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.