Post # 1
So I need to go get blood work done, just a routine check-up kind of thing since I have a family history of diabetes, heart disease, etc. I’ve been putting it off for months. Like the title says, I have a bad fear of needles. I pass out, throw up (if I have food on my stomach), get dizzy, have panic attacks. I can’t watch someone get blood drawn, even on TV. Sometimes when they have blood drives at my school, I get nauseated just seeing someone walk around with gauze on their arm.
I went to get blood work done in September. I warned my doctor of my fear beforehand, and she prescribed me Valium; even with the Valium, I started freaking out, so she offered me the option of another dose in a shot. Ok, I can handle a shot better than blood work, so yeah. Nope- the moment I got the shot, I passed out, then came to having a panic attack. She told me to give it fifteen minutes for the shot to work, and I should feel sleepy- I might even doze off while getting blood drawn. Nope. Thirty minutes later, I was still a little ball of nerves, so she sent me home instead of forcing me to get blood work done. I’ve been putting the blood work off since.
I feel like I’ve tried everything. Looking, not looking, count before the stick, no surprise me. Deep breaths, stay calm, don’t think about it. I feel like I’ve tried every trick in the book, including drugs, and nothing has worked. It doesn’t help that most people just say, “It’s just a needle.” I KNOW it’s just a needle. I KNOW they don’t hurt- I’d rather have my arm chopped off than get blood drawn. Pain is not the issue. The whole reason it’s called a phobia is it’s irrational, and I know it is. Doesn’t make it go away.
Sadly, needles are an unfortunate fact of life with modern medicine. I wonder if any other bees have ever gone through this (or any other irrational phoba) and how do you cope?
Post # 2
I too get panic attacks with needles. I needed to give blood for a test a year or so ago, and the second they stuck me I went ghost white, blood pressure dropped and I couldn’t hold up my head anymore. Took them absurdly long to get 2 mL of blood out of me for a 5 mL test (There were other factors but I was panicking.)<br /><br />The dentist is a literal nightmare for me. Last time I went to the dentist for a root canal, they needed to numb me four times due to an infection. I panicked each time, they had to stop, turn the lights off in the room and let me calm down. Afterwards I sat in the car and sobbed for a good 20 minutes.<br /><br />I wish I could help you cope, because I don’t know how to cope. I hyperventilate, I cry, I go clammy and my body stops functioning, I get tingles in all of my extremeities and sometimes I sweat like I run a marathon. I’ve found that if I go inside my head that can sometimes help. Scream inside my head, about anything — That jackhole driver on the freeway I saw on the drive over, how much I’m mad my brownies didn’t bake just right, how I hate how expensive some groceries have gotten, how upset I am that the store down the street doesn’t carry my husband’s favorite soda, or why every time I go to the liquor store my favorite wine is sold out. Scream at the top of my mental lungs. It drowns out the world around me and I can let it, abit unwillingly, happen.
I’ve never had relaxant drugs but I highly doubt they would work. Needles hit me right in the lizard part of my brain, the primal, irrational fear.
Post # 3
Hyperventilate: I took Xanax once for a regular shot and it helped some (I felt loopy and sleepy and it kept me from freaking out as bad before the shot, but during and after I started panicking a little). Valium isn’t as strong though so I should have known it wouldn’t be enough to get me through blood work.
Post # 4
I did for a very, very long time. Then I worked in healthcare for five years, and spent that time participating in the shot-giving process for a LOT of patients. After that, it just wasn’t such a big deal any longer. I even let my sister (who is now an RN) practice starting IV’s on me when she was in school.
Post # 5
I know how you feel. I have panic attacks as well from needles. Its sucks because I get so embarrased when it happens, but there is nothing you can do about it. I would get dizzy, and once I even vomited all over my former dentist ((To be fair I DID warn him, and all he said was, you’ll be fine)).
I’ve noticed with my needle phobia I do a whole lot better if my dentist or the person taking my blood is very careful. I dont know how to explain it, but if they slowly use the needle I do a whole lot better than if they just shove it in my mouth or arm like its not big deal. So far this has only worked with my new dentist who understands my panic attacks.
Also meds help to calm me down somewhat, but that only goes so far. I also notice that If I bring a bottle of water with me and drink it while my panic attack is in its early stages I can sometimes avoid having a total panic attack. Maybe its because my mind is focusing on opening the lid and taking gulps of water. I am still not sure why it helps but it sometimes can prevent them from getting too out of hand.
Post # 6
- Wedding: March 2015 - The Lodge at Mackenzie Place
I know EXACTLY how you feel. It is a phobia, irrational and primal. Unfortunately, not one that can be avoided with modern medicine. Thankfully, the majority of medical professionals I have run into throughout my life have been patient and kind towards me and my fear, and I feel the march of time has helped me little-by-little.
