The human pin cushion…

Things have not gone too well the last couple of days. I had pains start in my stomach on Wednesday at work and was advised to go to the doctor. Saw the doctor around 3.30pm and she advised that she thought it might be a problem with my gall bladder. Next thing she uttered those fateful words ‘I think we need to do some blood tests!’

Now for some people this may be a bit of a chore and an inconvenience. For me, this is one thing in health that I dread the most. I would truthfully rather give birth than give blood. I have the most elusive veins in the history of mankind! Or perhaps it just feels that way. Many nurses, doctors, anesthetists and phlebotomists (blood suckers) have had the unenviable tasks of getting blood from my elusive veins. It is not unusual for someone to have to have six goes to get blood from me. Trying first one arm, then the next, then onto the back of both hands and then the feet. It really is difficult. One time, all three nurses at our doctors had a go and all failed.

So, here I was at the doctors yesterday readying myself for the onslaught. The nurse who had drawn the short straw – I’m sure they do ‘rock, paper, scissors’ or something – had a go at getting my bloods. After trying the back of both my hands, she went to my left foot and luckily was successful in getting enough blood for a sample. Not too bad with my history!

What happened next was probably one of the worst things I have experienced in a long time. I had been waiting all day for the results of my blood tests. I missed a call on my phone and had a voicemail from the medical centre. My blood tests had not made it to the lab last night!! I had to go through it all again. When I got back to the doctors, I was told that the courier didn’t pick up my sample and the blood – so hard won by the nurse – was unusable and I would have to go through the whole process again.

So, there I was steeling myself for the thing that I hate most in medical terms. It turned out to be worse than ever. The nurse had at least three goes in the back of each hand with no success. Move onto the feet, tried each one at least twice – the pain getting blood taken from your feet is intense – causing me to call out in pain. At one stage I was standing while she did it and that – let me tell you – is not to be recommended. The pain was excruciating! I found myself sobbing in the chair as the attempts and the pain got worse and worse.

At the end of it all, there was still no blood taken. This means that I have to go back tomorrow and go through it all again.

As my husband says, with all my health issues, including Parkies, it is unfair that blood tests are so difficult for me. To label them ‘traumatic’ is not overstating how I experience them. I sometimes think I should have a permanent lure or some such thing just in case anyone needs to tap me for blood!

So, tomorrow more trauma with the blood test, followed by a dental appointment! It’s safe to say I am not greatly looking forward to Friday!!

Published by kiwipommysue

I work in health and have been with the same supportive team for over 7 years. They are all aware of my diagnosis and this helps tremendously especially while I get used to the idea of my diagnosis. My parents both had Parkinsons, so I guess my odds were higher than most.

4 thoughts on “The human pin cushion…

  1. Oh that’s awful, Its never pleasant having bloods especially with bad experiences previously. Can you go to a blood collection centre rather than the GP practice? I am sure if you went there and said about the previous days they would get the most experienced person!
    If they try go near your feet/ankles please discourage them it’s not good practice.
    Also try drink as much fluid as you can handle before and keep warm, I really hope it goes ok xxxxx


  2. Thanks Vic. I will see how I go tomorrow. If I need to, I will go to the blood centre, but it is often closed. I also have the dentist tomorrow, so it just gets better and better…


  3. I also have problem veins! It must be hereditary. My veins seem to be deep and not near the surface. If I know I’m having blood tests I make sure I drink at least a litre of water before hand and that does help. I’ve never had to resort to hands or feet. I was interested to read that you need more than usual anaesthetic at the dentist, me too!


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