What do you want from me? Blood?

One of the many reasons my wife hates going to the hospital is that the first thing they do is try to put an IV shunt in her arm. Note I said “try” as this usually turns into a test of the nurse’s skill, patience, and eyesight. Her veins are practically non-existent; I’ve watched while nurses start tapping on one arm, switch to the other, poke, prod, go out to get a smaller needle, etc.

Hey, wow, I had a fasting blood test done this morning, too! The doctor wrote the order for it last week, but this was the first morning I actually remembered not to have a cup of coffee right when I got up. The lab tech introduced herself with, “Hi, I’m [so and so] and I’m a student at T-VI…” I told her I have an excellent vein right in the middle of my left arm, but that it’s sitting right on top of a tendon, so it does tend to roll, and some techs have found it easier to get into if I hyperextend my elbow and… Then she went and fetched someone with actual experience to do the draw. Works every time.

I’ve been terrified of needles ever since I was a little kid. When I was 18 or so, I decided that the best way to get over that fear was to face it - by donating blood! Now, the blood donation needles are absolutely gigantic, so that probably wasn’t the brightest idea, but the Blood Services people found out that I’m O pos. and they got my phone number, so they’ve called me every 8 weeks ever since. Being a sucker for guilt, I usually go in (although I milked seven years of reprieve out of two pregnancies and nursing infants). This last time, they did a special double red cell donation thing where they essentially take two pints out but centrifuge the blood and return the plasma to you in between. It’s unpleasant at best, but I’m not eligible to donate for 16 whole weeks!

I’ve never had blood drawn. Ick.

When I enrolled at UT Austin, they required a tetanus and some other shot (can’t remember what) and since I hadn’t had a shot since I was a kid, I was nervous as hell. (If anyone knows what the other shot was, fill me in, cuz it’s pathetic I can’t remember.)

The moment the nurse got out her little cotton swab, I shut my eyes very tightly and concentrated on breathing. I kept breathing and waiting…breathing and waiting…

And then she said, “You’re all done!”

I seriously did not even feel either shot. I thought she had just swabbed my arms; I had no idea she’d also administered both shots.

dance of joy

Since then, I’ve had a couple of penicillin shots in the hip, but they don’t bother me at all. (I hate them later, though, because they get all hard and bruised and tender.)

The one thing that really annoyed me was when my doctor wanted to test my blood sugar, since diabetes runs in my family, so he sent the nurse to do it…that guy took joy in stabbing my finger with all he had. I swear I bled for days.

I was far more annoyed about my excessively bleeding finger than I’ve been about any shots I’ve had.

But I haven’t ever given blood because I’m chicken. My fiance used to give blood all the time, and the last time he did, an air bubble rose up in his arm like a balloon…which could have killed him.

Any hope I had of getting over my fear of giving blood was immediately dashed when he told me that story. Just can’t face that.

It’s nearly 24 hours later, and my left arm has a lovely purple tint all around the inside of the elbow. It feels as if someone punched me. So where the heck are those Star Trek medical scanner thingies? Why don’t we have the technology to wave a magic stick and diagnose all conditions? Buncha slacker inventors - get to work on it!

Who me? Grouchy? <sigh>

It is reassuring to know that I’m not the only needle wuss around here. I feel validated! And it didn’t involve chocolate - amazing!

Guess I’ll have to do this - a couple weeks ago, I had blood drawn at the doctor’s office. Now, I don’t know why it happened - a combination of factors I think, including going too long between breakfast & lunch (in doctor’s office from 10:15 to 1), having the beginnings of a cold that lasted forever, and feeling a bit of work stress - but I was paying for the visit, and passed right out. Never passed out before - and it was highly embarrassing, because I wet myself. Oops.

Luckily, I was able to get a friend to come pick me up and take me home - they didn’t want me driving.

So - I definitely will warn those who will be taking blood from me from now on. Doubt it will happen again, but better safe than sorry.

Susan

Well, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one humming:

“I’ve given you grow lights and mineral supplements…”
I’ve always been lucky - great veins. (and I actually kind of find it interesting watching it spurt - not just flow out. it fascinates me.)

i had a blood test at 7 for a tonsil op. i announced that i would never have a blood test again. my neighbour just laughed and said, “of course you will. you need a blood test to get married.”

i just stared back in horrour and said: “i’m never getting married.”

i’ve had a few blood tests since i was 7, but haven’t married.

Normally I am annoying to those trying to take blood but I had a test yesterday and she got it first try! It was very deep and she was terribly proud of herself for hitting it. I was fine until she held up the needle and showed just how far in she had gone.

Oh well, every fluid in my system heading south at the sight of the amount of metal she had inserted helped me produce the urine sample they wanted.

When I had my tonsils out a few years ago ( I had them out as an adult), it was the first time I had ever had an IV. Well, she put it in my left arm at the elbow, cause I’m a sucky bleeder as well, and it burned, so I complained. She said, “Maybe the flow’s too high. I’ll turn it down, but you just need to get used to it.” So, I sat for an hour or so with my arm aching, but figured I was being a baby. They finally take me to pre-op, and do the anethesia thing, but instead of the calming, “count down from 100” thing, the tech holding the mask says, “Oh. Shit. That’s not in her vein. Get it out. Get the damn IV out NOW!” Then I went under.
I still have the visible veins and capallaries sticking out of the inside of my left elbow where she pumped a bag of saline into the soft tissue of my arm. When I woke up, in a panic, of course, it was in my right hand, where I can see a vein all the time, and I suggested she try in the first place. Sigh.