I am often referred to as a ‘hard stick’.  I have tiny veins that are nearly impossible to find.  I have only a few viable veins left, and every week when I go to labs I always fear that another one will go out on me.

It usually takes over a year for a vein to rejuvenate enough to use again.  The one and only viable vein that’s not on my wrists or hands is in the crook of my right elbow.  That one built up too much scar tissue and decided it had enough right after first transplant.  It just finally started working again but, only if a really good phlebotomist draws from it.

As you can imagine, finding a spot for an i.v is even harder.  With the number of times I’ve been in the hospital and my weekly draws, my wrist and hands almost always has a bruise on it somewhere.  Usually it doesn’t really bother me, but this time around my left wrist hurts so much.  The ache goes down to the bone.

The problem is that an i.v was placed there when I was last admitted, and then last week the phlebotomist drew from that exact spot again busting my vein – yes, I said busted… blood started dripping down from it as the phlebotomist started jiggling the needle attempting to get it to work!  And, this was the second attempt as she couldn’t get it on the first stick.  sigh.  Needless to say, I was not pleased.  The harder she tried the worse she did, but she did get enough blood to fill the 5 vials before the vein totally gave out.

To make matters worse I bruise extremely easily and heal very slowly because of my meds and immunosuppressed self.  I’m having a woe is me moment.  Damn tiny veins! Damn needles! Damn incompetent phlebotomists! Damn the need to give blood every week!

[Insert scrunched up face here.]