5.17.2010

Who Is This Man In My Dining Room?

Why, that is none other than the local Phlebotomist, who comes to my house every two or so months to take my blood. Convenient? Absolutely! It's one of the few services I will truly miss when we move back to the States.

In all three countries we've lived in overseas, I've always been able to walk into any laboratory and have any kind of blood test done without a prescription. No. Questions. Asked. All I had to do was tell the receptionist what I needed, pay my minimal fees, and within minutes my arm was wrapped in a tourniquet and my vein poked, prodded, and bandaged.

But the best part? I am also able to go back within hours and get the results myself. No waiting several days for them to be processed. No having to call the doctors office or wait for a nurse to call me back. Nobody telling me that I'd have to make an appointment to come see a doctor and have him explain the result to me. Why bother? I have a college education and the ability to access WebMD on the internet, do I really need someone to decipher the information?

Ever since finding out I have Thyroid Disease three years ago, I'm hyper vigilant about ensuring my Thyroid is tested every few months. Since I was on so many medications before and during my pregnancy with Grady, along with my weight fluctuating for the year afterwards, my Thyroid has been consistently out of whack. In fact, I almost don't need a blood test anymore to tell me if my Thyroid is regulated... if my face breaks out or I have more "hair fall" than normal, I know that I need another blood test.

On Saturday I decided I needed to get my Thyroid tested one more time before we go back to the States, so I can bring my results in to an endocrinologist in Orange County and continue to be monitored. I called the laboratory and with nothing more than providing my name and phone number, I scheduled my appointment for this 8 am this morning.

Sure enough at 8 am sharp, Shyam rode up to my house on his motorcycle, carried in his trusted black bag, and set up shop on my dining room table. In less than 5 minutes he got everything ready, took my blood, waited for an extra minute to see if there were any other blood tests I wanted done while he was jabbing me with the needle, collected the fees and was on his way. It was seamless. And cheap. Only Rs 470 for the test (about $10.50), and Rs. 110 for the home draw charge (about $2.50). And the piece de resistance ... I downloaded the results online when they were ready. Boo-Yah!

Oh yeah, I didn't have to change out of my pajamas either.






Yes, I did snap these photos with my left hand while I was giving blood.

16 comments:

Sara said...

We want to be posted in India very strongly and while I thought medical services there would be scary - I've heard some very good stories that help me feel a little more comfortable.

Emily said...

I can't believe that you took pictures of getting blood. That is an amazing skill. I am definitely not that brave. I have to close my eyes whenever needles are involved.

Mom24 said...

Yeah, you're going to miss that. :)

I prescribe a huge patience pill, you're going to need it.

Crystal said...

Jill, You ROCK! Taking pictures while having blood drawn. You get extra bonus points for that!!
I love your posts, beause you always make me laugh. I am sure you will be your hilarious self in the States, I can't wait to see what you post. I hope is going very well as you prepare to head back home ~

Crystal said...

Jill, You ROCK! Taking pictures while having blood drawn. You get extra bonus points for that!!
I love your posts, beause you always make me laugh. I am sure you will be your hilarious self in the States, I can't wait to see what you post. I hope is going very well as you prepare to head back home ~

Christy said...

Wowzers. That is what I call awesome customer service! And I can't believe you can take photos of it -- I almost pass out everytime my blood is drawn! ha! I'm such a wimp!

Maria said...

when I was in Costa Rica, getting blood drawn to test for HIV/AIDs as part of the lasik procedure- the lab guy came over, set me all up and right before jabbing the needle in me- I stop him and say ummm can you wear gloves!?!?! And he asked oh- would you like me to wear some....really dude really (aren't you taking my blood to make sure I don't have AIDs....wtf dude?) and they say Costa Rica is the most advanced country in Central America (the Switzerland of CA....yeah right...)

Jen said...

After Nicholas was born in Reykjavik, I had daily visits from a mid-wife for a week. It was totally covered by insurance/State. Oh, and she turned out to be the daughter of Cait's piano teacher...did I mention Iceland is a SMALL country?

DelhiBound said...

Definitely a "LOVE" that we share about India!!

Also nothing better than house calls by a doctor, home tests for H1N1, and even phoning the chemist for HOME DELIVERY of our meds!!

Brooke said...

That makes me want to pass out just looking at those pics! ...It also makes me not want to be such a chicken and get my blood drawn more regularly like I should...

Anyway, I will email you instructions about making tabs on your blog tomorrow - both vertical and horizontal. Because I'm nerdy like that.

The Bald Guy said...

India. Period. Thanks for putting this up!

Daniela Swider said...

Wow, that's awesome service and prices! Maybe the US health care system can learn something from India's.

Sara said...

We have the same thing here. I love getting lab techs to come to the house!

A Daring Adventure said...

HOLY SHMOLY!

Okay, first: you can seriously take pictures of someone drawing your blood? You are one cool-headed, steely babe. I'm such a total lame freakazoid about needles that I literally have to lie down so I don't PASS OUT. And I also have to have James hold my hand.

Second: this is SO how things should be. It's YOUR blood, it's YOUR results, it's YOUR money. Here in the US, we should all be allowed to find stuff like this out without having to go through all the garbage and third person places we have to go through. Rock on, India.

Sunny said...

Manila has the same services. It was awesome when I was pregnant last year. There are a lot of awesome medical advantages here but I guess that is what you get when you pay nurses $170 a month and doctors $400 a month.

I will miss the no wait VIP treatment for medical problems. Oh, wait, maybe I won't need to go to doctors every few months for parasites either. Devils bargain.

Are you beyond antsy to get home? You know you are ready when you become nostalgic for American traffic jams that do not create eight lanes of traffic out of two.

anymommy said...

Um. Yeah. I am jealous of this. Okay, I'll type all my comments here. Happy birthday to your beautiful boy! Nate will be one at the end of next month and he is in an equally annoying, and fun, stage. And good luck, with everything, I can't believe how close you are to the move!

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