So, really no helpful advice. Just a vote of confidence that you are doing right by your health and wellness by getting your blood drawn. You can do this, just go easy on yourself…phobias are the pits!
Post # 7
I’m really and truly sorry you have to go through this at the mere hint of a needle, but I’m SO glad I’m not alone! It’s so embarrassing to have to explain to the nurse that’s about to stick you that you might very well pass out or at the very least have a panic attack. The last time I had to get blood drawn was during the application process for my job, and they had to take me back in one of the exam rooms and lay me down on a table so that if I fainted it would be no big deal. Everybody saw. I’m convinced people think I’m crazy but every time they wrap that band around your arm and say, “Now, be very still…” the loud roaring in my ears starts and I break out in a cold sweat. Maybe next time I’ll try taking an Ativan beforehand…
Post # 8
I have a huge fear of needles as well, and the logic that goes through my head to help get me through blood draws is the fact that there are so many children and people who are sick who constantly need to get blood drawn and they are ok! Knowing that I am one of hundreds of thousands of people getting blood drawn gives me a sense of comfort.
Second, you need to ask for the butterfly needle! It is the tiniest needle possible used in a blood draw. Virtually painless!
Third, Ativan. Take a bunch : )
Fourth, keep warm, drink lots of fluids, and have someone with you! I laid down on the table, my FI held my hand and looked in my eyes the whole time.
Finally, have a reaction! I sometimes will yelp or laugh like a crazy person, but it makes it bearable to be able to vocalize how I’m feeling. Tell the nurse or whomever is drawing your blood that you might cuss and scream!
Hope this helps! The mental battle is the toughest part.
Post # 9
I do and it’s so bad it’s ridiculous! I really need to get blood work done and I’ve had the paperwork for over 6 months but it’s not going to happen. If I even try to psych myself up to go, I freak out and feel a full blown panic attack coming on. It sucks.
I have taken Ativan in the past to get a needle and I find that it works, but my doctor won’t prescribe it for a blood test. Ugh!
I wish I had some advice for you OP, but since I’m so bad myself but I wanted to let you know that you’re not alone.
Post # 10
I’m not scared of needles, and even when I was a kid I had no problem getting shots or blood drawn. But I absolutely cannot stick a needle in myself. Diabetes runs in my family so I need to check my sugars every now and then, and I seriously have to pump myself up in order to do it. I’m not scared of the pain, I know it barely hurts, but I still cant make myself do it. Its weird.
Post # 11
Needles don’t both me and I don’t really have any other phobias. It sounds pretty significant and will definitely continue to be an issue – perhaps your GP can refer you to a psychologist who specializes in overcoming phobias?
Post # 12
I’m like a child when it comes to needles. I am absolutely terrified. In fact, we had it done for our life insurance a few months ago and I had a mild panic attack and sobbed hysterically through the whole thing while my DH videoed it because he thought it was hilarious. The poor nurse who came to our house to do it, I don’t think she knew if should laugh or be worried at my behavior. I started crying while she was asking me questions filling out my paperwork, and the hysterics started when she got up to walk towards me. It’s pretty ridiculous. I know it isn’t extream pain, it’s just a legit fear of needles.
Post # 13
I’ve always detested needles! I don’t know where my fear came from, but I remember being little going in for some sort of shot and I ended up screaming! I sacred the other kids too… so the nurse asked my mom to bring me back closer to when they were closing so that I wouldn’t scare the other children. It got so bad that whenever I saw a pencil or pen I would scream and faint.- it’
Now- as an adult- it’s still bad. I don’t do vaccinations- unless there’s a pill or a shot up the nose I can take. And when I’m in the hospital (for some sort of pain or whatever) I flat out refuse needles. I don’t care if it works ‘faster’- I’d rather not deal with fainting and making a fool out of myself.
Post # 14
- Wedding: April 2013 - Valparaiso, IN
Ugh. I HATE needles! I’m the same as you. I used to take halcium for it. I’m trying to get to the point where I don’t need it and initially I’ll be fine, I won’t be thinking about it. But as soon as I get to the doctors or whatever I turn pale, get dizzy, ugh I hate it!
Post # 15
I do! I do!! I don’t know what freaks me out about them, but it’s not good.
For my yearly, every time they ask me which arm I want my blood drawn from I always tell them neither! I think the worst was the day they said I had to get some booster shot, and I figured that they’d let me come back to schedule it… nope… did it right there. The panic set in! THEN, I had to get my blood drawn. As soon as they were done, I booked it out there as fast as I could and sat in my car for a good 20 minutes calming myself down.
However, back in college, someone in my dorm had gotten Tuberculous so everyone had to get the shots for them… 2. I went ghost white after getting the first one, and my friends were like WTF is wrong with you?!. We had to come back a couple months to get the second one, and that one I went on my own (school was out), and was fine. I think it was cos the nurse did a good job with it… but still. I hate ’em!