A few weeks ago I had my annual exam, including lab work. Initial results were good; blood sugar good, cholesterol good, blood pressure good. Turned out, though I was low on iron and B12 – first time ever. But then, I skipped out on last year’s lab work, so now I’m wondering if I’ve been anemic for quite a while – it could explain some of my exhaustion issues with SAD in the winter months.
So my doctor, being the extremely thorough woman that she is, requested a follow-up test. When I got the phone call from her nurse explaining said follow-up test, I just happened to be in the oral surgeon’s waiting room as The Boy was getting his wisdom teeth out. So I listened with sort of half an ear, doing a lot of “yes, yes, okay” kind of stuff as she described what my doc wanted me to do in order to check for internal bleeding.
I will not go into details, gentle reader, but suffice it to say that the directions for this follow-up test were, shall we say, unsavory. It involved sample-collecting over three days, and the word “smear” was used in the directions. ‘Nuff said.
I was so disgusted and annoyed by the prospect of this testing that I put it off for several days. I actually considered complete rebellion and refusal to cooperate. Here’s the thing: As much as I love my doc and as much as I appreciate how thorough she is, I’ve been through this routine multiple times. A slightly odd result leads to an incredibly uncomfortable or inconvenient (and sometimes expensive) follow-up test “just to be certain” and then the results show NOTHING.
Finally my more cautious side won out over my rebellious side, and I decided to go through with it. But I knew the only way I could bear it was to make the whole thing a huge joke. So on the way to run errands with the whole family one evening, I conducted the following conversation:
Me: So it turns out after my blood draw that I’m anemic. That’s why iron and B12 supplements are on the shopping list.
Husband: Really? I didn’t know that.
Me: Yes. Well, there’s more. Dr. Weaver wants me to do a certain…test now.
Middle Sister: What kind of test?
Me: Well, it involves samples.
Husband (knowingly): Ah. Interesting.
Middle Sister: What do you mean?
Me: Well, I don’t really care to go into details, but if you notice a certain package in the bathroom, I’d highly recommend staying far away from it.
The Boy (true to form): POOP!!!!!
What followed was one of the weirdest three days in my life. And today, when I got the results in the mail, it turned out – as I could have predicted – that the results of that follow-up test were negative. I just need to keep taking supplements and have a follow-up blood test in a few weeks.
All’s well that ends well, I guess. I can promise you, though, I’d live on a diet of our iron patio furniture if there were any chance it could prevent me from ever having to do THAT test again.