What do you want from me? Blood?

Well, yeah, actually, that’s exactly what was wanted.

I had to go by my doctor’s office this morning for some lab work - continuing the saga of my annual physical. I suppose it might sound strange to some, but I can tolerate the Pap test, I can put up with the mammogram, but I hate, hate, hate having blood drawn. It doesn’t help that I have crappy veins and that I’m pretty much a wuss when it comes to blood.

I remember back in bootcamp when we all marched down to the dispensary. We had to get shots and have blood drawn - 3 tubes worth if I recall correctly. The shots were tolerable because they were given with the guns - quick and mostly painless. The blood was another story. I had to look away and try hard to think of something other than my life fluid splurting into little glass tubes. I remember staring at the sympathetic face of one of the other recruits - she was trying to be my strength. Nice try, but not too successful. I was soon sitting on the ground with my head between my knees.

When I’ve had surgery and an IV was necessary, I had to work hard to not think about the metal forced into my veins. Getting an IV is especially trying, and more often than not, they wind up putting it in the back of my hand. Just the thought of it now is making me woozy.

So, I went in this morning. Oh yeah - it had to be a fasting test, so I was hungry as well as nervous. I told the nice lab lady that she’d have to take the blood from the side of my arm as my other veins were worthless. I offered her my left arm and looked at the cartoons taped to the wall on my right. I tried not to pay attention to the sticks and the tapping and the movement. Deep breath, now, deep breath… And it was for nothing. My left arm has no good veins.

She tied the rubber strip on my right arm and gave me a squishy heart to squeeze in my right hand. Success in a matter of seconds, and the tubes were filled. I took a deep breath, looked at the bandages on both arms, gathered my stuff, and left.

But the story doesn’t end there. I got to the office and decided to take off the bandages - I knew I wouldn’t still be bleeding. And I wasn’t. In fact, on my right arm, there’s just a tiny red dot where the needle was inserted. My left arm is another thing entirely. There’s a bruise. And a huge lump. And it hurts when I touch it. (all together now: “Then don’t touch it!”) Poor poor me. :frowning:

I’ll be getting a call in a few days, no doubt to tell me my cholesterol is too high. And since I haven’t suffered enough today, I’ve got an appointment this afternoon for a bone density check. And a mammogram. Neither of those should require blood, so I’m not too worried.

Right across the street from my office, the Florida-Georgia Blood Alliance is doing a blood drive. They have three bus-like vehicles parked there - and I bet they’re full of cookies and juice. I feel guilty for not donating, but I can’t let those nice people deal with me and my crappy veins, get their hopes up, only to have them dashed. Plus, I’m a wuss.

Awwwwwwwww {{{FairyChatMom}}}. Don’t those old meanies know they shouldn’t go around sticking old people with needles? :stuck_out_tongue:

Swampbear - That’s funny… “sticking old people with needles”…

You know what those old meanies like to do to men don’t you?

Two words… prostate exam.


Having stuck over 20,000 needles in my life (mostly dialysis, which is a really BIG needle), I can tell you that it’s not much fun for the stick-er either. But you did good, and I am proud of you. Remember, always tell them about the crappy veins, and try to keep track of where the successful sticks have been. If possible, drink a big glass of water before you give blood. It usually plumps up the veins. Low blood pressure is another problem - just like a garden hose, if the pressure inside is low, you’re just gonna be lucky to get a spurt of fluid occasionally.

The mammogram is the one I hate the most. As the old joke goes, I practice for my mammo by laying on the cold garage floor and closing the garage door down onto my breasts. Then repeat as necessary (“You must have moved, the images aren’t very clear”).

Good luck with your tests!

Run, swampbear, run!!!


Preserve our essence! :wink:

I am strangely proud of the fact that, according to the nice people with the sharp objects, I “bleed really well”.

The ex and I used to donate together and have races.

I just wanted to say good job getting blood drawn. I am the same way and actually am feeling a little oogy after reading this thread. I have found it really makes all the difference if you can get someone good and understanding to draw the blood. I have really been working on getting over this, but for a while it was so bad I would get lightheaded if the Dr. even suggested a blood test, and I would be seeing spots by the time they were flicking my vein (I hate that).

