By the time you read this, both my left and my right arms would be like bruised pincushion. I have to undergo the 'ambil darah' procedure.
No disrespect to the nurses or the medical staff doing the procedures but apparently I am born with a delicate very deep vein which no one can find in one go. This bruised pincushion is something I undergo everytime I go to either our general hospital or the private hospital. I am the only one I think who had been passed to all the 'ambil darah' staff at the hospital as each one tries their luck at finding that vein. There was one time I had all of them and then I got sent down to the lab for the lab technician there to try his luck. At first I thought it was our general hospital staff who I thought are inexperienced but for the last few years when I go to the private hospital, it was a similar problem. Since then, I have learned to live with this problem.
So I do envy people with nice big vein where the nurses can find that vein in one poke. Me? My blood has been taken from everywhere they can get blood, from my fingers (using the so called bl**dy painful butterfly technique) or from the normal place where everyone gets their blood taken that is assuming they can find it.
There used to be one medical staff at RIPAS who has now retired who could take my blood sample without much problem. I can't remember his name but it was Haji Salim I think. I am really wondering when he can do it why can't anyone by now acquire such skill. I would gladly pay to have him undertake my blood sample.
But I also remember the one time I had to have my blood sample taken in Singapore by a young but trained specialist phlebotomist, she had no problem. She told me that phlebotomists should have the uncanny ability to find a vein hidden beneath the skin, introduce a needle into the vein, and extract blood with little or no discomfort to the patient. So I am guessing that such skill can still be acquired. I am really hoping that one day, in Brunei, we would have that specialist phlebotomist.
In the meantime, today at that private hospital, I am going to sit in that chair for at least 30 minutes while the two nurses and their supervisor apologising all the time go from left arm to right arm to left fingers to right fingers in the hope of finding that elusive vein.