn’t seen daylight for the last 100 years. I sit there looking anywhere but at the arm with the large needle sticking out of it.

I’m told I’ll have to wait a few days for the results. Wonderful.  

A few days later I get the dreaded call, but thankfully all is ok. Well it is for now. They can’t really explain the large red blood cells, but they’re ‘hoping’ they go back to normal post pregnancy. I’m glad they share my positivity as I certainly ‘hope’ they do too.

I thought that was the last of it, but I’d forgotten I needed to go back in my 28th week for the anti-D injection. I need this because my blood type is A Negative meaning I could produce anti bodies, which can affect my baby’s blood – the injection rectifies this. I’m starting to feel like a pincushion.

So off I go, back to the antenatal clinic with hubby holding my hand for reassurance. At least this time they’re not taking my blood.

I’m called into the room, which I enter nervously. “Any questions?” asks midwife. “Is it going to hurt” I ask. “Yes” she says. At least she’s honest. I sit down and start to get my arm out. “Oh no” says the midwife. “You can either have it in your bottom or your thigh”. This I was not prepared for.

“Err, what will hurt less?” “Whichever is fleshier” responds the midwife. “Definitely the arse then”. “Do I just lift up my skirt?” I ask “Yes , lift it up turn around and bend over”. So romantic.

So I do as she says, she sticks it in, I feel a burning sensation, and she tells me it’s done and that we can now leave. I feel used.

As we exit the building it dawns on me that (touch wood all is ok) we won’t be back there until I’m about to give birth. I mention this to hubby. “Yes darling and it’s going hurt a lot more than an injection in your bum” he says. I’d kick him if it didn’t hurt so much.


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