When you disabled or have any kind of chronic condition is not unusual that you may need to have blood work a couple of times a year to make sure medications aren’t causing anything to go crazy out of whack and that you are staying healthy! No one likes to have their blood drawn and a lot of people don’t have to very often but when you have a chronic condition it is not always optional to stay certain medication. Today I had my yearly labs done to check my levels which is normally fine and done without a problem but for some reason, they were having a particularly hard time today and it took them three tries! I guess the third time was the charm! My veins roll and some people who have been doing it a while can get it on the first try while others you don’t have as much experience struggle and can’t get it so someone else who is more experiences has to do it. Most times I have blood work I get extremely lightheaded and feel like I going to pass out but not once has that ever happened and in this post, I am going to talk about how I prevent myself from passing out and give you my best tips on how you can stay conscious when having your blood drawn if really struggle to not pass out.
Verify everything is correct– Today before I had my blood drawn I found out it would have cost me over two-hundred dollars to have my Vitamin D checked because that is not how the doctor wrote and insurance would not have covered. I am glad I was told this in advance and I would have been really mad if I wasn’t told this was not covered by insurance because unless I am in extreme pain there is no test I would be willing to pay that much to get. Always verify everything is correct because sometimes when doctors send over orders it may get lost or is incorrect and not what they told you in the office so it’s always a good idea to verify to make sure you only do this once and don’t have to come back!
Bring music– When you are having your blood drawn sometimes you need something to distract yourself from the pain to get through it so you don’t pass out. Everyone is different and some people may want you to talk to them but for me, I hate that and just need to have my music. I tend to block everyone out when I am having my blood drawn because my mind is in a totally different place and when you start talking to me it bugs me because it distracts my focus and gets me out of that zone to where I am thinking about the pain.
See if you can request someone you like- Sometimes since my veins roll techs that are as experienced have a harder time drawer my blood so it takes a couple tries but even when it takes four times I don’t even flinch because I get it enough and learn to deal with it but not all disabled people will be that way. If getting your blood drawn makes you really anxious so that you pass out and you know someone who does it really well see if you can request them to draw your blood whenever you need it. Personally, I don’t know anyone that is really good and can draw my blood so I take whoever is available and sometimes I get a really good experienced person while other times a total newbie. If you don’t do needles well and have found someone you like and are able to request them I would definitely try and take up that opportunity!
Eat something before you go- Obviously, if your labs clearly state to fast I would drink some water so your hydrated but I suggest not eating a meal for accurate results. Sometimes when people need labs done and don’t have to fast they do it unnecessarily because they aren’t hungry or thirsty but doing that can make you light-headed after the fact and dehydrated so when you are getting it drawn it will be more difficult. Eat well prior to having your blood drawn to reduce the likelihood of passing out or being too dehydrated that you can’t have your blood drawn and need to come back. No one likes to have to do something twice when you shouldn’t have to so lower your chances by taking care of yourself.
Don’t watch your blood get drawn- Some people don’t mind the sight of blood but will watch it being drawn while others can’t stand the sight of blood and just looking at it will cause them to freak out and faint. If you know that you can’t stand the sight of blood trust the tech knows what they are doing and don’t watch them do it. My mom can watch me have my blood drawn but I, on the other hand, can’t even look at my own wounds so I am not watching anyone draw my own blood! I don’t faint when I see blood and usually, just think it’s gross so I won’t go out of my way to look at something I don’t absolutely have to, and getting your blood drawn is not one of those things.
Bring something scented- When I was in high school there was a couple of times I was brought my way of ambulance because of a seizure and to get out of it paramedics often put something of a very strong scent underneath my nose. The only time I probably ever needed to go to the hospital was my first seizure and all the other times were unnecessary because nothing is done anyways but when you can’t verbalize people get concerned so I understand why people do it. Granted to scents to get out of seizure will likely be much stronger than for other things but if you need some kind of smell to help prevent you from passing out I am sure no one would. Bring a bottle of perfume and if the tech is okay with it open it up to help prevent you from fainting! I personally don’t need this because I don’t have a problem with passing out but if it’s a problem for you it can definitely help keep you awake!
Everyone has needed to have their blood drawn at some time or another but if you are disabled or have a chronic condition may need it more frequently to keep control of your health so you know if something is not right. Disabled people may have to have it done more often but it doesn’t make it is easier for us and it is just as difficult for people with chronic conditions to have their blood drawn than it is for anyone else. Sometimes it can be even more difficult for disabled people since we have to go more often so we can be a harder stick. You don’t always have control over what tests your doctor orders but you do have control over your anxiety and your diet so focus on what you can control not what you can’t! Feed your body well and don’t let your anxiety control you and go to your happy place because when you put on your focus on the pain it will seem like it’s taking so much longer than it probably is. Think about something that brings you happiness instead of when will this be over because it will be over a lot quicker when it doesn’t seem like a drag and you change your mindset to think more positively. It still may not be as fast you would have hoped but anything will seem faster when you have less anxiety! How do you get through bloodwork or uncomfortable medical exams?