Monday, December 9, 2013


Erica Gets An IV

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I have tiny tiny arm veins so this is relevant to me. I once made a poor dr's assistant cry in frustration because she could not draw blood after 5!!! sticks! I warned her! I warned her about my veins! Some people seem to take, "I have tiny veins that are hard to stick" as a challenge, unfortunately for me.


@muddgirl I have tiny veins too. To the point where I don't just get multiple sticks I get a needle stuck halfway in and then twisted around in search of a vein. The last time I got blood drawn I warned the technician and when she hit it first try I wanted to kiss her face.


@muddgirl Oh man, tiny arm vein people, unite! I'll tell whomever's taking my blood, uhm, don't try for the one you can see, that one won't work...and about half the time they'll try for it. And always fail. Then look at me like I'm crazy when I go, yeah you have to, go for the one you can feel but not see? X_X

Like, I have a pretty high pain tolerance, but someone digging around with a needle in my arm is never fun. Also, it makes me look like a junkie for several weeks because I tend to bruise spectacularly.

ETA: OH! And then there was the time I had to get wisdom teeth out and I scheduled for being put under, because, taking all four out. And then they failed to get the IV going after trying every vein. AND THEN they effing charged me to the anesthesia anyways.

Faintly Macabre

@muddgirl When I worked at a medical practice, one of the Medical Assistants (who is also one of my Dream Second Moms) told me that at a previous job, the other MAs got jealous of her vein-finding abilities and hid difficult patients from her.

Luckily, I inherited my mom's super-easy veins, but I've still had some negligent lab techs hit a nerve or bruise me.


@muddgirl Yes! My veins are tiny, deep, and ROLL. Last time I had blood drawn the tech was all fuck this noise and used the vein in my hand.

Betsy Murgatroyd

I have veins that hide and move around. They couldn't give me back my blood after extracting my platelets and I left with bruises and holes in my wrists and my arms. I never sold my blood again.

Naomi Kashinsky@facebook

Ever since I got sick, this is basically the story of my life.

Always the comments about my tattoos, always the fear and tears when I get an IV put in. (Which is every 3 months or so.) I can get my blood drawn like a champ, I can get tattooed for 3 hours without much in the way of complaint, but IVs?

Awful, every time.


I apparently un-nerve the younger (nurses? phebotomists? PAs?) because I giggle reflexively. perfectly okay with watching them stick me and even willing to let them dig around for a second try but just laughing the whole time.


@Onymous Some of the younger ones seem to be unnerved by just watching. Apparently, most people don't intently watch a needle insert? Just glad to hear I'm not the only one who slightly unnerves the PAs and nurses.


@Onymous I am same way with the giggling, during any uncomfortable medical procedure, really. When I sprained my ankle, the doctor spent minutes deliberately pressing the air cast onto me (to help the swelling? to shape it? I forget) & I was just giggling the whole time. Terrible.


@celeec4@twitter If you're sticking a needle into my body, I'm sure as hell gonna watch to make sure you know what you're doing.


@fabel Yeah I sort of accidentally impress people every now and then by laughing out loud at stuff like fracturing my ankle.

Sure *I* know it's an involuntary tick, but from the outside it apparently makes me look tough.


Once in college I had to sell plasma. Reason is not important.

Anyway, they put the needle in wrong. It worked OK during the part where they were taking blood out. But then, in the part where they're putting fluid back, it started to feel, um, Not Right.

I had to make a fair bit of fuss before they came over and helped me. It was closing time; they were cleaning the room. Meanwhile it felt like my arm was on fire.

Well, it turns out they were pumping stuff back into my arm... not into my bloodstream.

Ended up with dark purple bruising that went from my wrist to my shoulder from all the blood cells that basically pooled in my fat/skin/muscles.

And that is why I only sold body fluids that one time, kids.


Bad IV sticks and blood draws are the worst. I've been doing chemo since July (only two more to go!) and had a central line put in, but they still need to stick me at least once a week in the arm because the person doing it isn't qualified to use my port or it's for some other reason that the port isn't appropriate. At this point most of them are fine, but every once in a while I get a badly placed IV that just doesn't stop hurting.

And now I'll share my worst needle story ever - a few weeks ago I needed to have a thing in my lung biopsied and it's super small and I had to be awake and be moved in and out of a CT scanner for the doc to find it. They went in through my right breast, about halfway between my nipple and my sternum with the longest needled I've ever seen. What should have taken 30 minutes took over 90 and the lidocaine they used wore off about halfway through.

In the end he couldn't get a good enough sample and I'm supposed to do it again. HELL NO. Lap surgery or bust next time. I can't imagine being awake for that again.

Naomi Kashinsky@facebook

@sony_b Oh, honey. Big, big hugs. I'm doing oral chemo, but when I had to get my biopsy on the head of my pancreas, I had to do the wide-awake-radiology kind and it's so fucking terrifying and awful.


@Naomi Kashinsky@facebook Backatcha with the hugs! The thing with this one was that I've 9 core biospies in my boob, plus two aspirated lymph nodes, and they were no biggie, so I went into this one thinking it would be a cakewalk. Wrong wrong wrongity wrong. Good luck with your chemo!

Nancy Sin

The morphine dreams. THE WORST.


Many years ago, I had blood drawn before surgery, so that I could have my own blood put back into me. They had trouble finding a vein, so they tied a tourniquet thingy on my arm first. When they put the needle in, the result was pretty much the same as Erica here.


YOU GUYS ONE TIME I WAS HAVING BLOOD DRAWN AND SHE STABBED THE NERVE IN MY ARM INSTEAD. I couldn't move it for like a week and it was terrible. I feel this is the right place to share this.


I have rolling veins and deceiving veins that look like they might be there but really, I just think that part of my arm is blue? Drawing blood is always painful and terrible and everyone who says to me that they're great with challenging veins always leaves me in pain. Last time, the nurse blew a vein and I was left with a very bruised and sure arm for a good week and a half.

mc coolfriend

I have big, blue,visible veins and yet, the blood takers always end up standing there going "hmmm" and sticking, like, the crook of my elbow or the back of my hand (!). And also there are a couple colleges w nursing schools near where I live so the hospital is occasionally (like, the day I had to visit for surgery) hosting students who get three sticks each before they have to get someone else to do it. I always joke (but really I'm serious) that next time I'm gonna bring along my shot out wild haired neighbor who spent the seventies sticking needles in his arms. Bc he'll throw all that professional protocol aside and get it in one. Perhaps somewhere awesome and metal like the neck, as an added bonus


Bad IV placement is the worst. When I was 14 I had to have surgery and the nurse had to stick me several times before it worked. I wasn't even that upset, but my body was reflexively shaking so hard my Mom had to lie on my legs to help the nurse get it done.
Then I gave blood, and the woman doing it screwed up and went right through the vein. I had a bruise from wrist to midway up my upper arm. Not fun.

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