Ever Stick Your Own Veins?

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

GDen
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 11/19/2009 10:01 PM (GMT -7)   
For the past many months I've been getting blood drawn for tests every 2-4 weeks, and will continue doing so for the foreseeable future. I seem to have deep veins and about half the time the nurse misses and has to try the other arm. And about 25% of the time the nurse can't hit either and has to get another nurse to try.

So I got to wondering if there's anything I can do to help: lift weights (more than I already do), practice finding my own veins (but not actually sticking myself!), ...?

Anybody else have this problem? It gets kind of uncomfortable after they root around for a while.

LMills
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 11/19/2009 10:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Better the nurses than the doctors though...I let my GI draw blood once, and it was definitely the last time. I couldn't use my left arm for the greater part of the day.

I know that nurses have pointed out better spots to be stuck though. They said to remember them so you can point it out next time. It usually helps me out.

I don't think I could stick myself so...I can't really help you there. I'm fine with needles as long as I'm not the one holding them.
Diagnosed with Crohn's in May of 2008.
Currently taking: Prednisone, pentasa, omeprazole, and humira. Using probiotics and a multivitamin.
bonniegriffith.blogspot.com/
Learning how to live again.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."


GDen
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 11/19/2009 10:17 PM (GMT -7)   
The only place they ever try is on the inside of my elbow joint. I gather there are two or maybe three veins there. I don't know why they don't try elsewhere, like along my forearm (maybe punctures are more visible there).

I've felt around for veins but really can't tell what's muscle and what's a vein. If I was sure I found a vein, I wouldn't have a problem poking it.

Oh, one tip my nurses did give me was to cut back on the coffee and drink more water before visiting!

AzJohnny
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 11/20/2009 12:53 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't know if it's true for others but before I developed Crohn's the nurses always had an easy time drawing blood or starting IVs on me. Since my dx it's been the exact opposite, now I have the same difficulties you described. One nurse told me that dehydration causes those problems and I did get very dehydrated when my illieum swelled closed.

I hope someone has a suggestion that will help. I've had popeye arm and had 9 straight attempts to start an IV fail. That does get kind of tiresome.
AzJohnny
 
I feel a whole lot more the way I do now than I did a little while ago.


GDen
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 11/20/2009 1:19 AM (GMT -7)   
AzJohnny said...
I hope someone has a suggestion that will help. I've had popeye arm and had 9 straight attempts to start an IV fail. That does get kind of tiresome.

Ooohhh, been there, done that! In the hospital they had to change my IV and couldn't find another arm vein. So the nurse tried it in the back of my hand. That didn't work either and hurt like heck when she pulled it out! They eventually got a vein, but if your phlebotomist ever starts eying the backs of your hands make them look elsewhere! I was also told that sticking near the wrist is avoided due to high risk of hitting a nerve and causing damage.

MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 11/20/2009 7:09 AM (GMT -7)   
I do my own blood draws some of the time, but doing my own IV stick is more difficult. But I have education and experience background that allows me to do this.
Sometimes when I am dehydrated my veins collaspe more easily.
I like to use a butterfly for blood draws simply because you can use smaller more accessable (and less painful if you need another stick) veins. So that might be something to ask for when you have you next draw.
Never allow someone to stick you more then three times. Switch to someone else.
What concerns me is when there is a nurse with the shakes who is trying to stick you.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 11/20/2009 7:20 AM (GMT -7)   
I have the worst viens in the world. If I am in the hospital they usually have to give me either a mid line IV or a Picc line IV. For blood draws they have to use the butterfly needles and can only find viens in the top of my hands. I always wondered if it was from the Crohns or was genetic. To be honest my Mom, daughter, niece all have bad viens too and none of them have Crohns. So who knows???
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Crohn's Disease for over 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
It's scary when you start making the same noises As your coffee maker.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Sniper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 6518
   Posted 11/20/2009 7:49 AM (GMT -7)   
This is why I have a port. lots better than the old pin cushion I was.
If we would read the secret history of our enemies,we would find in each mans life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.


pimfram
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 506
   Posted 11/20/2009 8:02 AM (GMT -7)   
I've been told on many occasions I have the best veins he/she has ever seen. My last blood draw, though, they guy keep reinserting the needle to keep the blood flowing. I think he was just terrible.

If someone fails more than twice, I wouldn't think twice saying I need someone else to try. If they refused, I'd just leave. 9 times is inhumane.
Diagnosed with CD July 2007
Currently on Remicade, Imuran, probiotics, folic acid, multivitamin.

