How are we doing? Today I had a what now is a very rare trip out for a blood test. When I had my flair up I got on the phone to my IBD nurse, Gini, to talk it through. In order to check out what’s going with my knackered innards she sent me a blood test form and a little stool sample pot. Usually I would be able to walk in, take a ticket and settle down to wait in the queue. Today, however, I had to have an appointment.
It felt strange driving out somewhere. Thankfully the roads were so much quieter than usual. Driving through town was like something out of a post-apocalyptic scene in a film, as was walking into the hospital. Needless to say it was by far the quickest round trip to a hospital I could ever imagine. With barely any other cars on the road, travel took no time at all. Passing the few local food shops en route I saw people lined up outside, keeping their distance with the person in front. Arriving at the hospital, what would normally be a frustrating hunt for a parking space was a breeze; I was spoilt for choice.
The layout in the hospital was straight forward, with minimal surfaces to touch. After going through the automatic doors, the chairs in the waiting room that would normally be mostly occupied on arrival were stacked to one side. At this point I’m used to taking a ticket and getting comfortable for anything up to an hour to see someone. Today however there was none of that. The doors into the side room, usually closed to provide privacy for the patient inside, were open. The small phlebotonist team were inside, absent of of any patients and thankfully wearing the full PPE. I’ve seen pictures on the news of nursing staff in their masks etc. But its always different seeing it for real. The blood test itself was straight forward, and I had a box to put my stool sample in (always a weird thing to hand over…) I was offered as much of the alcohol hand gel as I wanted from the dispenser. As a precaution I used it before I sat down, then again when I had finished. I also put some on my forearms and barelegs, being reassured by the phlebontonist that it was fine to use plenty of the alcohol gel. I guess its good for her to see that I am taking the situation seriously and thinking of the safety of all involved. She said that they were only doing blood tests by appointment partially to avoid lots of people being together in the waiting room but also to give them time to wipe down everything between patients. I did of course thank them for carrying on in all of this and told them I have been clapping on a Thursday evening.
On getting home I took my clothes off and put them all in the washing machine before getting in the bath. I used an antibacterial wipe to get my phone out of my pocket and wipe it down, even though I didn’t touch it at all while out. We truly have been adopting the “better safe than sorry” approach with regards to anything involving outside. It’s crazy… anytime you do anything outside the safety of home you feel like you’re dirty. All of the time you feel like you’re watching your back with an invisible killer. I just hope things get a little less weird soon…Well that’s today’s excitement.
Thanks for reading, hope everyone is keeping safe.