Thursday, November 5, 2009


I had a really productive day. Today is exactly one month after I was released from the hospital and the rheumatologist wanted me to get a full series of blood tests done today (to determine if I also have lupus). Since I hadn't been out by myself yet, Nilaja offered to drop me at the lab so that I only have to sit through one bus ride. The thing is that she leaves for work at 6:50 am and in order for us both to be ready in time, I set my alarm for 5:30 am. After I got over the shock of hearing my alarm that early in the morning, I managed to shower and get dressed without incident.

Nilaja dropped me in front of the building and I made it up to the first lab just as it was opening. I knew there were a lot of tests to be done, but I wasn't prepared for them to take 7 full vials of blood and a urine sample. Luckily, this lab is really good at finding my veins so it was painless. I was there for less than 20 minutes and proceeded to the second lab for another test. (I didn't know that I would have to go to two labs, but the first lab isn't equipped to do cryoglobulins. I'm glad I chose a site with two different labs in the same building.)

This time they only needed to take one vial of blood, but the experience was much worse. After explaining to the phlebotomist that I'd just had a lot of blood drawn from one arm and my veins roll, she rolled her eyes and said it's easier for her to draw from my right elbow. Well, if I learned one thing from this last hospital stay, it's that I have don't have to let anyone do anything to my body that I don't agree with. And when she pulled back the bandage and started poking at the still bloody spot on my arm, I pulled away and asked for someone else. She then explained that she was there alone for another hour IF the next person shows up or I could go somewhere else but she wasn't sure what labs in the Bay Area did that test. I smiled and said, "I'll wait." Empowerment feels damn good! Of course, just as I gather my things and start toward the reception area, another phlebotomist (a supervisor) comes in the door and manages to find a vein and draw the blood before I could finish complaining.

I didn't secure a ride home from the lab, so I took the bus. This was my first time on the bus since September and it went well. I'm not sure I should have been on a bus yet, but I made it home safely. I even stopped for a nice big cup of mostly decaf coffee (I dumped out about half and swapped the rest for milk and sugar). Of course the small amount of regular coffee they mixed into my decaf kept me buzzing all day long. And you know how frustrated I get when I want to sleep but can't.

I spent most of the day watching tv, but took a long break from that to apply for few jobs. That's right folks, I'm trying to get back to work already. Once again, I'm not sure I'm ready or how I'll make it through the day, but I have to try. I can't be afraid to go back to work. If I don't make it, oh well, at least I put in the effort. So far, I've applied for part-time and full-time administrative assistant and receptionist positions, since I think those will be the easiest for me to transition into as I rebuild my skill set. I sent three resumes today and will keep looking for other opportunities until I find something.

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