Just a Prick

I hate needles. But pregnancy and miscarriage mean lot of needles and blood taking.

Really it’s a wonder I have any blood left. I gave like 12 vials of blood, and I heard the human body only holds 15 vials of blood. Even vampires don’t want me.

Behold the dark humor from a blood draw.

Lab Tech: You’re here for….

Thoughtsy: I’m having blood drawn.

Lab Tech: I see. But you just had blood drawn 2 days ago?

Thoughtsy: Yes, but I’m pregnant. And now I’m bleeding. (I couldn’t bring myself to say “miscarrying.”)

Lab Tech: Congratulations! (::realizes what I just said::) Ohhhh. (::awkwardly changes the subject::) The doctor only wants 1 vial?

Thoughtsy: Thank goodness. I don’t need to give up any more blood. (::attempting to laugh::)

Lab Tech: Why only 1 vial?

Seriously? Kiefer explains that the doctor only wants my HCG level (on the nearly nonexistent chance I’m not having a miscarriage) before going upstairs for our appointment. Finally, she takes us back to the room.

Thoughtsy: Just so you know, I tend to pass out when I have shots or blood drawn.

Lab Tech: Well, you’re just going to have to grow up and get over that.

Thoughtsy’s Thoughts: W. T. F.

Lab Tech: Oh. I forgot the sticker for the vial. I’ll be right back. Have a seat.

When she returns…

Lab Tech: Please put out your arm. Oh…wait…I need to put on my gloves.

Thoughtsy’s Thoughts: First the sticker, now the gloves. I hope she forgets the needle.

Lab Tech: (::she ties off my arm::) Oh. I need a holder. (::she unties my arm::) Oh. Here it is.

At this point, I wanted to request a new tech because I was sure this lady was about to amputate my arm. But no one else was available.

I had to settle for Kiefer watching her like a hawk. Luckily, it didn’t hurt. And blood didn’t squirt everywhere.

Lab Tech: See? Just a prick.

Thoughtsy’s Thoughts: I want to prick your face. 

Any tricks for having your blood taken? What’s your worst blood draw experience?

Favorite Comment From Last Post: “The husband and I dressed as Santa and a dominatrix one year and went as a subordinate clause.”—Prttynpnk


About thoughtsappear

I eat lots of sugar. It's the only way to keep up with my new baby and to outrun zombies. View all posts by thoughtsappear

37 responses to “Just a Prick

  • El Guapo

    While I agree with you wanting to prick the tech’s face, are you sure the tech wasn’t using the word self-descriptively?

  • CrazyTragicAlmostMagic

    I’m good with having blood drawn and I donate as often as possible.

    But… 5 years ago I had to have blood taken and it was the first time since I was a kid. I was in such a panic it was insane. I saw the person ahead of me in the chair having her arm tied and I completely started sobbing in the office. Rationally I kept telling myself it doesn’t hurt, it’s 2 seconds, but my brain wasn’t having it.

  • mistyslaws

    Oh man. I have a deep seated fear of needles and blood work, that I was forced to get over during 2 pregnancies where they prick you incessantly.

    When I was 16, I was in a car accident. They took me to the hospital and there was a nurse there that must have been working as a nurse for the first time ever. They gave her the task of putting my IV in. She couldn’t find a vein. So what did she do? She stuck the needle in and DUG AROUND IN MY ARM with the needle to try to find it. I was screaming and convulsing and had to have 4 people hold me down while that needle was rooting around inside my skin. It was the worst and most painful experience of my life (yep, including child birth). My arm was swollen and black & blue for weeks. It was the worst injury on my body, and this was after my face almost became intimate with a tree on the side of the road. I had a bruised kidney and my knee was all busted, but my arm was the most injured. Nice, huh? So yeah, I come by my fear of needles honestly. I’m pretty much ok now with just a needle, but the thought of an IV still gives me shivers.

