Difficulties Having Blood Taken

For as long as I can remember, it’s never been easy to take my blood. It can take as many as ten attempts, and I’m left sore and bruised afterwards.

My veins seem to hide away, and even when I spent three weeks in hospital a few years ago when very ill, and had to have blood taken and drips and tubes in me 24/7, it didn’t get any easier. I remember screaming out in pain when they started taking it from the back of my hand.

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It’s not uncommon for me to leave a blood test as pictured above, with a cotton bud on both arms or on one with a plaster on the other. It’s not nice, obviously. Sometimes the nurse will go and fetch another nurse to have a go. I’m left sore and bruised, while other people think I’m just a wuss, because they get it taken much easier. They don’t know the struggle!

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I’ve been told that the nurse shouldn’t persist past three attempts, but as it’s not unusual to take five attempts before we get a little dribble of blood, I put up with it so I can at least have the blood tested. I’ve also been told that once the needle is in, it shouldn’t be moved around, but this happens. You’re meant to take it out and start again if necessary.

I wondered if there was a link between thyroid problems, poor circulation, adrenal problems etc. and issues having blood taken, so I asked in my Facebook group, and many replied saying they have the same issue. So I did some researching online.

I only had to google ‘problem having blood taken’ and links for thyroid sites came up.

But nothing was conclusive. There doesn’t seem to be any direct link.

I drink plenty of water, so it’s not dehydration. I walk to the doctors so I’m very warm on arrival and have blood pumping well. So it’s not that either! I’m not sure what else I can try.

It’s just such a pain. I won’t let it be taken from my hand again though, I know that much.

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-Rachel

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2 thoughts on “Difficulties Having Blood Taken

  1. yes I have the same problem. They usually take mine from the back of my hand. A couple of tricks is to drink lots of water the day before and at least two to three hours before the blood draw. Also if you are feeling chilled that makes the veins shrink back into your arm – keep warm. Make sure they use a fine needle. The clinic I used to go had the best people they could draw blood from my the arm the first time but my new clinic won’t even try my arm they go for my hand. If you vessels on your hand are plumped up the draw does not hurt. What I do is slap my hand a few times that usually helps plump them up then there’s no pain

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  2. Thank you for your response 🙂 unfortunately I have tried all these and to no avail. Drinking lots of water doesn’t work for me (I already drink 2.5 litres a day), nor does keeping warm or a brisk walk – I walk 20 minutes to the doctors and am always hot on arrival. Butterfly needle doesn’t work/help also.

    I refuse my hand to be used as when I had to have it done in hospital I was screaming in pain. I guess I could try it again but it really was so traumatic that I’d rather they just bruise my arm up! It takes many attempts to get the blood from my arm, but it doesn’t hurt as they do it. It’s about half an hour later that it swells and bruises like in the photo above, and I prefer this to the horrific pain I had when they used my hand and wrist before.

    I just wish it was as simple as ‘normal’ people!

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