I am a notoriously difficult “stick”. My veins are small, they’re hard to find and thanks to chemo, they collapse immediately. Putting an IV in me is painful and super hard. Getting a blood draw? Near impossible.
At least it was! Here are my three super secret tips to make it easier:
- Drink up! Pound back as much water as you can. By rehydrating your body, your veins will plump up. The most painful times getting blood taken have been the times where I (voluntarily) had nothing to eat or drink that day.
- Ask for the smallest gauge needle. I tell the phlebotomist that I can be a difficult stick and I have small veins. The tech is usually very gracious about accommodating my request. I also tend to get woozy during or after the draw so I make sure to speak up when I’m not feeling well.
- Deep mindful breaths and a pep talk. While the technician is setting up, I turn my focus onto my breathing and I tell myself that my body is working well and this will be easy breezy. This isn’t a magic cure-all but by putting myself at ease and in a better frame of mind, things just feel a lot easier.
Do you find it hard to get your blood drawn? Share your tips in the comments. Have a phlebotomist in your life? Give them the gift of a (fake) white blood cell!