  • Carr Party of Five

    Dear Thoughts,
    I have sat in the same seat you have sat in many many many times. I’ve miscarried four times. Every time, the blood draw was somehow one of the worst parts of the whole thing.
    I am just as frightened of needles, and the comments you made in your head, made me chuckle. ONly, because I’ve made the same ones.
    I wish you much joy and happyness, and I am so sorry for this experience…not just the blood draw. I know how painful it all is.
    Love, Lis

  • Don't Quote Lily

    That lab tech, what an incompetent bitch! I’ve heard so many horror stories similar to Misty’s. It’s no wonder so many people are afraid of needles, if nurses are going around jabbing them in the wrong spot and digging around. *Cringes*

    Anyway, I hope you guys are doing better.

  • Girl Monday

    Next time you should “accidentally” kick her while you’re sitting there.
    And don’t watch the process. I turn my head away from the tech and babble about anything that comes to mind. Especially uncomfortable topics. The worse the babble topic, the quicker the tech wants you gone.

  • Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd

    I was once dehydrated and needed an IV and it took two people trying and both arms before they finally got it in. That’s what caused my fear of needles, I was ok before then.

    When I have blood taken I bruise 95% of the time so I had to request alternate arms each time and hope that by the time it was blood taking time again, one arm would be healed.

    I kind of feel a small comfort that I will never, ever be a heroin addict.

  • ifUseekAmy

    Oh man, too many needle horror stories!

    Once upon a time I used to donate blood. But the New York Blood Bank hates me and my miniscule veins. One New Years Eve Day I had an appt to donate. The nurse checking me in saw I am AB+ and was all “ooooh, you should donate platelets!”. Me: “umm, I have really tiny veins”. Nurse: “don’t be silly…oh, wow, you really do have small veins”. There is no way my tiny veins could handle donating platelets. So, I sit down to donate my bag o’blood. The tech tries to get the needle in my left arm. No go. Then in my right arm. No go. Back to the left arm, different spot. Finally. I managed to fill maybe just over half the bag in the maximum amount of time you’re allowed to sit there (20 mins?). Finally, the tech is like “ok, you’re done, but we still need to draw 2 or 3 vials”. But they need a new hole in my arm to draw from as the other ‘successful’ one is now clotting. No go in right arm. They decide to tap into the back of my hand. F-ing hurts AND they want me to squeeze the stress ball to get blood flowing??? So, I’m squeezing and barely any blood is coming out. Also watching the needle freaking MOVE underneath my skin as I’m squeezing. And did I mention it hurts? Then, THEN I watch in slow motion as the needle pops/scrapes out of my hand mid-squeeze. I had bruises all over my arms and my hand was purple. I went out that night to celebrate looking like the most incompetent junkie ever. That was the last time I donated blood. But otherwise, I’m good with having blood drawn, so long as I get an awesome nurse. (The best nurse I had was a former oncology nurse, she drew blood like a rock star with no pain).

  • Mary Louise Eklund

    Where I used to work we had to have our blood drawn quarterly (we processed lead). I always left with bruises that covered the insides of both elbows. They were terrible about it but then again they had over 900 people to stick every three month and for reason they put us all on the same three days!

    Any way I talked with several Doctors and RNs about how to get a better draw. Now before I allow a stick I give the my left – best arm for access right is terrible. I warn them I have a unique angle to my veins. Apparently mine are angled totally opposite to normal and they used to go through them making the horrid bruises. THEN I ask for a butterfly needle. Since I’ve gone through these steps all suggested at each of my consults with medical professionals to avoid the attacked in the park look. I’ve had great blood draws!

  • She's a Maineiac

    Oh, god. I am sorry you had to go through that. I’ve been lucky with needles. Not so lucky with the inconsiderate things techs/nurses/doctors say to a woman who’s enduring a miscarriage.

    After one of my m/c, I got pregnant again but was lightly bleeding, so I called up the nurse in a panic because I wanted to know if I should take a baby aspirin to stop the clotting (my doc had suspected this was what was happening but was waiting on lab results) and the nurse actually acted like I was inconveniencing HER. She was so rude and said in a sneer, “It’s probably too late to save the pregnancy if you’re already bleeding. I can’t help you.” Click. I went ahead and took that baby aspirin and it worked. I didn’t miscarriage (and had my daughter nine months later)

  • Kitten Thunder's Girl

    I have deep, rolly veins so they are really hard to stick. I warn people about that but they seem to take it as a challenge and go forth confidently thinking THEY will be the one person who can stick me with one try. Then they end up crying when they’ve perforated veins in both of my arms and I’m still being nice about it. It’s the NICE that gets to them. If I was being a jerk they’d be fine.

