If anyone knows me well, they will know that I have a massive phobia of blood tests – I literally despise them. It probably doesn’t help that I have a few bad experiences of blood tests – I will allow you to access the gory details of my blood test adventures, don’t worry – but each time I feel sure that I will manage the next much more confidently, and yet, each time another one comes around, I panic just as much as every other time it’s been done.
It all started before I was diagnosed with Glandular Fever – at least this is the first one I can remember having done! Given that I ended up beig diagnosed with GF, I can safely say that I wasn’t well. If anyone has had GF themselves, they will understand the debilitating pain and fatigue you experience just to go to the toilet, never mind travelling 7 miles to go and get your blood tested at the Doctors.
We arrived (my Mum and I that is – I was only 16) right on time, checked in and sat in the waiting room amongst all of the other poor souls who were in there. I must tell you, this was first thing in the morning; I don’t think it was even 9 o’clock yet. And I’d had Crunchy Nut Cornflakes for breakfast – very important.
Anyway, my name was eventually called and off we went into the Nurse’s office. Firstly, she had me sat on the chair, and started feeling for my vein in one arm. After deciding she couldn’t find that vein, she looked for it in the other arm. After what seemed like a lifetime, she finally found it – it wasn’t until after she punctured my skin with that needle when she realised that actually, she hadn’t found it. “It’s ok” she said, “we can try again, I’ll get the other nurse to come and have a look”. By this point I was already feeling very queasy, uneasy and upset and it didn’t help that Mum kept exclaiming “Oh look how pale you are, that’s when I know you’re really ill because you’re never pale!” Thanks Mum – that doesn’t actually help me.
So the next nurse came in to take a look and again, couldn’t find the vein in either arm for quite a while! And again, when she thought she had, she stuck the needle in, missing yet again. Just as she tries to stab me for third time in less than 20 minutes my body decided it simply couldn’t take anymore and my Crunchy Nut Cornflakes made it’s way back up, into my mouth and nearly ended up all over the bed – had it not been for the sick dish the nurse shoved in front of me it might well have landed on her! It’s safe to say that I am remembered there by those nurses as ‘the girl who doesn’t do needles’. Since then the first thing they’ve done is made my lie down on the bed and look away!
More recently though I had another terrible experience – I had just started at Uni in York and was suffering from really bad upper back pain which I had never experienced before. After having this for a few days I rang Mum who said to go to A&E just in case I’d done something to it. So I did, first thing in the morning, on my own. I broke down in tears the minute I go through the doors and continued this as the receptionists were telling me I needed to get registered in York – DO YOU THINK I CARE RIGHT NOW, NO! Finally I got seen and got taken ‘in the back’ as I like to call it and was put in a little curtained off room. The doctor comes in and announces he wants to take my blood to see if there is any lung damage (I think that’s what it was for anyway).
Well to cut a long story short, I was stabbed 5 times, once in my left arm and 4 times in my right before they realised it wasn’t going to work… So what did they do?! THEY STABBED ME IN MY HAND INSTEAD. And it didn’t work. Again. In my left hand I was left with a huge and growing black lump which lasted for days after. And in my right they finally got what they wanted – my blood. I nearly screamed with joy when they said it had worked. So just to sum up, I was stabbed 7 times in the space of 1 hour – I was not a happy bunny.
In the end I was told there was nothing wrong with me and as much as they were confused as to why I was getting the pain they decided I must have just twisted it badly. YEYYY.
So yeah, I haven’t had great experiences with needles and blood… Bleurgh.