Jan 27, 2007


That sounds like a bad experience. And that's how it always was for me.

Like I said, I had to see the phlebotomist on Friday. I was supposed to go have blood drawn before Jan 30, and of course, being needle-phobic, I tried to push it back until the last minute possible.

To start with, I have always been scared of needles since I was little. One very bad experience with a doctor who came and gave everyone shots when we were in first grade ensured that I would be needle-phobic ever since. Every time blood had to be drawn, I would be pale, hyperventilating, most of the time crying, I think I might have passed out once or twice. And someone had to be there to hold me. Always.

I especially hate it when amateurs are in charge of drawing blood. Ever tried having someone poke you many times because they can't get that darn vein? One time, this phlebotomist even tried to wiggle the needle because she missed the vein. In my panicked mind, I wanted to strangle her.

On Friday, I was determined to be as calm and as un-embarrassing as possible. There had never been a time when my blood was drawn and there was peace. Seriously. The last time I had blood drawn, I had to lie down and have someone hold me down because I was hyperventilating and shaking.

So I was at the phlebotomist's bright and early on Friday morning. After confirming that I fasted for the last 12 hours they gave me this bottle of weird looking orange liquid. It was supposedly "orange-flavored", but it didn't taste anything remotely like orange, just smelled somewhat orange-y. It did taste like tons of unrefined brown sugar in a little bit of water. The sugar high that followed was more than enough to make up for its horrible taste.

After an hour, long after my sugar high passed, it was my turn with the needle. I decided to be upfront and tell the phlebotomist that I am deathly scared of needles, and that I would need my husband to be there with me. Thankfully, he was really nice and let my husband stay. He even used the smallest butterfly needle.

First, he asked me to clench my fists with my arms in front of me to see which vein draw blood from. He said I had good veins, and that the right arm would be the better candidate for blood drawing. I closed my eyes as he tried rubber around my arm.

I could feel a panic attack rising. As soon as cold disinfectant touched my arm, I was hyperventilating and felt bile up my throat. I felt cold and weak and could see swirling circles, and it was getting harder and harder to breath. The only thing that could have relieved that was to scream. But I was determined to not be a sissy.

I felt the needle prick my arm, and I just decided to continue breathing. I could feel my knees start to shake a little bit and my other hand would have shaken a lot if I wasn't crushing my husband's hand with it. Panic attack was in full swing. There was a loud buzzing in my ears, I could hear my heart beat loud and fast, the circles in front of my eyes were swirling faster. I was trying not to throw up while making sure that I am still breathing.

After what seemed like an eternity, the doctor said it was over. That had to be one of things I was happiest to hear! I didn't dare open my eyes until he asked me to apply pressure unto that little cotton ball on the pinprick. I looked over and saw that he had six vials of my blood on his tray. That much!

My panic attack had started to stop, and I have this urge to drink tons of water and have a tub of ice cream. Too bad, we had to go back to work ASAP, so I didn't get the ice cream. I did get to drink a lot of water, though. Around lunchtime, my right arm got really sore. It is still sore as of right now(Sunday, 11:45 pm).

The reason for the blood-letting, BTW, was a regular pregnancy test, and to check my blood sugar level. Having come from a long line of diabetics, AND having a sweet tooth, to boot, I hope things are okay. I am trying hard to be as healthy as possible since I got pregnant.

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