So, as you may have read in last week's blog, things didn't go so well. That's probably the worst it can get for a phlebotomy patient. Not to mention, it was only my second phlebotomy ever! Going in to this week, I was scared.
To prevent another 'pass out' from happening, I began preparing 36 hours before my scheduled phlebotomy. This means hydrating non-stop, eating three healthy meals, not drinking any alcohol, and getting plenty of rest.
The day of my phlebotomy, I made sure to have an early breakfast of a half serving of oatmeal and Arizona honey. During this whole time I am hydrating, almost chugging water. Shortly after, I went to the corner store to pick up some Gatorade, then came back home to do some work. Two hour before my appointment I made sure to have lunch, which consisted of a salad with mushrooms, avocado, cheese, chicken, carrots, and dressing. Then I continued to chug water and a gatorade on my way to the doctors office.
I walked into my appointment confident and turned on my, 'soft waves', meditation music and signed in. Waiting for my name to be called, I began calmly breathing and focusing on the positive affect this will have on my life. Then my name got called and Shane was outside on the phone, suddenly I'm stressed!
Going back I found a perfect recliner and shortly after Shane joined me, even before the nurse came by. I was relieved! So we waited together and I listened to my 'soft waves', trying to relax. Then the nurse came by and we reviewed this week's plan: to administer fluids first and then proceed with the phlebotomy. After that, they would monitor me to see if I was in need of additional fluids. To me, that sounded like a perfect plan, paired with my preparation.
The other part of our plan, my favorite part, was the use of a smaller needle to restrict the blood flow. YES! So when she poked me, I was totally ok! My left arm is a champion too. It helps that she sprays this super cold substance that hurts worse than the needle, which I always request.
We started by administering the fluids and everything was great, I was relaxed and trying to shift my mentality. I actually looked at the needle and told myself that everything was fine and nothing was hurting. I hope to switch my thinking and view needles in a more positive light, through positive-self talk and exposure.
After the fluids were finished we put my feet up and the nurse tied a tourniquet around my arm and began the phlebotomy. The transition was flawless and I felt no side effects whatsoever! I even looked at the blood leaving my body. About thirty or so minutes later we were almost finished and I felt completely fine. That's when I asked to see the jar that I had filled up because I had never see it before. Yeah, that was a little too much. I wont do that again. Let's just say, it's a lot!!
Once the phlebotomy was done, they left the needle in my arm, just in case I would need additional fluids. They asked me to rest for a while and would check on me in a few minutes. I took that time to continue working on changing my mentality, by seeing myself with a needle in my arm and everything being okay. I used some positive self-talk to replace my negative associations. The key is knowing that this is just a mental game and it's a game you can always win. And I am not going to lose this one!
I am just so happy to have had another positive experience, now I know what to expect and I know what I need to do. It's a lot of preparation physically and mentally but it will get easier and become part of my life. It has to.
To end this, I am just so thankful for all of your thoughts, messages, positivity, prayers, and encouragement. It means the world to me! It's also really awesome that this blog has connected me to strangers that are going through the same thing and we support each other. It means so much to me and I just thank you, from the bottom of my heart! <3