Saturday, January 16, 2010

My veins

A consequence of a blood cancer like myeloma is many blood tests are required.
My veins are not too good, small and hard too find. This creates problems for the vampires, oops nurses, who need to extract my blood.
I go to the local Labtest, previously Med Lab, to extract my blood for tests and have found it helps me to have the same nurse each time as she becomes familiar with my veins and I become confident with her and relaxed.
On appointment day if it’s a cold day I wear gloves to keep my hands warm. Advice from the nurses to help me has included keep the fluids up to avoid dehydration, drink a glass of water on arrival, try a heated wheat bag or hot water bottle on the arms and wear clothes that keep me warm.
To increase the blood flow I keep my veins pumped up by doing hand, finger and arm exercise, mainly flexing. Some people must think I have been let out of the cupboard for the morning as there have been a few strange looks in the waiting room while doing that.
Holding my tongue to the left and closing one eye does not help at all.
When I go to haematology day stay for my monthly Aredia (bisphosphonate) I require an intravenous line in the top of my hand. The visit starts with a drink of water then a soaking of my arms in a large tub of hot water. Again I usually get the same nurse.
Speaking to other patients, apparently bad veins are not uncommon. A young lady in her late teens once told me she some times has to have the blood taken from a vein in her ankle!
I have never had any problems with fear of needles, I have very little fear. It doesn’t matter if I look at the needle going in or look away. I do like to keep my arm or hand relaxed, that does make a difference to me.
Bang, did you here that, some one has fainted reading this. As I wrote “In Helpful hints for myeloma survival” needles come with the myeloma package, overcome the fear.


Genelle said...

Hi Sid,
I sympathize with your vein problems, mine are very similar. At the beginning of my Myeloma journey they gave me a portacath which is inserted under the skin in your chest and makes things much easier. Only thing is that the only people authorised to use this is the chemo nurses, so it can't be used in your local vampires office. They use this for chemo and aredia infusions and can use it to take blood as well. It feeds into an artery near your heart.
Cheers, Genelle

Sid said...

Good one Genelle,
If only we were born with 2 holes in our chest connected to a vein, an inlet and outlet for future use.
A USB port would be handy for a direct link to a computer for a diagnose.