Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm finally a big girl, at least when it comes to having blood drawn

When I was small I used to scream and thrash whenever I got a shot or had to have blood drawn. My mother had to practically sit on me to hold me steady for the doctor. Having a low threshold for pain and having all those traumatic experiences in my youth I've never been brave or good with having blood drawn. I passed the mid-century mark a few years back but haven't been able to get past that.

Several years ago I was found to carry the family genes for high cholesterol. That required continual monitoring of levels, which meant frequent blood tests. They were always painful and very stressful on me. Somewhere I picked up the advice to bite a finger on the other arm as they are about to put in the needle. The theory being you are causing yourself pain which will move your focus away from the needle. With some phlebotomists (person who draws the blood) that technique doesn't really do much.

Not long ago my medical office changed labs. The phlebotomist at the new lab is very kind and gentle. He's quite good at always finding the vein and causing very little pain. The last time I was in, as he wrapped the constrictor tubing on my arm, I did my usual finger bite. He commented "Oh right, you are the one who has to bite her finger" That shamed me into trying it today without any crutches. As he was getting ready I commented that I was going to be brave and not bite my finger. He said "it's not going to work, see, you are already thinking about it." But I did it, I just sat there and it didn't bother me when he stuck in the needle.

All bets are off however, if I end up with a different phlebotomist. And, I'm still a big baby when it comes to shots and dental work.

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