My Home: The Medical Lab

Have you ever experienced a moment of recognition, having transformed from “a bit eccentric” to full-blown crazy? I think I’m there.

Yesterday, we bought a centrifuge. You know, those laboratory devices that spin blood to separate its components? Yeah, that one. I must now live in a medical laboratory.

I guess the reasoning was this: our doctor orders a fair amount of blood draws that don’t have an associated processing facility locally, so blood must be drawn and shipped on dry ice to wherever it’s being assessed. To take the draw prescription to a facility costs $75 and to have a phlebotomist come to your home for the draw costs $210.

“Why don’t you two just buy your own centrifuge?”

It was the doctor’s idea. He lives on the other side of the country, so can’t draw himself. It wasn’t a bad idea. A bit unconventional, though.

Just over a year ago, he recommended that my boyfriend and I both learn basic venipuncture, so we could self-administer intravenous glutathione. Why, you ask?

LocationMax DosageCost Per Unit
Local IV Clinics1,500 mg$255 per 500 mg
At Home4,000 mg$0.50 per 500 mg

The clinics would not administer the amount our doctor prescribed, and the price discrepancy was appalling. We pay $4 per dose for what would cost $2,040 in the clinic. If you want something done right (or perhaps, cost-effectively), you’ve often got to do it yourself.

And so the saga begins. A high-quality, used centrifuge was purchased on eBay for $100. It will pay for itself after two uses, so… by next week.

Prior to undergoing the anti-fungal treatment, we need to run a different mycotoxin blood test to help guide to correct dosage. Rather than stopping by a lab and dropping $150 for two draws, we’ll mosey on down to the kitchen for the draw and the spin. What is this absurdity?!

Later this year, if the budget allows, we’ll be re-running the Protein Unstable Lesion Signature (PULS) cardiac test–which I highly recommend for everyone–and ProdromeScan to see if our lab values have improved with targeted treatment. There’s another $300 saved.

Then, there’s the possibility of also self-administering platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which is completely cost-prohibitive at $1,500 per treatment. If we can draw, spin, separate, and then inject the plasma layer with guidance from our physician, it may help ameliorate some of my boyfriend’s chronic pain. I don’t know enough about it to make a judgement, though.

Part of me is appalled that my life’s journey has led me to in-home blood draws. Who does that?! Yet, my inner nerd is excited. I love science, and I can’t help but feel excited about the new toy. I also love saving money so, if we’re gonna be on this journey for a bit longer, I guess we better keep at it.

29 thoughts on “My Home: The Medical Lab

  1. Wow, the DIY approach. Who knew it could be applied to this? Fingers crossed for you both!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Tamara! It will certainly be an interesting experiment. We’ve been doing IV injections for a year or two now, so I suspect this won’t be all that different.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Amazed…am I. You and your boyfriend are no ordinary patients: …”we’ll mosey on down to the kitchen for the draw and the spin.” 😉 I don’t suppose this is a route many would take but given all of your hard-won knowledge and your boyfriend’s path to medical school, I understand why you’d be unconventional (but still follow your doctor’s instructions) to save SO MUCH money…and then there’s the convenience…in the kitchen! Best of luck. Did I mention I’m amazed? And I’m getting weird game show vibes (a carry-over from where my brain went this week). “Draw and Spin”? A new show? xo!💕

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I love WordPress for a variety of reasons. One of the big ones is blogs like yours today. You’re appalled, I’m amazed at your self sufficiency and taking charge of your health situation! My inner nerd is interested too, but I’m sure I would mess up the process somehow, forcing me to be stuck by the needle again. Anyway, good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. In a weird, funny side note Erin I would have loved to borrow the centrifuge when the grands and I studied blood components awhile back. So much classier than swinging pretend blood around in a jar on a string 😉 Seriously though, I think you know already that I admire both of you for your determination to get your health sorted out and if this helps then YAY! I flashed back when you mentioned PRP- we used it a lot when I was a surgical assistant in oral surgery- mostly for implant procedures and socket grafting though. I will just say that while we did not overuse the process-meaning it was not a routine procedure- when used it added considerable cost for the patients.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can imagine how fun it would be to use a centrifuge as a kid! There are models on Amazon for $20 but, per the reviews, you get what you pay for and may end up with blood on the walls. 😨😨🤣🤣 Thanks, Deb! My aunt recently received PRP and peptide treatment for knee pain and it cost a fortune so, if it’s safe, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gave it a shot.


  5. Wow – this is fascinating. The science nerd in me is engrossed as well. This is DIY at a whole other level. I’ve said this before – I love your curiosity and can-do attitude!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t realize just anyone could buy them either, until yesterday. 😂 Thank you!! There are days where I want to cry, but there are just as many where I can’t help but laugh at the absurdity… we’ve gone to such great lengths to get better (with moderate success, thankfully!!) and I’m mostly grateful to have such a great partner in this journey. Big hugs back to you! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My first thought about this centrifuge device purchased would be cleanliness. How do you maintain the hygiene of the vials and other equipment you use? I’m sure my elderly mother could use one but who knows how clean the results would be?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My partner is a med student and we’ve both been through emergency response training, so we know the protocols (alcohol wipe surface/skin, don’t unsheathe needle until ready to draw, dispose in a sharps containers, etc.). I imagine anyone could manage with some basic phlebotomy training, though there is certainly increased risk of error with someone doing it occasionally, rather than as a livelihood, I’m sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You have a wonderful perspective and attitude about this, Erin. Good for you. It is insanity that this is what the healthcare situation is like but good for you for finding a cost effective way to make it work while appeasing your inner geek. All the best to you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Ab! Don’t even get me started on the healthcare system–what a mess. I’m just grateful to be learning as we go, and hopefully continue to make strides forward. ☺️

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Wow, I admire you! I’m very impressed. When my son got RSV as a toddler that grew into full blown asthma, our doctor told us to get a nebulizer rather than run to the hospital in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, another bad medical insurance story. Insurance charged us monthly rental fees of $100 per month for over a year before I caught on. We had paid cash for it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank, E.A.! That’s awful about the nebulizer rental fees. I bought one for valley fever years ago, and I think the NasoNeb was under $100 outright. Insurance is such a racket, isn’t it?

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I had to “turn off” that uncomfortable response and try to re-frame it as morbid curiosity…. key word being “try”. 😅😅 I’m admittedly not the best draw, but I can deal with a bruise for a few days to save some dough.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: