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I am NOT a human pin cushion!

I have always had "bad veins" and it has always been difficult for a nurse to start an IV on me or get blood. Now that I'm on the methotrexate, I have to get blood drawn at regular intervals. I had a lab appointment on Monday, and after 4 needle sticks with no success, they sent me home to come back on Wednesday. They said to drink a lot of fluids (duh!). So on Wednesday, I went back and after 7, yes SEVEN, needlesticks, they could only get one of the 3 vials needed filled. So the doctor called and said I'll have to go to the hospital to get the blood drawn. No. I refuse to have anyone else stick needles in me when they won't get what they need, anyway.

One of the phlebotomists commented that my veins are scarred from so many needle pricks. Ugh!

After breaking into tears on the phone with my doc, he said I can skip this blood draw and just try again the next time I am due. I hope it isn't as bad then.


Seems odd to have to wait so long for a blood draw. I've been stuck so many times, its ridiculous but no one has ever told me that I have scar tissue from too many sticks. Really? Maybe they just suck at drawing blood. Happens ALL the time. If I were you I'd go to the hospital and request the best person for the job. Let them know that its an issue and you need an expert/seasoned lab tech on the job. None of this nurse in training bull.

There's no way you have scar tissue on both arms in both elbow joints, both wrists and on the top of both of your hands (common blood draw locations). There's just no way. You got some goobers playing with needles for sure. Have them use a baby butterfly needle and that should help a lot along with a seasoned tech or nurse who gives IVs all the time. I'm pretty sure my GI would refuse to treat me further if I refused to have my blood drawn. I can't even get my 6MP script filled if I don't have my blood work done. So honestly I think its odd that Your GI said it was ok to wait until next time. What if there's something wrong you know? I say try again at the hospital but I'm also one of those people where the needles don't phase me and I've had my fair share or retards trying to get blood from my bone marrow. :p

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I know exactly how you feel!!! Only once did a nurse get an IV in but blood work I usually have not problem. Repeated needles is a first for me to hear that causes problems. As Crabby says, maybe they just suck at it. I have a permanent vein for blood withdrawls lol, and we use it everytime. I agree tho, you may need to drink more water before getting it done. Also if you can heat up your arm and keep it down. I was told being overweight makes your veins sink, but who knows, lots of excuses, no results. Hope you get your blood work done successfully because it is crucial.
Crabby, all my previous blood tests have been normal, and they were able to get one vial to do the liver panel (which was normal). 4 different people tried to get blood, so I can't imagine all 4 are bad at it, especially since 3 of them have gotten blood from me before. I have had this problem (bad veins- hard to get) since I was first diagnosed. I guess I am just "lucky" that way.


Have they sat you down with a hot pack for a while to try and raise the vein? They had to do that for me a few times before. I've had people draw my blood just fine before but suddenly the same person can't do it anymore and this one lady wont even try anymore. I get passed off to the next person as well. :p Trust me, its not impossible for there to be people who suck at it and people who are vein Jedi Masters. Find a Jedi you will.
I have bad veins too, and always have it taken with a butterfly needle from my hand. Sometimes they have me soak my hands in warm water or give my hands a slap or two. This works very well. Sounds to me like they are not trying very hard to get it out despite all the sticks. Make sure to ask for a butterfly needle!
Thanks Stargitrrrl and Crabby. They use hot packs, they slap the veins, and they use a butterfly needle. They use a really tight tourniquet and try the hands, inside of the elbows, forearms, etc.

I wish there was some easier way to do this.
Gee that sucks. I have the same problem, and last time they sent me where the INFANTS get their blood drawn! She got it first try, amazing, maybe you can ask for this next time? Best of luck
Have they tried your wrist? There's a nice vein that runs along right under the thumb.
Yup. They even tried the underside of the wrist. Let me tell you, that hurts like heck! They tried between the knuckles, which they were able to get some blood, but not enough for even one vial before it collapsed. They even looked at my ankles, but they couldn't find anything there that looked good.

Last time I was in the hospital, it took 2 IV teams with ultrasound machines to get an IV started, and that was after 4 tries. Once, the Iraq war veteran, who bragged about being able to start IVs in night vision glasses on people who were in shock from loss of blood couldn't get it started. I was the first person he couldn't get (according to him).

In the past, they've done a PICC line, but since I don't need fluids or blood draws that often, I don't think they'd do that now. I'm just very frustrated by this, especially as all the bruises on my arms turn that lovely color of purplish-yellow.


I'll ask my mom about it later cause her's are hard to get as well. They went as far to tell her that her's simply dried out. :p The pediatrics nurse sounds like a good idea as well if possible.
I have horrible veins. About a month ago it took 2 attempts at IV (after 5 forceful attempts) - first upper right arm where it always works, then right hand which is still sensitive to touch.
Then 4 days later both places were still swollen so she ignored me when i said not the hand and tried forcing it 3 times on my left wrist/palm >.<. THE most painful spot EVER. She finally stuck it in my upper left arm; said next would be foot.
I have never had luck with IVs but it seems to get worse every time.
:sign0085::Flower::Flower::Flower::Flower::rosette1::rosette1::rosette1::rosette1::ybatty::rosette1::rosette1::rosette1::rosette1:I feel for you .. Im the same way and yes you can get lumps and tissue that form were you have been stuck so many times ... I went to school so i could learn how and why it is so hard to get my blood ... I too have to have a central line when they admit me cause i refuse to be poked 30 times in a day !! You know yourself better then anyone and if they try 3 times that should be enough ... Tops of the feet are usually a good spot even though alot of places dont like going there but lets be real hear who likes it from the palm of there hand or in your chest or almost in an arm pit ... Good luck and i wish i was the one drawing your blood sometimes compassion goes along way !!
I am a lab tech as well as a Crohnnie.

All the hints given are great - drink lots, warm up your arms/hands, make sure to tell them to tie the tourniquet very tight. Point them in the right direction if you only have one good spot left. Insist on an experienced tech. Once you find someone who can get you - only let them touch you. Sometimes if you are lying down rather than sitting up you will relax more and that may help.

If it is not fasting blood work, try to make an appointment, or go late morning or early afternoon when the labs are somewhat slower as tech won't be stressed and in a rush to get all the fasting people done. This will give the tech more time to work on you and do the required warm up of your arm/ hands. A more relaxed tech is more likely to have good results.

I would add - only let someone try twice, after that its like a mental block and they won't get you. Ask for someone else after that, in fact insist upon it. Don't let the student nurse, intern or doctor do it - ask for someone from the iv team(if you are in the hospital) or the most expereinced collector in the place.

As someone who has drawn from people who are difficult to draw - remember it is your body and your right to request these things. Try and stay pleasant, no matter what happens. If I miss you, I feel very bad as I KNOW how much discomfort it is to have to try again for you.(When we trained we practiced on each other!!) I only want to make this necessary procedure as painless as possible for you, as I know you are already sick.