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The needle and the damage done

So I went to give blood the other day and made the mistake of looking at the needle as the technician got ready to stick it into my vein. I had never looked at the needle before. It was about the size of a drinking straw.

I winced.

Then the technician couldn't seem to get the needle far enough into the vein to get the blood to flow into it. She kept jabbing it in and jabbing it in.

The top of my head began to break out in a filmy sweat.

I didn't see any blood in the collection tubes, so for some reason, I looked at the crook of my elbow. The site where the needed had been inserted was all puffed up, like someone had injected a teaspoon of Jell-O beneath the skin.

I began to feel flushed.

The technician called a supervisor over and they decided it would be best to Call The Whole Thing Off.

Today I've got a dark bruise the size of a half-dollar on my arm and an angry purple needle track. It looks like I've been sitting at home, tying off and shooting up while the Velvet Underground's "Heroin" plays in the background.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
vivitalia
Dec. 12th, 2008 02:32 pm (UTC)
Ugh. Kudos for trying at least. The last time I had to have blood drawn, they had to stick me four or five times because they "couldn't find a vein" and then had to redo the whole operation because some *expletive* nurse tech had "misplaced the sample." Wtf? I don't really care if it makes me a bad humanitarian, I'm so glad I'm ineligible to give blood voluntarily.
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 12th, 2008 02:41 pm (UTC)
You gave blood involuntarily a couple of weekends ago, as I recall ...
vivitalia
Dec. 12th, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC)
Touche.
vivitalia
Dec. 12th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
but in my defense, there was no needle involved. And I only poked myself once. Sort of.
nodressrehersal
Dec. 12th, 2008 02:46 pm (UTC)
Contemplating poking my eyes out with a sharp stick.
Ack! Quick, gimme another image, my brain is FREAKING OUT! My arms are recoiling (making it nearly impossible to type)and oh, just ewww and blech.

On second thought, no other images. I fear for my sanity AND my safety.
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 12th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Contemplating poking my eyes out with a sharp stick.
There was no substance to this post. Instead, I was writing strictly with the purpose of getting that kind of reaction. Heh-heh-heh.
nodressrehersal
Dec. 12th, 2008 03:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Contemplating poking my eyes out with a sharp stick.
Oh great, who wouldn't want to start their day on a sadistic note?

I suppose I should say congratulations- you nailed it with brevity and clarity. I saw it, felt it, and got a little queasy because of it.
penshark
Dec. 12th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC)
Back when I was eligible to give blood voluntarily, I'd run into a couple of techs with the same ineptitude as the one you describe. I think they need to establish (for all of them) the rule that existed with the two nurses in an office where I once was getting IVs. The nurses would try no more than twice. If for some reason, that didn't work, they would call the other nurse to take over. Both of them were typically excellent at getting it right the first time. The one time that wasn't the case for me, the nurse having the problem told me explicitly that she did NOT plan to keep jabbing at me.

Perhaps some complaints to Official Blood Donation Organization, with an explanation on why we out here are rethinking this one ...?
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 12th, 2008 03:00 pm (UTC)
This was the Red Cross, and it's the first time I had trouble with them.

My all-time worst experience was when I needed to give a blood sample at the hospital before knee surgery. The person who tried to take the sample was a student intern who, shall we say, was still a long way from perfecting her technique.

I'm not comfortable around needles in any case, but then, who is?
lizardqueen
Dec. 12th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
Ouchies. I feel your pain (and bruises). No, really, I swear.

I myself do not have the most accessible veins in the world, especially in my elbow joint where the medtechs traditionally seek them. Last time I had to get stuck at the doc's for a blood glucose, the nurse/whatever couldn't find the vein, so she moved the needle around under the skin, hoping to hit something.
I protested, and we ended up going with a vein in the back of my hand. Which was no picnic either.

Where oh where are the Star Trek medical technologies? So you could just BEAM the blood out of your veins, or it could be analyzed in situ.
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 12th, 2008 11:16 pm (UTC)
You protested? She was lucky you didn't punch here.

(I figured you'd appreciate the VU reference.)
lizardqueen
Dec. 12th, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
"VU"?? Sorry, it's cold, my brain is slowthening down...

But yes, she got off easy.
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 12th, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
Velvet Underground. Ever interview Lou?
rulefive
Dec. 16th, 2008 03:56 am (UTC)
Good song.

Hope you're feeling better.
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 16th, 2008 02:26 pm (UTC)
Hey, rulefive, did you forget where Murphy 214 is?
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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