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Getting Used to Blood Tests

Before I got sick, I would get blood tests done twice a year. Just to make sure I wasn’t deficient in anything. Usually, I was deficient in iron. I used to dread these appointments. I used to hate needles and the thought of blood. I am very squeamish, if I see blood I faint. So, even though I would never look during a blood test, I would still always faint.

Now I get blood tests every 2-3 months, sometimes more often. I still dread these appointments, but nothing like before. I’m used to needles. I inject myself every two weeks. It’s the blood that I can’t get used to. Fortunately, I do not faint anymore.

My doctor understands

When I go to my doctor, we will always have a little chat first, she asks how I am, how my treatment is going and if I need anything, etc. At this point she knows, but I always remind her that I need to lie down in case I faint. She lets me get comfortable and turns on the fan. I always overheat and get sweaty during blood tests, so the fan is very helpful.

I will take a deep breath and try to relax my mind and my body. Then, I look in the opposite direction to where my doctor is standing, waiting to take my blood. My doctor knows how uncomfortable I find blood tests so she will try to distract me by asking questions and telling me a little bit about herself. I find this extremely helpful. Talking, answering questions and asking my doctor questions helps me not think of her poking a needle into my veins and taking my blood. Even thinking about it now has me a bit hot and bothered. I think it’s something I will never fully get used to, but at least I don’t faint anymore.

Once she has finished taking my blood, she will let me lie there for as long as I need. Usually, I lie there for a minute or so and sit up slowly. She always gives me a cold glass of water after and offers a fizzy drink in case I need it. Normally, I just drink water as on the way to my appointment I normally stop in the shop, so I have a fizzy drink waiting for me in the car.

Things that help me get through a blood test

When I book my blood test, I will never take a morning appointment. Some mornings I wake up feeling weak and sick. I know if I got a blood test feeling like that I would faint.

Late afternoon appointments suit me best. I will make sure to eat plenty before my appointment as this will help when I feel weak. In the past few months, I’ve realized that hydration is key when it comes to finding a vein. So, I will make sure to drink at least a liter of water before my appointment.

I will then make sure to take it easy for the day. I often use a lot of my energy when I get blood tests. Getting nervous, worked up and feeling weak takes up a lot of my energy.

I know that blood tests aren’t that much of a big deal, but they are something that I find uncomfortable and I’m still getting used to.

How do you find blood tests?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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