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Do I Look Like a Pin Cushion To YOU???

August 10, 2008

I yi-yi!  I went on Friday for PET Scan and blood work.  Remember a few weeks ago when the last PET scan fell through and I got the blood draw anyway?  Well, the onc’s office called and said that the blood sample had hemalized and they wanted a re-do.  I wanted to get a Heparin lock at the doc’s office so that the tech at the scan place would not beat up my arm looking for a vein.

I have veins that disappear when they see anyone with a needle.  It does not seem to mater how hydrated I can make myself.   AND the tech at the onc’s office, who, on any other day I really like, insisted on drawing blood from the vein with the hep lock in it.  I wanted the blood draw from the port…it is so much easier there.  I wanted him to put the hep lock in my hand.  It is hard to draw blood from those veins because they collapse with suction, all that vein needed to do is receive the push of the radioactive glucose.  But NOOOOO!  After several failed attempts at some veins, he wanted the one at my elbow…The one that was burned by Chemotherapy drugs and I don’t want anyone to touch…It’s my vein!  Well, by this time, I was in tears because I was, yet again, at the hands of someone who could not get a vein.  I’ve had blood drawn by some outstanding techs so I know it can be done with no trauma…It’s just that some are good and some are NOT!  I let him have the vein and I’m not happy about it.

So here I sit this morning, bruised and battered, and waiting for scan results again…I hate this waiting.

When we get to Ohio, I want to find, right away, the best phlebotomist in town and always to go that person…In fact, if I can get the hep lock done, I can schedule PET scan and MRI within a day of each other, if not on the same day, and get the whole thing over with all at once.  I need someone who can get a vein in a turnip…every time!  Hi all you guys in Ohio who read this!  Any suggestions?

The only other option for veins is my feet, which I understand is VERY painful…I’m working a plan to get a topical, and perhaps injectable (or both)  anestectic to eliminate the pain. I’m sure it can be done.  I really don’t have many veins in my only arm.

The actual scan was easy in comparison.  Reports should be available Monday or Tuesday…I hope I don’t have to make a whole lot of calls to get them…

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Angela and Scott permalink
    August 11, 2008 2:47 pm

    Oh man that just sounds so painful!!

    My neighbor is a phlebotomist we can always ask her opinion!

    Angela : )

  2. August 12, 2008 6:43 am

    Angela, Sounds good to me! I’m not into repeats of Friday. It would be great if your neighbor could suggest someone excellent.

  3. sheilamiller31 permalink
    August 13, 2008 6:33 pm

    Ouch! Liz I have the same problem. Thats why I love my port! Why the hell won’t they just take it from your port? Even with the port I put on some Emla (lidocaine) an hour before hand under a piece of tegaderm then I don’t feel a thing. Yep, I’m a big big baby!! But also, as you know getting those IVs of vitamin C weekly can leave scar tissue on the port you need to numb the area.

  4. August 13, 2008 7:48 pm

    Hi Sheila! I’m about to get some topical pain stuff, even for the port…It does hurt pretty bad sometimes to access it….though nothing like the pain and despair of chasing veins around. Unhappily, the contrast dyes and raidioactive glucose cannot be administered through this port. There is one, just available, were you can…not this one…
    I’ve had this port for the past year…I’m keeping it because of the Vit C…What are your thought about when to have it removed? How long have you had yours?

  5. sheilamiller31 permalink
    August 14, 2008 8:23 am

    i got mine in late oct of 07 so its not even been a year. i had one 6 years ago and i had it in for…around 5 months, just long enough to do 4 rounds of chemo and then i had it removed w/ my breast recon surgery. This time I got mine exclusively for the vitamin C (although I didn’t tell them that. ha ha When I was in the hospital getting the fluids around my heart drained (2x, 5 day hospital stay each time) they drew my blood what seemed like on the hour. My arms were completely black and blue, one time it took 5 different people to get a draw, finally a phlebotamist came and did it. They also tried my feet to no avail. I came out of that hospital looking and feeling like I had been in a train wreck. The port was a godsend. I had one doc say that it can stay in for up to 5 years.

  6. August 14, 2008 9:13 am

    OMG! what a nightmare! The port IS a godsend…no easier way to get blood…Mine is totally under the skin…no tubing outside the body…Some are aparently not that way…so much easier when no outside tubing…It can be difficult finding someone who can or will use a huber needle. (at this point, if they are willing, I can tell them what to do:)) I did it myself once, but it is so high on my chest that I can’t see very well and it is hard to get a straight push.
    I’m not sure when I will be willing to part with it…

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