Tag Archives: cannulas

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:


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


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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Shy Veins

Today, I am suffering from Shy Veins. It is a most frustrating affliction.

Shy Veins, for those of you fortunate not to have had a lot of poison pass through your body, is, believe it or not, when the Medically Trained People struggle to locate a vein to either get my blood or but a cannula in my arm. Today, I needed both. And for those smarty pants out there, I know one can get blood from a cannula, but it is still faster being poked twice here, and thus, to get it out the way, I prefer being poked twice. I am a slut.

My first stop was the Lower Ground Floor for my full blood count and my, did they make a pig’s ear of it today. There was much prodding going on, and repositioning of the needle whilst in one of my veins. The blood trickled into the tube, but impatience is not a virtue, as I discovered, when the lady taking my blood dislodged the needle by flicking it with her finger, causing my blood to flow down my arm. That was nice. It looked nice. She then managed to get cotton wool in the wound. Again, that looked nice, especially when it dried. I know that bad boy is going to bruise, in fact, it already has.


Next stop was Daycare, where I was given the cannula. My nurse today was scary, she was a Matron with a capital M. Although pleasant, I do not think her manner was going to encourage my veins to come out and play. Sure, she was stroking me and vigorously rubbing my arm in a downwards motion, but that did not encourage them to rise. The next option was a device new to the second floor and that was a heated pad. I looked like Robocop with that thing wrapped round me. At least I imagine I looked like Robocop if I had in fact seen Robocop.


So the high tech medical device assisted the matron greatly, but again, that needle had to dig deep to find my vein.

A little bit to the right, a little bit to the left, faster, back to the right, a bit deeper, deeper to the right, extract a little, before going back in deep, slowly. And then you see it, a beautiful explosion of bodily fluids. Blood. Blood in plastic. That bad boy was in and I could relax.

And then I was ready for my treatment. Ah the trauma.


I shall leave you with an image, because of the shy veins, the cannula was in my left wrist, which restricts the bending of the arm. So, with my cannula in, not moving my arm, attached to a drip, pushing the trolley holding my drip, I attempted to go to the toilet. That is all. Have a good weekend.

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