Friday, September 30, 2011


So this morning I got up at sparrowfart and dragged myself reluctantly into town to go have a blood test done. I have been working towards this with my counsellor for weeks and weeks, and being as I haven't had one for over a decade, I really wanted my cholesterol and other important stuffs checked out.
The lovely ladies at the pathology lab ushered me right in ahead of a dozen people there before me, because I was so frightened, bless! I was so ready, I was practically humming Eye of the Tiger under my breath as I walked into the clinic.

And I failed. A big, fat failure with a capital-F. The phlebotomist found a vein alright, but it really would have helped if there had been any significant amount of blood forthcoming.

(on a side note, how freaking ugly does my hand look here?)

In all my preparation and positive thinking, I had honestly not contemplated, even for a second, that it wouldn't work for this reason. If anything, I had expected to flip out and not go through with it - I was convinced that, if I let that lovely lady stick me with the needle - which I did, several times! - it was going to bloody (pardon the pun) work! Talk about anticlimactic.

I was given orange juice and reassurances, and some Emla patches for next time. I walked out into the parking lot, got into my car, and sobbed uncontrollably for about 10 minutes. I felt like Such A Failure. *sigh*

I did eventually pull myself together and get some perspective - and realised that I hadn't failed, the test had. Damn my fine hand-veins, with their lack of adequate blood supplies! (medical peeps, would this perhaps explain why my hands always go numb and white when they get even a little bit cold??) I am determined I'm gonna go back and try again - this time (eep!) in the arm. We shall see how we go.

V is back from Canberra tonight, yay! He picked me some lavender, nawwww :)

A glass of wine, catching up on some of my fave blogs, a good way to turn around a not-so-good morning


  1. Yes the lack of circulation could be a reason that your hands get cold.

    Oh you poor darling, there is always next time and you actually DID it so you should be so, so proud!!!

    Why didn't they take blood from your cubital fossa?!(the inside of your arm where it crooks... hahaahaha I hope that explanation makes sense)

    Anyway... questions and doubts aside.

    You should be proud that you went in AND went through with it.

    Now pour yourself another glass of wine.

    Have a gorgeous weekend.


  2. Thanks Mez <3
    They took the blood from my hand at my own request lol - I know the arm is soooo much easier, but my phobia is muchmuchmuch worse with the arm. I'm going to have to suckitup and do it in the arm I think!
    Hope you have a lovely long weekend planned hun xx

  3. Don't heel so bad - I have less of a phobia about it but they have always had trouble taking blood from me. Last time it took 5 different spots and it ended with me crying and nearly throwing up.

    Interestingly the worst at it tend to be the people at the blood bank. The best experiences I have ever had have been with anaesthetists.

  4. You're not a failure! If it makes you feel any better, the first time I went to donate blood I very nearly threw up and almost fainted! Meanwhile everyone else was going along their cheery way with a spring in their step. I was so sick and worried that I even cried in front of all the nurses.

    It happens to everyone - good luck with it next time! It'll be over before you know it :)

  5. You didn't fail! Congratulations for going in there and having the test! I'm sure they will make it work next time.


  6. I used to cry everytime I had a blood test then 3 years ago, I just stopped (crying, that is. lol)! Going on a holiday and getting the necessary injections before I flew overseas was a HUGE motivator for me. I was so determined to not come back with any nasties, I simply up and walked in ALONE one morning....and had 2 jabs and another 2 to follow up a few weeks later. Now that was another achievement altogether - going in alone. Good luck for next time! Doc suggested I wrap my ankles around the chair legs, which I did. Not sure how that helped with the pain but I suspect he was afraid I'd jump out of my seat LOL.

  7. You're in no way a failure, I have a phobia when it comes to the dentist and I know how much preparation a visit requires. And crying happens during and after.
    And the last two times I have had my blood taken I fainted!

  8. Sounds like you did very well. I had my first blood test recently (that I can remember anyway) and was quite nervous. I'm not really scared of needles, but really don't like the thought of them going into veins, it makes me feel all weak and ill. But I just looked away and the lady talked to me about other things and I carried on a little conversation and it was all ok. Good luck next time!

  9. Poor you :( I know you have a fear about the needle in the crook of your arm, but it seriously hurts WAY less there. You were so brave - don't be disappointed in yourself!!

  10. Good on you for doing this, you should be super proud of yourself!!!! :D

    The needle in the arm is so much better i find. I too have really bad circulation in my hands, I find that having the jab in the arm much easier and less painful, for some reason...Before u know it is over with! I always used to think I was going to pass out and make my husband come in with me, now I can get them done with out him being there. He still waits outside though ;) I'm working on that.

