Wednesday, February 08, 2006

poked and poked and poked again

With no PICC line anymore, my hands and arms are being poked and poked and poked yet again for blood samples all the time now. Yesterday the IV team had a fiesta with my right arm, but they started to exploit my left arm too beginning early this morning. No place is sacred. The beauty of the PICC line or central catheter is that any blood needed can be withdrawn easily from it without inserting a needle into another part of the body. It saves the patient a lot of discomfort. Fortunately, the IV team uses the butterfly needle which isn't as painful as its monstrous cousins. Those other needles are most intimidating, but even the butterfly needle if handled unskillfully can make getting blood an unpleasant experience. The staff is good generally but once in a while the person will miss the vein and then, start to wiggle the needle around the vein looking for its soft spot (like this morning at 6am, which is when blood is drawn daily). But these things happen and although I was tired, I smiled, joked and made a little light-hearted chit-chat with the technician who caused me the unintended pain.

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