I wonder whether or not anyone else hates those nasty blood draws as much as I do. Today was go-to-the-doctor-time again. That meant, that good old stick-in-the-arm with that awful needle!
I have a rather horrendous history with needles. No, nothing that killed pain, but, instead, CAUSED pain. When I was pregnant with my son, my ex-husband and I had the RX-Factor. Haven’t heard of it? Neither had I. It meant that there was a very real danger of my infant son, at his birth, having to have a complete blood transfusion to replace all of the blood he was born with, or he would die. This meant that for me, and for seven of my nine months of pregnancy, I had to be stuck-in-the-arm with a needle in order to have my blood drawn to check to see whether or not my unborn son’s blood had been contaminated. Getting stuck weekly would’ve been bad enough, only I have veins that are buried as deep as the oceans bottom.
Each week I’d go to my obstetrician’s office to be stuck with that dreaded needle again. How many times was I stuck with the needle at each visit? Anywhere from three to six times. There didn’t seem to be anyone who was able to find my veins. Usually, by the third or fourth “stick”, I’d begin to feel nauseated. This meant having to lie down and be “stuck” some more. (Fortunately, a few years later something called “Rhogam” was invented and I didn’t have to go through all this with my second baby!)
Finally, several years later, a lab tech took pity upon me and informed me what I should tell anyone who was going to attempt to draw blood from either of my arms in the future. She said, “From now on, just explain that while your veins appear to be buried deep, they’re actually superficial.” What did that mean? It meant that my veins are near the surface of my skin after all, they’re just invisible! Perfect.
But it worked. From that point forward, I always explained to anyone about to draw my blood, that my veins aren’t buried deep after all, they’re simply invisible! I still hate needles with a passion. Unless I get a lab tech who is really lousy at hitting veins, it’s not quite as bad an experience as it used to be.
Today I had a different person do the honors. This seemed to have been a good thing. In fact, I made a note in my mind of his name. It’s “Zach”. After explaining about my invisible veins to Zach, he used a tiny needle (yes, it took longer to draw all the blood he needed) but he hit my invisible vein right away! I was happy as a clam.
What have I learned from all this? I learned that it really pays dividends (non-monetary, of course) to ask questions when having one’s blood drawn if it’s a miserable experience. That way, one can pass-on knowledge about oneself that can spare one an awful lot of miserable experiences!
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