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Old 01-22-2013, 03:37 PM   #1
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Fear of needles?

I have a fear of needles and it's always a big issue for me when going in to the hospital to have a baby. With my third child they tried over and over and over to get an IV started and my veins kept "popping" (the word they used). It was alarming and stressful, especially because I was having a natural birth and was approaching transition at the time. They caused major bruising to my arm from all of that trying.

With my 4th child it turned out fine because they had an anesthesiologist put in the IV, as the nurses were having a similar problem as above initially.

Is there anyone else out there that has this fear/issue? How do you stay calm and face it? I think I am traumatized from that one time...

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Old 01-22-2013, 04:06 PM   #2
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Re: Fear of needles?

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Originally Posted by steph410 View Post
I have a fear of needles and it's always a big issue for me when going in to the hospital to have a baby. With my third child they tried over and over and over to get an IV started and my veins kept "popping" (the word they used). It was alarming and stressful, especially because I was having a natural birth and was approaching transition at the time. They caused major bruising to my arm from all of that trying.

With my 4th child it turned out fine because they had an anesthesiologist put in the IV, as the nurses were having a similar problem as above initially.

Is there anyone else out there that has this fear/issue? How do you stay calm and face it? I think I am traumatized from that one time...
I had this exact thing happen with my one hospital birth. They exploded the veins in the tops of both hands, one wrist, and my forearm. The last resort was to call a pediatric anesthesiologist, next step would have been a line in my NECK.... ugh. and, I am a person who cries from having blood drawn. So you can just imagine the hysteria.

My way of dealing with it has been to opt for homebith everytime since that experience. Obviously this is not a choice for everyone, though.

Are you able to decline the IV?
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:09 PM   #3
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Re: Fear of needles?

I hate needles. I can't watch them at all. As long as I don't look I am usually okay. I did not like having the IV in for DS1 and DD. DS2 was way to fast of a birth.

No way were they sticking an epidural needle in my back unless there was no other option. I am so thankful I didn't end up needing one.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:12 PM   #4
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I have a huge fear of needles, but I am able to get my blood drawn and IVs put in by not looking.

I got chastised by a nurse once for being a big baby and I guess tough love seems to work on me. Pissed me off cause before then, I had drs give me Valium before IVs and I thought my fear was reasonable.

But after I got over being pissed, I decided I would just look away and grit my teeth. It weirds out phlebotomists though. They're always like 'are you going to be okay?'
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:13 PM   #5
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Re: Fear of needles?

I used to need someone to hold my hand and be a focal point to even have blood drawn, let alone get an IV. When I was 20, I got a tattoo as an attempt to get over my fear of needles. The only thing that accomplished was making me want more tattoos. Over the years I guess with having to have blood draws all through pregnancy and once every 6 months when I am not pregnant (Thyroid disorder) I guess something finally clicked. When I was admitted with my daughter they had to stick me like 5 times in a matter of 20 minutes, when they put my IV in they blew out the vein and lost a bunch of blood to the point they had to draw some from the other arm just to run the tests they had to do. I got to stare down at the IV and tape all covered in blood for my entire birth and 24 hrs afterwards. I couldn't even wash it off because it was stuck under the tapes and stuff, it was gross.
Somewhere in the midst of giving birth I guess something inside my brain snapped and I realized that a tiny needle is nothing compared to pushing out a baby and ever since it has been easier. I won't say it's been a cake walk. I still always warn the person doing the IV or draw that I have issues with needles, I tell them how bad I used to be and I make it clear that I won't watch, but to please warn me before they stick me. I wish I had a suggestion other than making your fears understood each time, but I know how trying it is, I know what it's like to hyperventilate and pass out from the thought of a needle stick. But hopefully knowing that someone like me was able to get past it to a more manageable level, maybe might give you hope that you can too?

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Old 01-22-2013, 04:25 PM   #6
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Re: Fear of needles?

I had the same thing happen when I went to the ER sick and dehydrated, pregnant with my first child. The nurses were sticking me with huge gauge needles with no success(I was crying). Finally an anesthesiologist came; numbed my hand and used a smaller gauge needle. He got it the first try.
I would have an anesthesiologist do it. You may have to wait but it'd be worth it. I would not let the nurses stick me again after that experience:/
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:04 PM   #7
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Re: Fear of needles?

A lot of nurses just aren't that great at putting needles in people with suboptimal veins. I have very shallow veins, so trust me, BTDT. BUT, here's some tips: drink a ton of water before going in. It will help your veins be nice and plump, and easy to poke. Then ask for their best "poker". There's always someone, whether another nurse, or a higher up that they can call for difficult to poke people like me. Usually if you can get that person first, they will get it in fast and easy. Also, if you do better in one arm than the other, let them know. I always have them use my left arm, partially because it tends to go better, and partially because then if it does bruise or I get sore, it's not affecting my dominant hand. Give them as much info as possible. Describe your previous experiences to them so they know what they're dealing with.

I was always terrified of getting an epi until I got one. It's literally no worse than getting a shot at the dentist. Those guys really know what they are doing. I'd rather have an epi than a large blood draw any day.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:24 PM   #8
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Re: Fear of needles?

I think they told me that my veins were moving around or something and that's why they couldn't do it very easily. I really hope I can have the anesthesiologist do it again, he was a total pro (although I think he was a little confused as to why he got called up just to put in an IV LOL)
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:09 PM   #9
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Re: Fear of needles?

I *HATE* it when my colleagues make up excuses for missing an IV.
"Oh your veins roll."
"Oh your veins are tiny."
"Oh you're dehydrated."

If the vein rolls then hold it in place, if its tiny then use a small needle or find a bigger vein, if the patient is dehydrated then spend some time looking or use a small needle in a large vein!

I'm sorry this happened to you! Mostly its just nurses who are spoiled with only ever sticking perfect veins. And as a PP said, there is always someone who is really good available, ask for them. If they don't take a good look and feel around your arms you don't want them sticking you.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gingerpeachee View Post
I *HATE* it when my colleagues make up excuses for missing an IV.
"Oh your veins roll."
"Oh your veins are tiny."
"Oh you're dehydrated."

If the vein rolls then hold it in place, if its tiny then use a small needle or find a bigger vein, if the patient is dehydrated then spend some time looking or use a small needle in a large vein!

I'm sorry this happened to you! Mostly its just nurses who are spoiled with only ever sticking perfect veins. And as a PP said, there is always someone who is really good available, ask for them. If they don't take a good look and feel around your arms you don't want them sticking you.
I wanted to "like"your post.

Last time I went in, I went through my rote of "I have shallow veins, I drank a ton of water before I came, but draw from my left and use a butterfly", and the gal looked at me like I was crazy and told me she wasn't good with a butterfly. she convinced me to let her try and said my veins looked great...well, it wasn't awful, but I did bruise a bit. But really, telling me you're not good at it? Just get someone who is!
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