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Sun May 18, 2014, 04:07 PM

Injection phobia - any advice?

I have my blood drawn fairly often - I just turn my head on general principals. But, even the thought of an injection makes me queasy. Any advice on how to break this phobia?

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Sun May 18, 2014, 04:24 PM

1. I have horrible veins for IV's and blood draws

I tell them to use the small butterfly needle and I know that my best veins are near my wrist in line with my thumb.

Be sure to drink plenty of liquids the day BEFORE you go in for lab work as well as the day of. I don't drink caffeine the day of the blood draw. I have found that staying hydrated and knowing how to have my blood drawn help me avoid being a human pin cushion.

I must be doing ok, I'm down to every 6 months with my rheumy, but I'm about to start up with new doctors at Mayo, so I'm guessing I'll give a couple of gallons in the next few months.

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #1)

Sun May 18, 2014, 04:33 PM

2. Drinking water ahead of a blood draw is a good reminder - my mouth is always dry, so I tend

not to drink enough water. I know that the last few times the phlebotomists have had problems finding a vein.

But - my real problem is the notion of getting anything injected. I think it goes back to some nasty penicillin shots I had as a little kid in the late 50's. Oddly enough, having an IV put in is no problem at all!

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Sun May 18, 2014, 04:56 PM

3. Oh, just make sure it's in a bright place with plenty of stuff to distract you.

If it's in your bottom, turn your foot on that side slightly inward to relax the muscle.

If they want to give it in your arm, tell them you'd prefer it in your bottom, it's a bigger muscle with fewer nerve endings and you won't be sore at all.

I'm not going to tell you to get over it, phobias just don't work that way. Focusing your attention elsewhere can help.

I started looking right at it when I was three. I found it hurt less if I watched. I don't have a phobia, though.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Sun May 18, 2014, 08:45 PM

4. Look. I used to be like you and then I started forcing myself to look.

 

It may sound weird, but it really helped me get over my queasiness about needles and injections.

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Response to cali (Reply #4)

Sun May 18, 2014, 08:47 PM

5. +1

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #5)

Mon May 19, 2014, 10:59 AM

6. OK, I'll try it - hope it works!

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Response to cali (Reply #4)

Sat May 24, 2014, 10:56 PM

8. i have to look.

i try to look away, but i feel the prick, and i look.
just got a jab in a nerve. that was fun.

fwiw, everybody but everybody hates it. it's a thankless job.

agree about the butterfly, tho. way more comfy because it doesnt have that glass lever on it.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 11:01 AM

7. I discovered

that the smell of the alcohol wipe was a big factor for me, triggering that queasiness. It might be worth it to try a different disinfectant - hydrogen peroxide, maybe?

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 05:30 PM

9. butterfly needles

 

As someone else said, they reduce the pain to almost zero. They cost a bit more, so some phlebotomists are reluctant to use them.

I don't watch, usually. I have blood drawn about once a month. I go to a small lab, so I know the 2-3 workers there, maybe that helps as I feel I'm around friends.

Updated to add: I read your original post again and now I'm confused. Are you saying blood draws don't bother you but injections do? I was blathering away about blood draws

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Response to lululu (Reply #9)

Tue Jun 3, 2014, 03:55 PM

10. and what's even more wierd, getting hooked up to an IV doesn't bother me,

just an injection! Boy! those childhood traumas really hang on!

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #10)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 02:56 AM

12. what is it about an injection?

 

My childhood was so far away that I don't remember those. What is the extra feature about an injection?

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Response to lululu (Reply #12)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 03:19 AM

13. As near as I can figure out, I was exposed to strep throat back around 1959 or so, and my Mom took

me and my younger siblings to the doctor for a penicillin injection. That went into the buttocks. It's not the practice now, but my mother had had scarlet fever with permanent heart damage, so it seemed a wise precaution back then. It's possible that routine polio and DPT shots were also a factor. I know the old style DPT used to leave a rather sore arm. Add to that smallpox vaccinations - incredibly ucky by any standard. That wasn't an injection per se, but a scratch on the arm that developed into a pock. (I think that's it! I get sick just thinking about the smallpox vaccination!)

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #13)

Fri Jun 6, 2014, 01:54 PM

14. smallpox

 

That made me go look at the back of my arm. Guess what, that mark is gone. It must have taken decades to disappear. No wonder I haven't thought of it in a long time, it eventually vanished.

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Response to lululu (Reply #14)

Sat Jun 7, 2014, 02:15 AM

15. Years ago, a friend of my grandmother had to get her small pox renewed before a trip back to Ireland

Back then, you traveled by boat and had to have a vaccination to enter the US. The friend asked her doctor about getting the vaccination on her thigh so as not to have a scar on her arm. He said it was fine with him, but what if the Immigration officer demanded to see the scar as proof!

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #13)

Sun Jun 15, 2014, 06:06 PM

17. That explains part of it, penicillin injections are the worst

Reconstituted in a vial, the penicillin has the same consistency as the brown glue they used to make out of old horses. It's thick and requires a large bore needle to inject.

I had a lot of them when I was a kid because my mother was stubborn and kept refusing a tonsillectomy for me. She was right, by the way.

I gave smallpox immunizations in the 60s, they were a drop of attenuated virus on the skin and 6 to 8 quick punctures within the drop of liquid to get it just below the skin. Typhoid immunization was worse, it was given between the layers of skin.

They were still one hell of a lot better than the diseases they prevented or cured.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue Jun 3, 2014, 09:45 PM

11. Try to distract yourself

Talk about anything, nice day etc.
Maybe go through some mail on your cell phone.
After a while maybe you'll get mor used to it.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Sun Jun 15, 2014, 05:59 PM

16. Not really, true phobias don't respond to logic

and only desensitization over time makes a dent in them.

I watch blood draws and shots, it seems to make them hurt less. I've also given myself intra muscular injections of chemo drugs for 5 years at a time (then my GI system rebels and I have to do something else).

All you can do is make sure the phlebotomist or care giver knows you need to sit or lie down. If you get this stuff frequently, try telling yourself it didn't kill you this time or the last time, maybe it won't kill you next time. That helps desensitization.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Wed Jun 18, 2014, 12:13 AM

18. Laugh loudly while the needle is being stuck into you and then celebrate w/ice cream.

 

Works for me.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 08:58 PM

19. Sorry, I am really late to this thread

But I would suggest a BIG drink beforehand to plump your veins. Try to meditate. You may not even notice. These have worked for me. 😼

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