Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Can't get any Blood?

The other day I went to get my typical weekly lab work. My doctor was going to check electrolytes, magnesium and liver function. The nurse needed 3 vials of blood.

I had a really good nurse. She is actually my favorite as she has a good sense of humor and she is usually able to easily get a vein and draw the blood with no issues. Today was not great though. She found the vein but said she was in scar tissue and she may need to use the other arm from now on. This was on my "good" arm. The one that I never get IV's in that has a vein that's easy to find.

When she got the vein, the blood was taking forever to fill the tube. It literally took 15 minutes or so and she couldn't even get enough to fill the third vial. I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm slightly concerned. Has anyone ever heard of such a thing?

I know the most common reason for this is dehydration, but I have been drinking a tremendous amount lately! Are there any other likely causes? 

My electrolytes ended up being fine and my magnesium level was normal which is both good and bad. I know blood-level magnesium tests are not very accurate, but the RBC magnesium is supposed to have some value. This means that it's possible that the twitching I'm having is not due to a magnesium deficiency, but rather a neurological symptom of one of the infections. That would explain why I get some improvement but not full improvement when taking high doses of magnesium supplementation.