Howdy, all. So, I used to have "beautiful" veins, back when I got bloodwork every six months or so to check my thyroid levels. Each stick was easy and virtually painless, and the vials filled up quick. I rarely left with even the tiniest bruise.
Now, blood draws are really painful. My veins are "scarred" according to the phlebotomist, making them hard to puncture. And on top of it, today my veins kept "collapsing" (the word the phlebotomist used) and they could barely get 1/3 of a vial before they gave up and called the lab to make sure 1/3 of a vial was enough blood because they didn't want to torture me anymore. And now I have nasty discoloration on my arm that makes me look like an IV drug user. Lovely.
I assume this problem stems from the tons of bloodwork I've had done in the past year. Can't even recall how many times I've been stuck. Is there anything I should ask for next time I get blood drawn to avoid the pain and misery of them trying to get just enough blood out of my recalcitrant veins? If I stop having blood drawn for a while, will my veins heal? Or is this just something I'm going to have to live with?