Grrr…They want to jab me again.

Yes, the blood work saga continues. In the last episode, I was contemplating getting my blood work done but failed, twice even. It seems that I loose it every time they wrap that rubber thingy around my arm. I just freak out and head down the panic attack corridor, it’s not good.

Well, yesterday I visited my pulmonologist and things did not go well. My lung function was lower than last visit, not sure how low because he didn’t say, but I am sure that it was bad. We discussed the whole marathon thing and how down hill I have been afterwards. He seems to thing that something else is causing this and ordered a ton of blood work to try to figure it out. One problem, it is one thing to order it, it is another to get me to actually do it. Yeah, I truly understand the importance of these tests. I hate when I am told how important they are, like I am stupid or something. I feel like they think I am trying be !@#$% about it.

So, here I am again contemplating getting my new blood work done and the old one too. It is no wonder when I get my blood pressure checked at the doctors office, my pressure is threw the roof. I will admit, I am nervous about how the visit is going to go every time.

This time around, I told my pulmonologist my problem and he seemed not to care. It really bothers me that he offered no help. He just told me to get it done and pretty much left it at that.

Here are my thoughts on this, irrational or not. Yesterday, I just wanted to give up (still on my mind today). Heck, if there was a way I could survive at 50% lung function without medication I would do it. Yes, I have a problem. I told you it is not rational.

I feel alone! I want to get my blood work done. I wish it was as simple as going in and getting it done.

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8 responses to “Grrr…They want to jab me again.

  1. Maybe try bringing a friend to distract you and hold your hand through it. I used to be freaked out by bloodwork but not needles. For me it helped to have to have it frequently (to monitor levels of a drug I was on). Also since I don’t have a needle thing I find watching to see it coming helps. Fasting blood work first thing in the morning normally puts me not awake and alert enough to freak out.

    • Thanks Kat! I thought about doing it first thing in the morning and will probably give it a try. Labs open before early here so it shouldn’t be a problem to slip in there before work.

  2. I can totally relate. I’d recommend two things: One, a therapist (cognitive-behavioral therapists tend to be good at dealing with phobias), and two, a friend, if the friend is fine with your fear. Speaking from experience, having a friend tease you for the two weeks before the shot is absolutely counter-productive. Your friend has to understand that you need their support, not their teasing, and that it is a very terrifying experience for you (to be fair, I only told my friend that I “really don’t like needles”, and my friend had the decency to apologize after she saw my freakout and realized that I kind of downplayed my fear).

    A final suggestion: be selfish! If it helps you to know it’s coming, feel free to ask for them to warn you. If you’re like me and will flip out and leap out of the chair when they warn you, ask them not to give the warning. I find taking off my glasses, lying down, and covering my eyes all help a lot, but some people I know prefer to stand, and others like to sit. Someone else I know likes to play verbal word games (listing off all the rhymes to a random work that domes to his mind, or listing all the words of so many syllables that start with a certain letter, etc) as a distraction. Likewise, if I’m feeling really nervous, I’ll list primes, squares, cubes, the Fibonacci sequence, or any other number sequence that comes to mind. I’ll also try to see how many of the synthetic materials in the room I know the chemistry for and see if I can remember the syntheses for them (yes, I’m a geek :P). Someone else I know does Yoga breathing. Don’t worry about seeming wierd: Medical professionals see all kinds of characters, and even if you feel silly, they’ve seen sillier by far. Just do whatever you find helps you stay as calm as possible. If you have a good phlebotomist, they’ll accomodate you (and the really good ones can get a read of you as you walk in the door and suggest ways to help you). If you have a choice where to get it done, I’d pick the one that’s dedicated to bloodwork (a hospital bloodwork lab, for example) because their phlebotomists will be the most experienced, and therefore will probably have a better chance of giving you the least unpleasent experience possible (whenever I need bloodwork, I try to get it done at the hospital now – the nurses at my clinic are wonderful, but at the hospital, bloodwork is what they do, and boy does the experience show).

    I hope my suggestions help. 🙂

  3. I have no other suggestions. I don’t like them either, but I get it done. I sit down, then I turn my head away from the nurse and needle…and just let her/him do the work until they are finished. I sing songs in my head. That’s about it. I had to have 14 vials of blood taken a few years back, and I managed to get through it…although I was emotionally drained, afterwards.

  4. Hey James-
    I did NOT KNOW you had such a phobia of needles!!!
    I wish I could do something for you! Have you asked for a butterfly needle? Are they doing arterial blood gases (which, I don’t think a butterfly would work)?

    • Hi Krista, yeah, this phobia is a pain in the butt. No, I didn’t know I could ask for the butterfly needle. I will give that a try. No, I don’t think the orders have the arterial blood gases on it. I hope not, from what I hear, that hurts badly.

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