veins too damaged for peripheral blood draw at home

My veins are so pathetic from the past chemo I received during my primary treatment that most people having to get a peripheral blood sample from me either cannot do it or need to call for backup. Such was the case with my home health care nurse. When I tell anyone I’m a hard stick, they seem to think I might be exaggerating. Today she tried and tried, but there were no good veins that she could access to draw blood for the cultures she needed to submit. On a high note she changed my port needle back to the single line, so I will not be fumbling with the two lines that were really giving me trouble. I have enough neuropathy in my fingers to make me clumsy when it comes to dexterity for fine-tuned tasks.

I called my oncology nurse to report that and my ongoing fever, and they scheduled me to come in tomorrow to have my blood drawn there at the infusion center. Danika is by far one of the best in finding obscure veins, so I  hope she is in and can take care of this with her usual magic. Lauren also told me that my oncologist wants to start my chemotherapy, but she is reluctant to do it if the infection I have is still raging. We are hoping that by the time the blood culture results are in next week, we will know whether I will be able to get my first Doxil® treatment on that Friday. I am certainly anxious to get started with it, though I hate the way this infection keeps making me feel so lethargic and sick. My fever continues midday, and I am just hoping that any day now it will start dropping to reflect that the medication is doing its job.

The blood cultures drawn from my port indicate that my Vancomycin® levels are high, so the home health care office called me this afternoon to tell me to cut back to once a day, just in the morning, my administration of the antibiotic. Maybe the reduction in dosage will help restore some of my energy.

Thank you for all the patience that so many sent. It really helped. In fact, I think it made a difference overall as I seemed to have a tiny bit of reserve that has been missing lately. You all give me a lot of strength with your support, and I really appreciate all of your  notes and stories, photos and other graphics. Love and hugs.

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© 2004–12 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.
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11 responses to “veins too damaged for peripheral blood draw at home

  1. My friend…I do not know how you keep from running down the street hollering, “Enough already!”. Still praying for you!!!!

  2. Thinking of you all the time, reading every post, sending strength and love.
    Have they tried pediatric needles for you? I’m a hard stick too, and ever since one phlebotomist used a pediatric needle (voila, no pain!) I have asked them to do that. It takes longer to get the sample, but the lack of pain and aggravation makes it well worth it!
    XXOO

  3. You give us patience as well, Donna. I’ve actually found myself thinking about you and what you’re going thru, when things aren’t exactly right in my world. If you’re still fighting and finding the strength to continue to rally, then what ever I’m facing is small in comparison. You are the epitome of a survivor and are brave beyond comprehension. I admire your tenacity and desire to do everything in your power to live, more than I can possibly express to you.

    You’re right about antibiotics and energy. They play havoc with our digestive tract as well. Yes, they’re trying to stomp out the infection, but in your weakened state, I suspect they’re hard on you as well.

    Here’s wishing you a much better tomorrow.
    Love,
    Brenda

  4. Love and hugs and more patience coming your way….

    xoxox

  5. Roni (RaptorRapture)

    I was about to recommend pediatric needles also, but I see someone beat me to that suggestion. I could care less if it takes them 30 seconds more to draw it…it is less intense on the veins and almost no pain at all. So insist on it! Hugs and good healing light surrounds you….I am dancing for you…just stop laughing at me!

  6. Hang in there Donna, the road is rocky but must still be traveled. Wishing you a safe journey over the bumps in the road.

  7. I don’t know why but I think sometimes when we say our veins are difficult some nurses take it as a “challenge”–The “I will defeat the vein” mentality costs a lot of bruising and pain in so many. Wishing you pediatric needles and deft “vampires” (whoops, I mean nurses).

  8. Sending special prayers your way and hoping this infection subsides and things can get back to some sense of normal…Hugs and XoXoXoXo

  9. Thinking of you and praying “you are bold and free before God.”

  10. Ok, so we stretch..2..3..4…before the music begins again and we start the dance…always gotz to stretch!! I am pulling for you sweet lady. It’ll come, just going to be a bit slower to start 🙂

  11. I just wanted to say hello and let you know I am thinking of you. You are an incredible woman. Continuing to send you patience and energy. Hug’s

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