This is and isn't pain related, but it could be important for anyone who has to have an IV.
Last week (6/15), I had surgery to have my thyroid removed. (Good thing- they did find a very small spot of cancer.) After the surgery, I was sent up to the floor to spend the night. A nurse came and flushed my IV. She blew the vein (through incompetence, IMO, not a "well, that just happens sometimes" kind of thing). She then left the IV in that hand for over a half hour and only had it changed after I complained repeatedly. My hand and arm were swollen and uncomfortable, but I was on more pain meds, so I didn't really care. They let me go home the next day, saying that the swelling and discoloration in my arm would go away soon.
I was off my post-op pain meds by 6/18, and I immediately noticed the pain in my arm. I called my surgeon on the 20th, and he feared cellulitis, so he prescribed more antibiotics. On the 21st, my dad convinced me to go to my primary doctor (for some eyes-on). I am SO glad I did. She didn't think it was anything, but she sent me for a doppler ultrasound, just in case. The doppler tech showed me the three clots I have in my arm (2 superficial, one DVT). I was immediately sent to the ER, where they did a CT(PE), which was clean. I spent 2 days in the hospital while they monitored me, and I was sent home on Lovenox and Coumadin. I saw a hematologist on the 24th, who had an optimistic outlook about my prognosis, but seemed to agree that the blown vein and the extra time the IV was in caused the DVT. 4-6 months of blood thinners, and I should be good as new.
So... learn from my experience... speak up!! I had no way of keeping nurse was doing a 10cc push (instead of the 2-3cc slow flush that she should have done), but I could have demanded that she change out the IV sooner. I could have demanded to see the patient care rep or charge nurse right away. I could have complained about my arm pain and asked for a dr to look at it before they discharged me the first time. I asked another nurse, and she said that it would just take time for the extra fluid to be absorbed and not to worry about it. I should have complained.