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Blood Tests

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#1 Helen


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Posted 17 June 2007 - 05:07 PM

Hi All

This is in regard to monthly blood tests. I have severe skin tightening in my arms and because of this they can only use one vein in one of my arms. I am really starting to dread these tests as they are really starting to hurt. Last week I cried all the way home after my test :( but I put it down to also having the flu ( the crying that is ) and was having a down week anyway. Does anyone else have problems giving blood? What happens if they can't use this vein anymore? I know I sound sooky over a little blood test, but it is just another problem on top of all my others.

Thanks for listening..... I don't know what I would without this group


#2 janey


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Posted 17 June 2007 - 05:24 PM


Finding a vein is a MAJOR problem! I too only have one good vein that's easy to draw from and it's getting quite calloused. Do they use a butterfly needle when they draw blood? I always insist on one and have never been refused. It's much smaller, doesn't hurt and I'm hoping it will make the vein last longer. When I get a person that I know has been there I long time, I usually don't let them use the "good" vein, but challenge them to find another one. They always can find one.

I am so sorry that your last blood test was so painful. Please start demanding a butterfly if they aren't using one already. Otherwise, talk to them and let them know how painful it is. A good tech might take the initiative to actually look for another vein.
Janey Willis
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#3 Helen


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Posted 17 June 2007 - 05:56 PM

Thanks Janey for your support. The month before I had a student nurse and she did hurt, but this time I had a girl who has been good before that is why I was so surprised when she hurt so much. She said... sorry but I didn't have it in the vein properly that is why I had to wriggle it to get the blood to flow. I don't think they realise how tender our skin is. Thank goodness I didn't cry till I got to the car...how embarassing. I will make sure they use a butterfly needle from now on.

Thanks again


#4 Sharonvandee


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Posted 17 June 2007 - 07:36 PM

Hi Helen

This has been and continues to be a major problem for me to, it has been blamed on all sorts of things but now I know it is part of the scleroderma. I get a butterfly needle used when I go for surgery or blood test and though it takes alot longer to get the blood at least it doesn't hurt as much and is less likely to collapse the vein.
Kindest Regards


Diagnosis Scleroderma-crest, Scolliosis, Asthma, ILD, Plueral Fibrosis, GERD, Hiatus hernia, Anticardiolipin positive, ANA positive

a little bent and broken and almost beyond repair!

#5 Donna


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Posted 18 June 2007 - 05:52 AM

I can fully understand your frustration with blood testing & your pain !! When I get my blood drawn, approximately every 2-3 months, I just hope that I get one of the same techs I had before, because they understand.

I had been in the hospital last Oct. 2006 due to a GI Bleed - well I had needles all over me on my right hand/arm - but whenever they went to put one in - in did hurt - some look at you, like you are a sissy or something - if only they knew the truth and understood.

I was in from a Monday till Thursday, and by Thursday morning, it was time to change the IV Location to prevent infection, etc - how I dreaded that - but luckily, my Gastro doctor released me that day, and they didn't have to poke and prod for a vein... Although I had to have blood drawn every few hours due to the GI bleed, they wanted to keep checking my red/white counts, and after the first day, they start apologizing to me - I just said, hey do what you have to do - although I guess I really didn't mean it, cause it really hurt - And yes, they did start using the butterfly needle, which was so much better. By the time, I left the hospital, I was so black/blue from them trying to get blood from me.

Hang in there!

Donna :)

#6 Sweet


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Posted 18 June 2007 - 07:45 AM


Yes I have a very hard time with the blood drawing bit. I have ONE, I repeat ONE vein they can use. A butterfly is my best bet but frankly sometimes that doesn't work either. I've actually had them access veins in my foot. :(

My suggestion to you, is to ask for someone that draws blood a lot or has been specifically trained to do this. (I'm a nurse and trust me there is a LARGE spectrum of skills out there) Only allow someone 2 tries, then insist they get someone else to give it a go.

Hang in there.
Warm and gentle hugs,

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#7 peanut


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Posted 18 June 2007 - 10:03 AM

I usually preface my labs by telling the clinician I'm a hard draw. I've also learned there's a regular butterfly and a kids butterfly. They usually use the kids on me.

I'm very sensitive. I always feel everything. I thought it was because I had very sensitive nerves or something but maybe it's the scleroderma?


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my HMO makes me wear a helmet...

#8 whirlway


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Posted 18 June 2007 - 05:54 PM

Some of you are a lot kinder to the vampires than me. I tell them one poke, no drilling, and use a butterfly please. Also, I try to get the same person each time, so I know they know what they are doing. I had one guy (to this day I l don't know why I even let him try, but he was new) get two pokes and he started digging around trying to find the vein. He ended up not getting any blood, making my arm numb to my fingers and a huge bruise to boot. After he saw the tears, he quit. No more being brave on my part, if they don't know what they are doing, they don't even get to try. I complained to my doctor and 'the guy' wasn't there any more. I think he went to the regular clinic. Those poor patients.

It would be different if we didn't have to have a lab every time we turn around, most people have as many in a lifetime as I have in a year.