Ick. I’m thinking about it too much now and feeling panicky. la la laalaaaa! fluffy clouds and calm blue ocean…calm blue ocean…

Hmmmmm…hind sight tells me I shouldn’t oughta have made that old person crack. FCM just this past Sunday said she was sending me something (possibly non-explosive) by mail. :eek: What have I done!

[sub]Would it be in my best interest to relocate and/or build a bomb shelter? Should I start wearing a tinfoil hat?[/sub]

swampbear, you probably don’t have anything to worry about, mail-wise… this time… And it’s not too likely that I dispatched anyone to, er, persuade you to reconsider the “old broad” cracks. Nah - don’t sweat anything, sunshine…

I just got home after the mammogram and bone density scan. All I can say is: “Thank goodness for insurance!!!” The woman who checked me in was concerned that I hadn’t yet met my deductible for the year - well criminy, it’s only February!! Anyway, she wanted me to give something towards the bill, so I asked what it was going to cost. The mammogram is about $100. The bone density scan is about $500! :eek: :eek: All I could think as I wrote the check is what do people without insurance do?

And, to harken back to my OP - I did drink water this morning before going for that very reason, and since I’ve got high BP, the blood shoulda come forth with a fury! I was thinking I should get a tattoo on my right arm to mark the best spot to drain me. But that would involve needles, and I’ve already mentioned the wuss issue.

Therefore, I charge you, one and all, to remember that my best blood draw vein is in my right arm. Don’t let me down! Don’t make me get a double poke again next time! I’m counting on ya!!
And seriously, swampbear, you have nothing to worry about. Nothing at all. Really. Would I lie?? :smiley:

Never fun to deal with something that creeps you out; I’m one of the fortunate few who doesn’t mind a lick having needles poked into me and blood squirted out. But then, I’m a little weird…

Congrats on facing the ordeal, FCM - you deserve a lollipop! Hope all results come back perfect, and that your bone density test and mammogram are stacks of fun. :slight_smile:

And best of luck with the ouchy lumpy bruise. Hope it heals quickly!

Ah, well you’ve already HAD the bone density and mammo. Hope they WERE stacks of fun. Never mind. I’m going to go feel stupid, now.

Heck, FCM look on the bright side. Vampires wouldn’t be able to find a good vein either.

[sub]to be on the safe side, I think I’ll get mail lady to leave all my mail in my neighbor’s mailbox for a while.[/sub]

We don’t bother with veins, we go for arteri…

uh, there are no such things as vampires, silly swampbear.

The bump on my left arm has shrunked to about half its original size, but the area is still purple. Alas, 'tis the price I pay for being a delicate flower of womanhood.

I’m with you FCM, same thing happens to me, not with regular jabs but with travel shots.

Oh, they always take the time to explain it to me.

As I am lying in a pool of my own sweat with a dose of typhoid or whatever coursing through my veins

I look around the waiting room at all the larger than the norm men and ponder why, oh, why do I (scrawny 98lber) get the same dose?

It hardly seems fair.

The only upside I’ve heard of it that it means you will survive a few moments longer than most if ever bitten by a poisonous snake.

Just a public service announcement from your friendly neighbourhood ex-lab tech (the people drawing blood in hospitals are usually lab techs) - if there’s any possibility of you fainting, TELL THE PERSON DRAWING BLOOD RIGHT AWAY!!! I’ve had people faint on me, and let me tell you, having a 6’2", fully grown man faint on you while you have one hand full of razor sharp dirty needle and glass tubes is not a fun thing.
(FCM, the bruise on the unsuccessful arm was probably caused by the lab tech going all the way through your vein with the needle. This is a very, very easy thing to do.)

Thank you for the “Little Shop of Horrors” lyric reference in the title. Now I have that song stuck in my head.

featherlou, I tell the techs more than they want to know - trust me. Same with doctors. I figure they can’t do their jobs if I keep stuff to myself.

Cervaise - I wondered if anyone would pick up on that. :smiley: You are most welcome!

Well done on getting blood drawn.

You’re super brave.
[sub]runs faaaaaar away from any more references of needles and blood tests[/sub]

i used to hate getting blood drawn. but then when i was 7 i got an autoimmune disorder so i was getting blood drawn every 3 to 4 months. a lot too. tubes and tubes every time. the worst are the butterfly ones. uuuugh. but yeah since then i am really not too bothered by needles. im used to it.

but yuck.