    I’ve been asked not to donate blood anymore.

    Anyway, I always ask to give samples from my hands. Those veins are still rolly, but you can see them. And I still end up getting poked on both hands.

    So…tips. Be SUPER hydrated whenever possible for a blood draw. Don’t watch the needle go in. Have cheerful small talk with the person with the needle right up until she needs to concentrate.

    • Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      This is EXACTLY what happens to me! Like a crazy sadistic nurse challenge, right?! I ask for them to please use my hand, too, but they always think they know better and I end up looking like a junkie every time.

      • Kitten Thunder's Girl

        Last time I gave blood for a panel they started in my hands, jabbed me four times in each, tried my arms, got another nurse and finally got some from my hand.

        I just hope if I need an IV fast some day that I’ll be awake to say USE MY HAND! Or that my boyfriend will be calm enough to remember to tell them.

  • LeeAnn

    Sort of a blood draw, if you mean inadvertantly….
    I was being admitted to a hospital stay and the first thing they like to do is get an IV running. So apparently it was Student Nurse Fun Day at Little Hospital In the Slums because she popped the little sticker thing into a big ol’ vein in the top of my hand… and forgot to attach it to a tube. I guess at the time my blood pressure was pretty high, because it went geysering all over the place. I put my thumb over the hole and said, since she’d turned to leave, “Excuse me, think something was forgotten….”
    She turned around and passed out. Plop.
    I pressed the “omg, come in here and see this” button, and then laughed my head off.
    I do okay with bloodwork, in case you can’t tell.

  • lindamedrano

    I have lab work every year after my annual exam. I have gone to the hospital lab to get it done for years. Almost always, I get an intern who pricks me about 3 time and then calls someone more experienced because they say my veins move or simply “disappear”. The more experienced person goes and with one (usually painless) prick, I’m done.

    I’ve started going to a professional lab in my neighborhood. What a difference! I don’t usually even much feel the stick and the whole thing is over in seconds. I cannot look at a needle and they are very understanding about that.

    When I went to the hospital lab, I usually ended up looking like a heroin addict because of all the bruising on my inner arm.

    Nobody should ;ever tell a patient to “get over it” or “grow up”. That is absolutely terrible. That person should receive a strong reprimand for those words. I’m sorry you went through this at such a painful time.

  • bloggingreadingwriting

    Last time I had blood drawn I was getting tests run for an issue with my leg that seemed unsolveable. My doctor told me that it’d be a lot of blood, but she didn’t tell me that I had to fast for 24 hours before I got the blood drawn. I went back and forth from the clinic three times before I was able to get the blood drawn, and after not eating for 24 hours and getting 5 large, 5 medium, and 10 small vials of blood taken out of you… I felt ready to pass out.

    All of that, to find out that my issue with my leg was a vitamin D defficiancy. Go figure.

  • ryoko861

    You have to wonder how the hell they even got certified or licensed. After that smug remark I would have said even more smuggly “Are you sure you have everything now…it’s pretty much dinner time.” Yeah, WTF.

  • Choc Chip Uru

    That lab tech obviously had issues with her life! How dare she become such a prick with you, in more ways than one!

    Choc Chip Uru

  • omawarisan

    I once had blood drawn by someone named Bonnie Fife. She was good, it didn’t hurt nearly as much as not making jokes about her name did.

  • Kara E

    I hate having my blood taken and most things needle-related. I have no advise other than to not look at anything. I pretty much just sit down in the chair and immediately look in the opposite direction until everything is over. A nurse once asked me why I seemed terrified and when I told her I didn’t like needles she kind of snorted at me since I have tattoos and stretched ear lobes. THOSE ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT!!

  • joy2wrld

    I have veins that run sideways in my arm. I always tell the tech before they start and they look at me like, “yup, sure you do.” And I do.
    “Oh! You really do have sideways veins.” duh…I’ve my blood drawn so many times….

    The worst was when I had viral meningitis – I swear they took all the blood in my body and then had the gall to do a spinal tap. Seriously….pricks! hehehehe

  • pearlsandprose

    What incompetence! Sorry you went through that on top of everything else. I hate needles too and can never look when they draw blood. Luckily I’m very fair and they can see my veins 10 feet away.

