Friday, July 2, 2010


Yesterday I woke up at 6:30 in the morning to get ready to get my blood drawn. Instead of going to the mess hall we had to be at the health services building. I had gotten my blood drawn before so I was not too worried about it. The phlebotomists at my hospital had not done a very good job but it hadn’t scared me away from needles.

We arrive at the building to see that our classmates were already there waiting for the building to open. We waited for the staff to arrive and waited for 15 minutes until our instructor showed up to tell us that we had to go around the side to get in. I felt bad because we didn’t think of that. Once we got into the building we each had to get in line to get the label for our tube. Once that was done we had to wait for the doctors. There were only two doctors working that morning so it took an hour and a half for all 22 of us to get done.

Once it was my turn the doctor welcomed me in and made general conversation. I requested that she do it from my right arm because I had gotten it done from there once and it didn’t hurt as bad. She told me that she would see if it was possible but it ended up that I didn’t have my blood drawn from my right arm at all. She went back and forth from one arm to another trying to find my vein. She rubbed my skin so much that it turned red from all the rubbing. She finally looked at my hand to see if I had a possible place to draw my blood. 

Well, it turned out that they needed to do a butterfly on my. I had never had one of those done before so they explained to me that it was a smaller gauge needle. The person that was helping me couldn’t do the butterfly so we had to wait until the other lady was done until I could get my blood drawn. 

Once she arrived she double checked to make sure that there were no other places that the blood could be drawn from and she decided to draw the blood from my hand. I wasn’t very happy about this because my hands are already sensitive so I knew it would hurt. When the lady stuck the needle in it was not that bad but when she pressed the cotton swab down to pull it out it felt like the needle was scrapping against my vain and it really hurt. She took forever to take the needle out of my arm. 

Once the needle was out the pain subsided but then she put pressure on my hand it that really hurt. Even after twenty minutes my hand still hurt. I had never gotten my blood drawn from my hand until now.

We needed our blood for the lab that we would do that morning. The purpose of the lab was to get the DNA out of the white blood cells and into a pure form so that we could then make more copies and run a number of tests on it. At the end of the day I found out the needles just hurt and that blood is gross.

1 comment:

  1. Megan,

    I've given my own blood at the blood bank more than 200 times with more than 175 of those in the apheresis department.

    I usually like to think of myself as pretty brave. Send me in against the Taliban and I'll do it without question. Have me appear before an IRS auditor--no sweat. But put a demure phlebotomist in front of me with a needle in her hand and I start quivering where I stand.

    You like to think that the people drawing your blood are professionals and know what they're doing but that isn't always the case and sometimes they can inflict some real pain. Sometimes those little needles feel like spikes and you worry that the hole might not ever close up after they withdraw the needle.

    Now, aren't you glad that we didn't discuss this BEFORE you went in for a blood draw?