  11. You poor love! But you have it right- you didn't fail! You went in there and sucked it up and did it.

    My stupid hands are the same, terrible circulation and impossible to get a vein/blood.

    I agree with the prescription for another glass of wine :) and maybe some cheese and antipasto too... just for good measure! Have a lovely weekend xx

  12. Awww hon - next time definitely go with the inside of the elbow. You may not be able to necessarily see a vein but there is always a chunky one hiding that an experienced person can feel x much less painful & easier to get blood x

  13. Aww honey you are not a failure!! Can you take hubby along with you next time to hold your hand? Perhaps take the lavender with you to smell?

  14. I had a blood test for the first time ever (I'm 27!) only 6 months ago... I ended up being admitted to hospital and had no choice but to become a human pincushion for 4 days!

    I used to hate needles as well, but I've just had to get over it as I now have to give myself 4 injections a day.

    With blood tests, I find that if I close my eyes and look away, and not watch them put the needle in the crook of my arm, it makes it easier. You just feel a tiny pinch for a second and then it's done.

    Good luck with your next visit, you can do it! Try closing your eyes! xo

  15. All power to you for going this time, and going back next time. Well done!

    I am almost over my relatively minor in comparison needle phobia - as long as I don't look. I even gave blood a few months ago, and plan to do it again. Even though it was scary and a bit sore.

  16. you are not a failure at all. I have been ill all my life and had numerous blood tests since I was around 8 and eventually got used to them (though I never EVER watch) but last week (drama ensued when I couldn't breathe with massive chest pain and the next thing I knew I was being rushed to hospital in an ambulance - turned out to be nothing they could pin point) they had to take blood and it was the first time my little veins didn't just jump out and do what they were told. Apparently I was dehydrated which can make it that much harder. So they had me hydrate up and an hour later it was easier. So try hydrating up - water, not your beloved coffee :P

    good luck for next time. You took a massive step. Be proud of that.

  17. Hello
    sorry I havent commented or read for a while - things have been a bit upside down.
    Please dont feek like a failure about not being able to have a blood test. It is really such a traumatising experience, but it is good you are getting help and writing about it. My skin means that it is difficult to find veins too, and then I need to have a drip, the infected skin then infects my blood and I get a visit from the infectious disease doctors. I often cry and scream when I give blood too. I feel your pain. Take this weekend to rest and pamper yourself xx

  18. Sweety, you are in no way a failure!!! Although I don't have a problem with needles, I cannot look at them when they are sticking me with it, it's ok once it's in but I will look away and hold my breath and once the little pinch has gone, everything is fine!!!

    So proud of you for taking this step and actually going for a blood test, V must be very proud of you also!!! I hope you enjoyed your weekend together and didn't think twice about your trip to the phlebotomist!!!

  19. Definitely a link between poor peripheral circulation and cold extremities - also if you have low blood pressure that will also impact (as there is not enough pressure to 'pump' to your extremities..

    Like everyone has said - go for your cubital fossa (crook of your arm) next time - the vein is much bigger, the pressures are higher and there are less nerve endings than in your hand so it hurts less - a lot of phlebotemists/nurses/ambo's will start with the hand as if you stuff up a cube fos you can't use that vein further down the arm - but you look like you have fairly good veins so it's going to be better in the long run to go for the big veins :)

    Well done on going through with it!! Drink lots of water and have a hot shower before you go if you can - will make you bleed very easily :)

  20. My sister has this exact problem when she has to have blood tests - very fine veins that they can never seem to access. Sometimes she has to go back two or three times!

    It's great that you were so brave though and faced your fear! It might have felt very disheartening at the time but just think how far you've come - 12 months ago you would not have attempted several needle pokes and then told the tale afterwards!

    Good luck for next time!


  21. Naww try not to feel bad about it, think about how far you've come! Getting blood taken from the hand is infinitely harder and more uncomfortable than the arm so next time I know you will breeze through it. I have the same problem with my veins not cooperating, not sure if you were advised to do this but make sure you drink lots of water beforehand. Even 2-3 small cups in the waiting room should help if you are unable before you go.

  22. I love you,i love you,i love you. Stay strong, chin up, my gorgeous friend xxx

  23. Oh, don't feel bad, you got through the tricky part of being stuck! Next time make sure you have heaps of water before you go, it really helps. Also, make sure you are warm. I sit on my hand for a bit if I know they are going to do one of those finger prick tests.

    Also if you have poor circulation, try regularly taking fish oil. My family is notorious for bad circulation but since we have all got stuck into the fish oil it has really helped.