A Bad Vein Day

Long term cancer patients get ‘bad veins’. Their veins hide, and need gentle coaxing, heat and occasionally, a good old spanking. It is not a new phenomena, nor is it one I have not encountered before and thus not spoken about before. It is, however, one that I have not had to think about for a long time.

My current world does not require much thought of veins, and I assume that this makes me normal because I did an imaginary survey and most people do not give much thought to their veins either, unless one is being vain (geddit?) and fearsome of the their bulging hand tunnels. I do not not have bulging hand tunnels.

Most of my time now, the Medically Trained People want to take stuff out rather than put stuff in, which is much, much easier and is merely a short, sharp scratch and a permanent bruise on my left arm. Yesterday, stuff needed to go in, bone juice to be precise, and my veins, without a doubt, did not want it. It took three, rather painful attempts to get the cannula in, which surprised me because six weeks ago, the needle went in with the greatest of ease. That’s right, cannulas still involve a needle and a tube.

For me, it was a reminder that this is part of my life now; needles, bloods, delays and pain. It was also a rather timely reminder that my current treatment is a vast improvement on my previous treatments, when a cannula was not a rare occurrence. Way back when, I was always sporting bruises on my arms, always worried that there would not be a suitable vein and I would experience pain, and I would always get ill from what had gone in. That does not happen anymore.

So, yesterday, for a brief moment, I allowed myself go rejoice in my situation, and all because this happened:

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And yes, I did keep the cotton wool on for my journey home; it ensured I was given a seat on the 73 bus.

EJB x

P.S. In six weeks time, I will definitely seek out my favourite nursing assistant for this task. She has the magic touch, but I have never said it to her face so as not to induce undue pressure.

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2 thoughts on “A Bad Vein Day

  1. Terri J says:

    It’s always nice when you walk in & see the “expert” on your veins is there for the day. Everyone else I tell them that I am difficult so they don’t feel like its only their problem.

  2. Sharpy Sharpster says:

    Ouch! Do what I do Emma. Tell them you have a wedding/friend’s big birthday/etc etc that weekend and could they please please pretty please try not to leave a bruise. If the nurse is unsure of a vein she will usually get her more experienced colleague to come over and do it – bingo! in first time 😉 There was a time that I used to end up with the same nurse every month doing my zometa and my heart would sink as soon as I saw her in the clinic. It would take at least two, sometimes three painful attempts to get that ruddy thing in. Definitely down to the skill of the nurse and not necessarily your veins! X

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