Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Wednesday--Blood Draws

Today, I am beyond exhausted and still no blood to show for two days of trying. We drove to Cullman, now, two days in a row. It makes about ten punctures. I suppose I must not take the fluid pill on Wednesday. The only thing I accomplished was giving a urine sample. The doctor said taking a fluid pill meant any excess fluid I drank just got peed out!

I drank so much electrolyte drinks and water, I was floating away. 

We picked up the church lunch and went to the lake which was closed to car traffic. You can see the workers have put up some of the Christmas decorations. So, the park will not be open until well after New Years.  We sat in a parking overlooking the lake, a view we don't get when parked at the lake. 

The meal was soup. It was delicious, but way too spicy hot and had English peas.  So, I had the salad. Tommy had my soup and a bowl zucchini for dinner. I will be having the second salad for dinner. So, we ate two meals, bought nothing and cooked nothing. They include cookies, crackers, utensils, salt and pepper. Sitting in the shade overlooking the lake and having lunch was calming after what seemed like hours of being poked and punctured. 

Driving to Cullman was my best option. I have been to clinics here and found professionals, nurses/people who were rude, slammed things around, huffed because my bad, little veins were defying them. In a word or two, they were short and incompetent. If I can go someplace where they will give me a shot in the back of my hand for pain, I can handle a needle stick there. The big, tough Physician's Assistant confirmed that the needle in the back of the hand is indeed very painful. 

This has been going on since I was 21. 

Tommy is exhausted, too, but willing to drive me back for a third time this week. I am going nowhere. 

Do your veins resist blood draws? What do you do to make it better?




20 comments:

  1. Surely medical professionals have encountered blood draw resistant veins before! You can't be the first person that has been a challenge, and it is rude and unprofessional of them to complain to you. I suppose they think you can will your veins be problematic! Hmph! I would tell them up front that you need their absolute best needlewoman/man because your veins won't go down without a fight.
    I happen to have great veins and a high tolerance for pain, so I can't help you prepare. But I do empathize. My daughter is needle-phobic, she has a physical response (vasovagal) that she absolutely cannot control. You would be astounded at the number of medical professionals who have tried to shame her over it! I actually had to snap at one snotty nurse and remind her of the vasovagal response and tell her to bone up on it or I'd report her for her lack of both knowledge and compassion. I accompany my daughter to all her draws/shots to be her comfort, her advocate, and her snarling pit bull when people who should know better try to make her feel bad for the way her body handles stress.
    I wish I could accompany you to your draws, Linda. I'd enjoy ripping a few heads off in your honor! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue,
      I would gladly let you accompany me to rip heads off. I am not at all in fear of having blood drawn. I had to look that word up to find the meaning. I even watch the needle go in. Tommy cannot watch people on tv getting covid shot...lol. I am prepared for a good outcome and blood pressure does not drop. That is why I drove 60 miles--to get compassionate and knowledgeable help. These women are very nice and competent.

      This vein problem has been going on since I was 21. Several nurses and doctors said my veins roll away. The nurse today said she saw the vein but it disappeared when the needle got near it. She was a nurse in the military for seven years, so I suppose she has seen it all.

      Thanks.

      Delete
    2. Why are we so proud of being rude to other people who are rude, inconsiderate or incompetent? Seems to be the new American way. It hurts my heart to heard talk of ripping peoples' heads off even if it is merely figuratively.

      Delete
    3. Connie,
      People have to vent even when they are not rude or violent.

      Delete
    4. Sorry, Connie, but no medical professional will bully or shame my daughter for her needle phobia--not on my watch! I was not rude to that nurse, I was very curt and to the point. Call that rude if you want--I call it giving her a much-needed wakeup call. The upside is she probably changed her attitude and didn't try to bully or shame anyone else that day!

      Delete
    5. Sue,
      I am always surprised when the rude people suddenly see themselves as victims when a person tries to stop the bullying.

      Delete
  2. Linda
    I am so sorry that it is so hard for you to have a blood draw. It use to be a horror for me. My husband passed from cancer so I saw a lot of blood draws. I finally started to drink a lot of water when I knew it had to be done and had a squeeze ball to use before I went in there, now does not cause a problem at all. I used to faint when they did it but since I went thru all that with my husband I decided I could do it. I don't worry about that or any shot anymore like I had. I know it is hard you just need to find what works for you and it will be better.

