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I have to have blood work done!


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So my pdoc wants me to have labwork done to see how I'm handling all my meds (see my post in cocktails/polypharmacy forum for more info on that) and I am totally resistant. I pass out before they even get the needle in me. Klonopin has no effect on my fear whatsoever. I am so scared of getting blood drawn I'd rather not know if my liver is functioning well or if I'm coming down with type 2 diabetes. Serious fear here. I know there are other people who are terrified of needles on this board, and I wondered if any of you have any advice on how to get through this. Last time I had blood drawn was like 3 years ago, and I passed out laying down on the table without looking at my arm or the needle or anything, and I still passed out. Just thinking about it makes me a little nauseous. I don't know what to do, I don't know how I'm going to get it done. It's like one of my biggest fears. Anyway, just looking for any advice anyone has. I really need to have this done to find out what's going on in my body.

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I've been doing alot of looking around on the internet for tips and stuff on how to deal with needles and from what I read, the passing out, nausea, vertigo, etc. I get from needles is called Vasovagal Syncope. At least it has a name. I thought I'd share it here. Now I have something to print out and bring to the doc when I have to have it done. I'm going to request a major tranquilizer or no blood work. Klonopin won't just cut it, I want to be knocked out! Just thought I'd share my little discovery with you guys, I'm a tad bit manic from my wellbutrin and I'm going post crazy hehe.

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I used to be so scared of needles when I was little...and they wouldn't give me anything to calm me down!  I'd go for a tranquilizer if you could.  You can't be scared when you're asleep. XD

Hope it goes well. ^^

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So my pdoc wants me to have labwork done to see how I'm handling all my meds (see my post in cocktails/polypharmacy forum for more info on that) and I am totally resistant. I pass out before they even get the needle in me. Klonopin has no effect on my fear whatsoever. I am so scared of getting blood drawn I'd rather not know if my liver is functioning well or if I'm coming down with type 2 diabetes. Serious fear here. I know there are other people who are terrified of needles on this board, and I wondered if any of you have any advice on how to get through this. Last time I had blood drawn was like 3 years ago, and I passed out laying down on the table without looking at my arm or the needle or anything, and I still passed out. Just thinking about it makes me a little nauseous. I don't know what to do, I don't know how I'm going to get it done. It's like one of my biggest fears. Anyway, just looking for any advice anyone has. I really need to have this done to find out what's going on in my body.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm scared too.  Yes, lay down again.  bring anything with sugar in it with you.  if you dont have to be free of food, then i suggest chewing the sugar thing as soon u start getting freaked out.  gum is good.  or soda.  as soon as its over i eat candy or drink a sugary drink and i am less apt to pass out.

Also, nobody ever tells you this BUT there are these patches you can get perscribed to put on your skin where the needle goes in.  It makes it painless.  I've heard they use it for extreme cases, but EXTREME PHOBIA is extreme enough, right?!  Express to your doctor how extreme your anxiety is over this, and maybe you can get that patch.  Just the fact that it hurts makes me more anxiety.  But yes, I get green seeing a needle on tv.

Maybe you can also bring someone with you that will explain to you a funny story.  that has helped me.

And then again theres all the common stuff like breathing deeply out of your mouth, getting all the air out. 

Or you can ask for the best blood-taker at the place ;)   And if you have trust in another dr that can take blood, you might feel more safe with him/her takign the blood.

Good luck, you can do it!  Whatever you get to help you, you will benefit from, even if it is a little Klonopin it wont be as bad as doing it without Klonopin.  Maybe you can take something like seroquel or zyprexa for that day?  Does Benadryl help you at all?  Just remember, you won't die from this needle.  Even though you might think you are going to... the worst thing that can happen is u pass out.  But I don't think you will because you're asking questions and are going to get something that will help you!

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I used to pass out just thinking about the needle, then I "graduated" to passing out when I saw the needle coming.  Occasionally I would wait until after getting a shot, TB test, etc. to pass out (I'm so fortunate I never got a concussion from keeling over in the doc's office without warning!).  I went it the stoic route, not telling anyone I was a needlephobe and hoping I could contain my anxiety long enough to get out of there without fainting or looking like I was about to faint.  I found my needlephobia very embarrassing and always hated being mollycoddled by the nurses--"Now, now, then.  Everything will be Ok.  Just you put your head between your legs for a few minutes and I'll get you some water."  Blah, blah, fuss, fuss...made me feel like a helpless child.

What finally got me over my needlephobia was intradermal allergy testing.  I didn't know what I was in for, was expecting a scratch test when I showed up.  So when they dragged out this tray with fifty different serums on it and a box of needles, and told me it was going to take a few hours, I nearly flipped.  But they were also preparing to test a little kid, sitting virtually across from me, and I didn't want to freak him out...so for the first time ever I didn't try to distract myself or tell myself "It'll all be over in a few seconds."  I found that, paradoxically, focusing on the sensation, forcing myself to be fully present and accepting of the pain, is what finally cured me of my needlephobia, believe it or not.  The only thing that gives me a little trouble these days is blood work, because I get antsy when the needle is in there for longer than a couple of seconds, but the more frequently you have it done, the easier it gets.  I promise.  Exposure really is the best thing for phobias. 

Maybe promise yourself a reward of some kind after you've had your blood work done.  Always works for me  ;)

Good luck!  Let us know how it goes.

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I haven't had my blood drawn yet, too depressed to care and too anxious to actually do it. I'm half blaming it on the wellbutrin though. I'm coming off of it now and my anxiety is going down. I am going to take all the advice posted here and use it when I actually do go get it done. There are some really great tips for me to try. I like your idea Kassaine, don't tell me when you're going to do it, just do it, don't tell me it's over until I have a bandaid on. I'm definately going to try that. If I do pass out (which I probably will) at least I'll be laying down already and won't bonk my head or anything nasty. I guess something else that kinda bugs me, is when I've passed out before they stuck me they didn't draw the blood while I was out, they waited until I was awake to try again. I know there's probably some logic behind that, but damnit, I wish they could do it while I was already unconsious without any major tranquilizers.

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Sorry to hear of your fear. Maybe take headphones with you also so you can listen to some relaxing music while they are doing it?  I know it won't help totally but maybe it will help a little. Also, if tell them to use a butterfly when they are drawing your blood. It is a small needle that they use for children that is much less painfull.  They also use it on people they have trouble drawing blood from, and although you dont have that trouble, it might help calm your fear a touch if the pain is less.  Hope these tips help just a little bit  ;)     Good luck!

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The place I go to have my bloodwork done, is really good about making sure I'm ok. I think the fact that if I'm not ok I throw up THEN pass out might have something to do with it.

I lay down in a semi-private area. Music and orange juice on hand. I also go when I know that it is not going to be crowded.

The most important things I've found though, are to make sure they know ahead of time that you have a big problem with needles (have your dr right it on your lab sheet, or if that won't happen, take a note from your pdoc). I also will only have experienced people work with me. I've learned the hard way that if they don't get it on the first try, that there will not be a second one.

I know that students need to get experience somewhere, but it's sure as hell not going to be with me.

It's never pleasant, but at least this makes it bearable.

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