  • kimpugliano

    When Noah was really little – like 3 – he put his hands on either side of my face and said, “Don’t look Mommy. It won’t hurt as much.” It didn’t.

  • k8edid

    My son Jason required 3 or 4 adults to hold him down when he was a child for blood draws. As an adult he gets woozy in the parking lot of the lab…not fun. Once he passed out and gashed his head even after we told the lab tech that he would pass out. She laughed when we told her he needed to lie down first…she was not laughing later.

    As a nurse, I have started a great many IVs and accomplished a great many blood draws. I won’t try a second time if I don’t get it right away. I don’t dig around, and I don’t ignore patients statements about their veins.

    Dehydrated veins are the worst to get – so if you can, drink plenty of fluids. Ask the lab tech or nurse to wrap your arm with a warm moist towel for five minutes to dilate the blood vessels and increase blood flow. If you can, relax and don;t look if it will make you flinch. Nothing is worse than having your course picked out and then having the target move. There is no excuse for multiple pokes or digging around. It is unacceptable.

    I have big, fat juicy veins and the Red Cross loved seeing me come in for years. I let anybody and everybody take a stab (literally and figuratively), even the students. It’s the least I can do.

  • cooper

    The secrets to successful blood-letting.
    1) don’t watch
    2) drink heavily
    3) if the tech can’t find a vein, feel free to show the tech on their arm using a dull knitting needle
    4) when all else fails…..vomit.

  • Jessica

    Sorry you had to go through all that. I say we pelt her with Pop-Tarts. Nah, I wouldn’t want to waste Pop-Tarts on a prick-challenged lab tech. Better get the Fig Newtons instead.

  • Lucy

    I have never had such a horrible experience, that Lab Tech was the worst and the last thing you needed.

  • leashieloo

    Hahaha! I share the same distaste, but so far (knock on wood) I’ve gotten lucky with the techs. I like the ones who are all delicate and it’s like barely a pinch. But I don’t know how to request these people.

  • bluzdude

    Sorry I’m late to the party here.

    I’ve had a lot of blood drawn over the years, especially in and around my 2 heart surgeries. But I’ve been lucky that I have some nice fat arm veins. A drunk and blind nurse can hit these things from across the room by throwing the needle like English darts.

    Still, there is great variance in blood drawing abilityy. I’ve had some that hurt a bit, but others are so smooth, they’re in and out before I even know it.

    And I never look.

  • Leauxra

    I shoulted, “OW! THAT HURT MOTHERF*CKER!” last time I got a flu shot. I don’t think I could handle the blood drawn thing. I am not particularly afraid of them, I just have a low pain threshold.

    I did, however, get two tattoos…. the trick is to have a jolly rancher or a lollipop in your mouth when the needles are there. It gives you a boost of sugar, and makes your brain pay attention to the sucker instead of the “jabbed by needles” thing.

  • Brittany

    I hate having blood taken..and giving blood. It’s painful and I want to shank everyone in the room.

  • BambeeC.

    I’m horrible at the blood drawing thing myself! My veins are so tiny and deep, that they have to use a small ultrasound machine, just to find one, and even still they hardly get any blood from me!

  • Kim

    When she said “Just a prick” she was referring to herself, right?

  • Betty

    What a bitch! I always cry like a baby when I have blood drawn. Before the tech even gets near me, the tears just start pouring from my eyes. But I have never had someone with zero compassion like that.

  • Queen Gen

    What a horrid lab tech. I’m bad at having blood drawn, too. I get really anxious about it all and feel sick. Luckily most pathologists are very good at it and you don’t even feel anything at all, even if you do get bored sitting around while they take 8 or 10 vials (somehow I always need to get lots taken) and you start to wonder if there’s any left, but you don’t want to look because it’s terrifying.

    My worst experience was recently – the pathologist was sick, for one thing, and kept sneezing on me, and the needle was SO PAINFUL. It hurt the entire time – and I was there for hours, getting 10,000 vials of blood drawn. And it hurt afterwards, too, and I couldn’t use my arm for 2 days and I had a massive bruise.

    I’ve vowed never ever to go back there.

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