Amor fati - Nietzsche


isergodur
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 831
   Posted 11/20/2009 11:33 AM (GMT -7)   
I have the same problem I am often thinking about just coming with an IV from home hehe
They have no issue drawing blood from me but they just can't put up an IV that is the hardest thing I have no veins in the back of my hands they are all crap so they have too use the ones in the elbow.

and they are also not good and way to over used.
25 year old female
Diagnosed with :
Endometriosis march 2007
Anxiety disorder august 2007
CD/UC they dont know witch October 2008
Autoimmune Hepatitis in July 2009

Medication - Asacol, Pariet, Cipralex and Cerazette.
Past medication Remicade
My wonderful dogs :) ~ www.poodle.is ~


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 11/20/2009 12:18 PM (GMT -7)   
how are your forearms?  I agree with hydrate hydrate hydrate, but also hot towels help too.


Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 11/20/2009 12:22:00 PM (GMT-7)


Allison77
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 421
   Posted 11/20/2009 12:34 PM (GMT -7)   
My mom's a lab tech and has taught me a bunch of tricks. Most important, tell the nurse/lab tech about your veins, and ask for a warm compress to be placed in the area that they are trying to find a vein. I shudder at PICC lines, one gave me blood clots, which led to my strokes. Now, they have to get blood out of my feet. Not nice, but better then having someone poke around trying to find something that isn't there. I go in for surgery on Monday (sigmoid colostomy and anus removal) and have already been told, my IV will be in my jugular. Yuck.
-Allison
RX Crohn's 1999, over 30 surgeries, 3 strokes, still kickin!!
 
"The most unfortunate thing that happens to a person who fears failure is that he limits himself by becoming afraid to try anything new."


vitaka
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 887
   Posted 11/20/2009 3:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree with the others re: hydration. When I was in the Adacolumn clinical trial, I was getting poked in both arms with big needles 1-2 times per week for 10 weeks. I have good veins but they still had trouble sometimes and I had my fair share of blown veins. The day before you are scheduled to get blood drawn through right before you get blood drawn I would suggest increasing your fluid intake significantly and hopefully that will help. The warm compress idea has also worked for me.
29f, PhD student, originally diagnosed with Crohn's in 2/06
10/09: Prometheus test shows results consistent with UC
10/12/09: beginning treatment for inflammatory arthritis
Currently taking: 7.5mg methotrexate weekly (pills), 2g Pentasa, tapering from 20mg prednisone, 150mg Trazadone, multivitamin, vitamin D, magnesium, probiotics, folic acid


GDen
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 11/20/2009 4:48 PM (GMT -7)   
One other idea I thought of--get tattoos of your underlying veins!

www.technovelgy.com/ct/Science-Fiction-News.asp?NewsNum=1525

That page mentions VeinViewer, which I'd never heard of. I'll have to mention it to my nurses! Here's their site:

www.luminetx.com/MedicalProducts/VeinViewerforClinicians/tabid/60/Default.aspx

AzJohnny
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 11/20/2009 7:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey, I think I like that vein finder.

When they failed 9 straight times it was with 3 different nurses, the last one being the IV specialist. Then a big male nurse came in and slipped that sucker in almost instantly. When I asked him how he managed to do that he said, "When you put in IVs in Vietnam, under fire, in the dark, and you don't dare use a light, you get pretty good at it."

I wanted to put him on a leash and keep him but he got away.
AzJohnny


I feel a whole lot more the way I do now than I did a little while ago.
Crohn's Dx April 2006. Pentasa and Entocort EC


pimfram
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 506
   Posted 11/20/2009 7:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Haha, that's pretty cool. I've had one IV infiltrate on me, and the 2nd attempt fail. Another time when I was in the hospital, it took 3 sticks to get 2 samples for a blood culture, two of which were in my hands (which suck). 3 sticks in an hour is bad enough, I couldn't imagine 9.
Diagnosed with CD July 2007
Currently on Remicade, Imuran, probiotics, folic acid, multivitamin.

Amor fati - Nietzsche


GDen
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 11/21/2009 3:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Here's another vein-finding product:

www.accuvein.com/product_profile.php

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 11/21/2009 9:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Yeah when hospitalized they always end up having to send for the specialized IV nurse for me. I could have drank 10 gallons of water and still wouldn't change things for me. It helps a little but not much. They have to use a ultrasound type device to find my viens for IV's. They said I have deep, squiggly/crooked viens and thats the problem. I always thought it was the Crohns, but looking at some of your posts, I guess in my case its genetics. Oh well!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Crohn's Disease for over 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
It's scary when you start making the same noises As your coffee maker.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

GDen
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 11/21/2009 4:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I found some prices:

VeinViewer: $50,000 (in 2007)
AccuVein: $3,800 (May 2009)


AccuVein is the way to go--it's a small, handheld unit as opposed to VeinViewer's tower. I'm gonna tell my nurse to tell her clinic to get her one for xmas! :)

Post Edited (GDen) : 11/21/2009 6:37:00 PM (GMT-7)


isergodur
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 831
   Posted 11/21/2009 6:35 PM (GMT -7)   
GDen said...
I found some prices:

