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Needles and bleeding and pain, oh my!

I went to have blood drawn this morning, because apparently that's my new hobby. I have the best veins ever for drawing blood. You know how on maps the big interstates are shown as thick, dark blue lines? That is pretty much what the insides of my elbows look like. I am also not at all bothered by needles or blood. Really, I am a dream patient; people have contests to see who is going to get to draw my blood.

Today, however, the woman who won had never even seen a needle before. After taking 10 minutes to set up, she finally got around to sticking me. She got blood, but unfortunately it was all pouring out of my arm rather than going into the needle. The solution to that is apparently to dig around trying to find the vein until the patient screams. When I finally mentioned that it was starting to hurt a fucking lot, she gave up, pulled out the needle, and flung my very own blood all the way down the leg of my khakis. My favorite part of the whole experience was when she handed me half of a balled-up paper towel to staunch the bleeding and then used a sterile wet wipe to try to clean my pants. I guess it's the thought that counts, right?

She then recruited the runner-up in the "who gets to stick Beth" contest and it was smooth sailing from there on out. I got a few strange looks when I returned to work with both arms bandaged and covered in bloodstains, but it is far from the strangest thing I have ever shown up wearing, so mostly people just took it in stride.

The moral of the story? The next time you are in this situation, be sure to ask a few questions first. For example, "Excuse me, but did my doctor happen to grab you off the street this morning and ask if you would like to make a few bucks by abusing her patients?"

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Comments (18)

Sounds like you're the exact opposite of me! I have ridiculously pale skin, and yet the only veins that are visible are near my wrist, and they're about as wide as a pin. Not only is it impossible to see veins in my elbow, they're impossible to feel. When I get my blood drawn, I always go through the same drill of getting stuck at least 8 times before the nurses tell me I should be dead, then they have to go track down an anesthesiologist. I feel for you, having to get stuck so often. Get your husband to get you a cookie, that should help with the loss of blood. :) (And if nothing else, it's a great excuse to eat a cookie.)

Ikky. I hope you can get your pants clean. ;)

Well, at least it was YOUR own blood on your pants. It could have been from some other vial, right?

Oh and my doctor has to keep a map of my inner elbow to find a vein. Fortunately, the last person to draw blood from me assured me that if I lost weight, it would be much easier. Thanks for the tip, twit! (Not you - you're not a twit - it's the last person to draw blood from me!)

I always end up with the nurse who got her degree off from the internet. The last time I was in the hospital the nurse didn't even put gloves on to put an IV in my arm. I was looking away, and when she was finishing up, I noticed the lack of gloves.

I've had the situation like you where you bleed EVERYWHERE. That sucks. That could easily be prevented if they had just applied pressure. I've been taught to give an IV because of my job. If I can give an IV, then a nurse should be able to.

Where do they get these people and why do they always pick us to stick?

I have veins like yours. You'd have to be blind to miss them and if you are blind you could certainly feel your way to them. So far I've had only one person miss. I told her if she missed again I'd do it myself. She didn't miss the second time. Something for which I'm really glad 'cause I didn't really want to stab myself. : )

Yeowch. Especially the digging round in the vein bit. *Cringe*

Where do they find these people? Do they advertise: "Wanted:Partially blind sadists for wholesale blood letting"?

I HATE needles of any kind and I have almost non-existent veins. So it's never fun. Sorry you had to go through that. I'm also the lab tech's worst nightmare because not only are my veins hard to find but I get nauseous/pass out at the sight of blood (especially my own).

i'm cringing and squinting my eyes in pain for you.


Ooh ooh! I can help!

Hydrogen Peroxide will remove blood from cloth - also, the saliva from the person who did the bleeding with remove it.

I've had some humdinger blood draws that left me bruised for a week. Ick.

I have massive veins on the inside of my elbows too. And yet, I always end up with the genius who can't seem to get the needle in there. Or, they end up pushing the needle clean through the vein. Nice.

I wonder why Jenny knows so much about the removal of blood? What that girl :)

I have the same issue with my veins, I hate it. You can see all of my veins, running through my arms, across my chest,etc. Even with a tan. I am so gross and veiny.

Sorry you had to deal with that! I hope it was worth it. No twins, twins!

I meant "watch" ** that girl.

ugh, that sucks!

i one time had some guy trying to start an iv and he tried 5 or 6 times unsuccessfully. he finally called over an iv nurse and she did it instantly. i have the same looking inner elbows, so i have no idea what his issue was.

I, on the other hand am the exact opposite of you....I could probably have my arm sawed off and obviously would never bleed because I have NO veins in my arms. It took the doctors 15 stabs (I mean tries) to get an iv in me while I was in LABOR. Fuckers. It happens EVERY time and I always get the ole "Honey, I am an EXPERT at this"

ACK! Blood draws make me pass out! Okay, not for about 13 years but it was recent enough that the hospital lab where I experienced this trauma has purchased a reclining lawn chair for me to use whenever I go there.

BUT not only did I pass out, I seizured too! How fun was that? My husband (now ex) was sitting in the waiting room (despite my begging him to come in) and freaked out when they called a team of drs in. Serves him right.

Needless to say, blood draws are traumatic for me. I have to have them at least twice a year and I always postpone them at least once. Yes, I am a big baby.

The big blue veins running down my arms are obviously just an illusion. It usually takes at least 3 tries before they get it and that's after they go grab the BABY needles meant for teeny tiny babies. Once again, I'd like to thank dad(who had a nurse say he had devil skin when she couldn't get IV in) for his contribution to my genes.

They can never find my veins, which always leads to spectacular bruises. However, I think I'll take that over bleeding all over myself. That does not sound like fun.

GAH! My veins hide! I have to drink TONS of water the day before and they still have to use a "butterfly" needle. I have had them so badly that they have actually scraped my bone! (your could hear it!) Cringe still! I do not do well. I am so sorry they are stupid with you when you have faboo veins!

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