    I enjoy reading your blog. I am not struggling, my home is paid off, I have social security and retirement savings but I am aware that things can go wrong easily. I have always lived frugally so I am used to it. My husband and son were never aware of this. I was in charge of finances for the most part and I was able to make everything work.

    I have been going back and reading your blog. I see how hard you work to give a good life to not only you but also for Tommy. My question is have both of you decided this a good living arrangement that suits the two of you and you should continue. It seems to me that it is a good fit. I had a similar situation with a very good family friend who has since passed. He lived with me for a few months after losing a leg to diabetes. I took care of him while he recovered. People were always trying to read something else into it that did not exist. I just wondered what your feelings would be about that.
    I

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Texas,
      I have never been afraid of needles, so there is nothing to get over. I am becoming afraid of blood draws...lol.

      I had my home and car paid off and did not struggle too much. Now, I struggle. I am glad you have a good retirement. You did well.

      I don't know how long I will be here. It is up in the air right now. He appreciates my efforts and the results. We just don't know. I know what you mean about people reading things into living arrangements. There are things about this arrangement I would change, but it is working for now.

      Delete
  3. I don't seem to have the same issue as you regarding blood draws. But everytime I have to get blood work I hope and pray I'll get a competent person. I've been hurt and bruised more than once by incompetence. This issue only started in the last few years. Before that I always had a good person. Or maybe it's my age (getting older) and them having a harder time to find my veins.I really feel for you and hope you will have a better time of it next time you go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joyful,
      I think the problem is that many of the people who draw blood have a short course and are called a phlebotomist. I think it is lack of training along with new rudeness. I announce there will be no "digging" for a vein! That cuts down on bruising. If they start moving the needle, the draw is over right then. I was bruised from my hand to above the bend of my elbow once. No more.

      Delete
  4. I wish I knew something that would help them be able to get blood from you easier. How miserable it must be for you for them to try and try again. I hope that skipping the water pill will help.

    I had a problem with them getting blood from me several years ago when I had a bout of cdiff. I was so dehydrated, that they ended up having one nurse try 3 or 4 times and then she went and got their expert blood draw nurse and she was successful.
    Now days I have to be sure and keep pressure on the blood draw area for a while to make sure I just don't keep bleeding until it escapes the bandaid and runs down my arm into my hand like it did one time. That was before I was on blood thinners. I don't know what the deal was with that. I went back into the lab place and they checked it and after it stopped while I sat in the chair, they wrapped it with more gauze and a bigger bandaid. Now since I'm on blood thinner, I always tell them and they hold pressure on it to be sure the bleeding has stopped before they send me on my way. It's always something, isn't it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. susie,
      I hope never to have cdiff! I think the diarrhea plus diuretic was most of the problem other than my hard to find veins.

      That is a lot of bleeding and scary. I never bleed more than one drop, if that. One day, I did not hold pressure like the nurse told me to do, and I bled more. I learned my lesson that time.

      Delete
  5. That is awful you experience rudeness from medical staff. DH is hard to find a vein, too, and at the surgery the staff had this neat new "vein finder" machine. The nurse said it's her new favorite thing. Kind of like a black light that lights up all his veins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One,
      I have heard of that but have never been where they had one. Maybe that is what I need to look for going forward.

      Delete
  6. I feel for you as my last one took 7 tries. I was a bruised mess. But the fact that they were rude is horrible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kim,
      The ones at the AFC where I went were polite. That is why I went there. When a person is so bruised, you know it hurt.

      Delete
  7. I have terrible veins and am a difficult draw on the best of days, never mind when I'm dehydrated or suffering from malnutrition. I rarely give blood for less then two sticks, and have been poked up to 7 times to get blood. And don't get me started on IVs. The back of my hand is the most successful place. I find the wrist hurts much more than the back of the hand.

    Sassybear
    www.idleeyesandadormy.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Breenlatern,
      Rarely, do they get blood on the first stick. Usually, it take a long time to even get a vein to show. I hate IVs. You are right about the wrist Ivs, they hurt when I try to move my hand afterwards and am in hospital.

      Delete
  8. Poor arms! That would be tiring. I find it funny/odd that I get compliments on my veins- like I have anything to do with how they are easy to find?!?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SAM.
      Very tiring! I imagine they are rejoicing that their jobs will be easier and you won't hate them in the end. You did a good job growing those veins. I have very few veins showing in my body.

      Delete

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