VeinViewer: $50,000 (in 2007)
AccuVein: $3,800 (May 2009)


AccuVein is the way to go--it's a small, handheld unit as opposed to VeinViewer's tower. I'm gonna tell my nurse to tell her to clinic to get her one for xmas! :)


I want veinViewer, I am going door to door to collect money for it :P
25 year old female
Diagnosed with :
Endometriosis march 2007
Anxiety disorder august 2007
CD/UC they dont know witch October 2008
Autoimmune Hepatitis in July 2009

Medication - Asacol, Pariet, Cipralex and Cerazette.
Past medication Remicade
My wonderful dogs :) ~ www.poodle.is ~


CrohnieToo
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 11/21/2009 7:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Yup, yup to the warm/hot compress on the arm. Also, one summer I was running a little dehydrated a good share of the time due to some Crohn's activity as well, and I had to have a blood draw that required fasting the phlebotomist told me that I could and should drink water, that it wouldn't affect the fasting blood draw.
 
Also, there is a vein at the base of the thumb that the "pros" call the "dummy vein" because "anyone" can hit it. (I don't buy the "any one" but evidently it is a very easy vein to get a needle in for a blood draw or IV).
 
Most definitely if I had difficult veins for the phlebotimists to "stick" I would insist on a butterfly for the draw.
 
I do wish that they would pick on other areas than just the inside of the elbow too since I have to have a blood draw every 3 months for the Imuran and I'm in a research trial at our local university that also requires a blood draw every 3 months. I've been told I have some scarring in the veins at the inside of the right elbow now which concerns me a bit.
 
I've also been told that a good alternate site is towards the inside of the mid upper arm. I've had "sticks" there and its no more uncomfortable than the inside of the elbow.
 
I'm not wild about "sticks" in the hands AT ALL.
Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.


Pommom
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 155
   Posted 11/22/2009 8:16 AM (GMT -7)   
I have vein probs also. I have heard to drink water before a draw.It took 13 sticks before finding a vein for an IV, one time. And that was because they finally got somebody who does pediatric IV's to do it.When I was getting Remicade, There was only 1 nurse that could find the vein.So, I always scheduled remicade for the days she worked. Another time, they put the line in on top if my foot.OUCH!!!. then next nurse came in and took it out, because she said they are not to put lines in the foot if you are diabetic.
 
Diagnosed  Crohn's, 1998..Gangrene Small Bowel,1998..Ostomy Take Down,1999..TPN for 5 1/2 months..Adhesion Removal,1999..Abdominal Hernia Repair,2000..Kidney Artery Bypass,2001..Diabetes,,Sleep Apnea,,Silent Heart Attack,,Blocked Kidney Artery after the Bypass..Bulging Disks, Pinched Nerve..MEDS--,Purinethol,Folic Acid, Fish Oil,Humira,,Bentyl,Anamantle Cream,Cortifoam ,Tramadol, .and many more. 26 meds..

jeanneac
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1812
   Posted 11/22/2009 4:18 PM (GMT -7)   
By your name, I am thinking you may have Pomeranians??? I have one too. He's a mess. What kind and how many do you have? Mine is big, 18 pounds and is solid black except for around his mouth. He has a white moustache and beard. just thought I would chat about something besides IBD.....
diagnosed 1/09 with "diverticular colitis" ?? location: sigmoid colon
localized scleroderma & IBS, low thyroid,claritin, advair, singulair, lisinopril, progesterone, colazal, fish oil, synthroid, zoloft, wellbutrin, VSL#3 probiotic, Vit. D
Blood test positive for Crohn's via prometheus ibd serology panel
 


Pommom
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 155
   Posted 11/22/2009 5:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, we do have a pomeranian. That is the most spoiled rotten dog, ever. he is a mess, too. does some of the funniest looks sometimes. he is a cinnamon color. around 12 lbs.he lays on hubby's chest just like a baby.
take care,,Julie

luminetx
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/4/2009 9:41 AM (GMT -7)   

Folks, some information to help you guide your decision on venous access assistance devices.   There are several out there VeinViewer, AccuVein and Veinlite.  

 

Key considerations are:  how bright is the image so your caregiver can view the vein pattern?  How deep can the machine visualize to provide more options to your caregiver?   How many distinct imaging modes are present to help your caregiver find the best image for you the patient?  How easy is the device to use to each a hands-free technique where the caregiver can focus on you?   How proven is the device with clinical information supporting their claims?  How widely adopted is the device by key institutions that tend to set the standard of care?   These are but of few of things to consider, and educate your caregiver on considering, beyond price.     

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Saturday, December 10, 2016 11:22 PM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,736,223 posts in 301,362 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 151453 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, LvGuy1.
192 Guest(s), 5 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
bluelyme, LvGuy1, Michael_T, Girlie, (Seashell)


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2016 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer