Good Morning Everyone!
I have been a diabetic for 12 years (pumping for 11) and I still have a ridiculous fear of needles. It seems impossible and I have heard countless times "Don't you poke yourself everyday, how are you still scared of needles??"
I have gotten used to testing my blood sugar and changing my infusion site (although I do use numbing cream for site changes), but shots and blood tests are a different story. And as you all know, yearly blood tests are very important for us, but this year I have yet to get one. I had a bad drawing experience recently so I was very scared this last endo visit (my endo just got the finger poke A1C machine so I was expecting a draw to check my A1C). I needed my yearly labs so I had to get drawn anyway, damn. As usual, I was crying waiting for the draw (it's getting pretty embarrassing as I get older). Then the nurse freaks me out by poking the draw site a million times before she actually sticks the needle in and then she misses!! It hurt like no other draw and I just couldn't handle getting another one, I was way too freaked out at this point.
I really want to get over this, but I have no idea how. All things I've found on getting over phobias is to face them. But I stick a needle in myself everyday, hopefully 5 or 6 times a day ;)!
Has anyone else had this problem and gotten over it? Or learned to deal with it? Any advice is greatly appreciated!
I've been T1 for 30 years - the past 6 months on the pump - but I agree with you. When I go to the lab, I can't even look at the needle they use and focus on a picture on the wall, all the time my teeth are grinding and my hands have a death grip on the chair!
Its hard! I hate getting my blood drawn because my veins are very hard to find so it usually takes them 3 tries...by the second time i'm crying!...Also when I'm putting my infusion sets in I always tend to hesitate...which sucks because when I'm using that blue inserter you gotta push both buttons at the same time..which I'm not very good at sometimes lol Sometimes it helps to try to concentrate on something else when getting your blood drawn...definitely don't look while their doing it cuz that will just freak you out worse! Maybe try listening to music or something... and try to stay as still as possible!! :) I do think it's all in the mind cuz when you get worked up it just makes it 10 times worse and when you tense up i think it makes it hurt more..so try to relax somehow! They also say holding someones hand while getting it done helps cuz it sends (endorphins?or some kinda good feeling) to your brain..
Once my parents stopped coming with me for blood draws, I started singing through the blood draws. Pick a good song. I sometimes sing one about diabetes, or other times something more religious.
Hmm. I can't say I enjoy needles, but I got over the fear a long time ago. The best thing I can think of is to find something to distract yourself when you are getting the blood drawn....like singing a song as Jonah suggested, or mentally making a grocery list or something?
It actually annoys me so much when people (non-D) tell me they are afraid of needles. I always want to respond with something like "really? I LOVE them!!" Seriously, if your life depended on it, you would get over it. But... I guess I was wrong. :-)
I sure know what you mean about fear of needles. It took me about 30 years to get over it. Now it's nothing. I hated giving myself a needle but I didn't care if someone else gave me a shot or a blood draw although some People did hurt me a lot.
When I was in hospital for blood poisoning, I had 2 Male Nurses doing both my arms(with my permission). One was in training on my left arm(failed badly with lots of jabs and blood..oh well) while the other one on my right arm did a painless Perfect job.
I'm used to the 29 years(every 2-3 months)of blood draws for RA and lots of other injections and infusions for it plus 50* years of syringes and tons of blood draws for it and other types of injections/infusions.
I had a busy Life raising our Kids and others and looking after my Hubby's needs and all our Pets. One day while hesitating over a syringe(again), I just said to myself that I didn't have time for this fear. So I just poked it in fast , pushed the plunger fast and removed the needle, fast. That was that. If I hit a nerve then I'd pull it out and locate another spot. I have changed my styles and back through the years. I do try to hit inbetween veins. At the lab for blood draws or in the Research Centre, for infusions, I just take a deep breathe and hold it until the action it done.
Would any counselling(sp)/therapy, biofeedback, hypnotism, etc be helpful for you? I do hope that you do not take as long as I did. What a fear I had about nothing(I know) and waste of time. Best of luck to you. :)
It depends on what kind of needle.
If somebody else is in charge of it, then I have a problem too. Two years ago I was in the hospital for 4 months for a long of the veins in my hand are sort of "used up". I had to go in again in April for pneumonia and it took about 45 minutes to secure a site. I told them I needed somebody experienced but they didn't listen. But half way through the sedation they'd given me for chest pain took over so I made a nice transition to lala land and then didn't give a rip.
I once spoke to a phlebotomist (sp?) about problems I have had with getting my blood drawn because sometimes they have difficulty finding a vein. She said that I should ask for a butterfly needle. They are much smaller and seem to always work the first time- and hurt much less. Try asking for this!!
Make an appointment! I find that the longer I put something like this off the more my phobia grows. The best way to get over the fear is by facing it. I am much better now when getting my blood drawn, but for many years I was a wreck for many days ahead of time. You can do it!!
I agree, ask them if they have a butterfly to draw your blood with, and I too have really bad veins, they are tiny and deep. I will tell the person straight up I'm a difficult stick and I will show them exactly where they can find the one good vein I have. Don't be afraid to speak up, and don't look.
Thanks for all the feedback guys, it's very comforting to know I'm not the only diabetic that struggles with this!!