Newly Diagnosed And Frankly, It's Scary

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Beth Gallagher, Jan 30, 2021.

  1. John Brunner

    John Brunner Veteran Member
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    What a horrible day. I've had similar "skills-challenged" staff in the hospital...all my glorious post-op Demerol went right into my muscles instead of my veins, so I got burned rather than buzzed. One would think there's a basic level of competency required besides being upright and 98.6°.

    I guess it ended with good news regarding your pain, but still the path there should have been smoother. What a nightmare.
     
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  2. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    Honestly, the level of incompetence is shocking.
     
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  3. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Veteran Member
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    So sorry you had such a bad day, @Beth Gallagher !
     
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  4. Logan Bellgamin

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    @Beth Gallagher -- My wife had VERY tiny veins all her life, and as she became elderly, the veins shrunk even more. I spoke to her oncologist & he recommended a few phlebotomists by name. The following suggestions are based on what they suggested to help my wife:
    • If you are dehydrated, your veins tend to shrink. Drink LOTS of liquids. Doing so will somewhat enlarge your veins & thereby (hopefully) make IV insertion easier.
    • To help make your veins more visible, gently massage your arm, from the wrist to the elbow. Doing so can help to "alert your body" to send more blood to that area, thereby enlarging the vein a bit.
    • Another trick that is sometimes helpful is to place a warm cloth over the area where the phlebotomist wants to draw blood. Doing so may cause your body to send more blood to that area, thereby somewhat enlarging the vein.
    • After a few minutes of massage &/or warm compress, the phlebotomist can (hopefully) more easily find the vein by tapping the vein to make it pop out.

      By all means, tell your Oncologist ASAP about the problems you had with IVs. He may prescribe a PICC line or some other solution to help avoid (or at lease, lessen) the horrible experience you have had.
     
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  5. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    My veins can be helpful or not helpful, and I am not sure why. Maybe it is the dehydration thing, like @Logan Bellgamin mentioned in his his post .
    In any case, sometimes, the nurse can find the vein just fine, and sometimes one arm works, but not the other, and sometimes neither one works.

    The last time, (I think it was for the pacemaker procedure) they tried and tried in both arms, and then they called in the head nurse who was supposed to be the best at getting the needle in the vein, and she could not do it either.
    Finally, they brought in a woman who had kind of a portable ultrasound, and we could see on the display exactly where my vein was and where the needle was.

    Even with that , it took a while, and both of my arms were swollen and bruised by the time they got done. After the procedure, the needle punctured the vein, and leaked all of the IV solution into my arm instead of my vein, and when it was hurting bad enough that I asked them to look at it, it was pretty swollen up.
    No matter what, having an IV put in , is just no fun, even when it goes easily, and awful when it does not go easily.

    Saying prayers for you, @Beth Gallagher , and glad that they didn’t find any problems with either your liver or kidneys.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
  6. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    You had my luck with IV's. I always ask for the most experienced available because 9 out of 10 can't get it right. They try to argue and I say then I am out of here. I always refuse trainees. They always have excuses, but it is amazing when an experienced one comes in they get it the first time with minimal pain even if I am dehydrated. I now tell them that they get one try and then they call one more experienced.

    I know the pain is worrisome and with all that IV torture and no explanation for the pain, has to be really testing your resolve. Sometimes I think they are saying to themselves, "you call that pain? Wait till we get done with you." It makes us leary about complaining about pain.
     
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  7. Gloria Mitchell

    Gloria Mitchell Veteran Member
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    @Beth Gallagher
    Oh my that was not a good day. Maybe you should tell doctor about that nurses lack of skill. It does happen but usually not that much.
    Hope you had good meal when you got home and rested.
    Try not to worry about that pain unless it gets worse. Your a real trouper :).
     
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  8. Tony Page

    Tony Page Well-Known Member
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    Beth
    Sorry you had such a horrible experience getting an IV. From what others have written sounds more common than not. More importantly your scans have turned up negative that's great news. Doctor couldn't give you idea where the pain might be coming from. I do remember reading that chemo can have a side effect of muscle pain.
    Stay strong, always in my prayers
     
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  9. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    If at first they don’t stickceed, they stick, stick, stick until they do stickceed.
     
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  10. Tony Page

    Tony Page Well-Known Member
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    You're absolutely right I used to joke to the nurses or technicians that I was going to put a tattoo of an X on the spot where the vein was. Years ago when I was giving blood there was an incident where they just couldn't find a vein, they gave up and credit me with giving blood even though I didn't, they said we tortured you do enough for today. It was good to get the free cookies and drink haha. With all the technology today you think I would have some sort of handheld device that could detect veins.
     
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  11. John Brunner

    John Brunner Veteran Member
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    I've been seeing an LPN at the urologist for this issue I've been struggling with. I told her that I've had the symptoms for well over 10 years.

    Me: "I moved here in 2010, and when I'd drive the 2 hours back to DC for work meetings, I'd have to make 2-3 bathroom stops."

    LPN's immediate response: "Do you feel as though you're a camel and can go for long periods of time without urinating?"

    Me: "&(#$%@ idiot!!!!!"
     
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  12. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    The vampires (phlebotomist’s) used to tie a person off then if no vein popped up they told the patient to make a fist a couple of times. Now, they say that if we do that then the potassium levels will be elevated.

    My contention is that if they can’t find a vein and allow the patient to make a fist a few times to pump the vein up, then they should make a notation on the blood order. If the potassium levels are elevated then the reader will know why. Simple....but NOOOO. Gotta go for the back of the hand vein every derned time.

    A couple of times I told a VA vampire to get it from one of the huge veins in my calf but again...Nope. Go for the hand.
     
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  13. Tony Page

    Tony Page Well-Known Member
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    John
    Most times it's caused by enlarged prostate, which I was diagnosed (chronic prostatitis) back in the 70s. I would go four five times at night. Back then I started taking saw palmetto which evolve into a product called prostate Essentials. It's down to one or two times a night.l decided back then to try the all natural route which seems to be working for me.
     
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  14. John Brunner

    John Brunner Veteran Member
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    I let this go for so long because I thought that my prostate was the causal issue. My problem is my bladder muscles are weak and do not squeeze tight enough to fully empty the thing. The longer you go without fully emptying, the weaker the muscles become and the more the problem spirals. That's why the need to self-catheterize...you get rid of the excess urine, and you give the bladder muscles a break so that there's a chance they may recover. Whether they recover or not, you still gotta get rid of the excess urine.

    I just had a VERY intrusive test that objectively quantified that weak bladder muscles are the issue, so [sadly] Saw Palmetto and prostate surgery are not gonna help. And I'm having a hard time finding info on "weak bladder muscles" of the nature I've got. There are different sets of muscles, and all the info out these discusses sphincter muscles, not the squeezing detrusor muscle.

    I gotta admit that right now I wish surgery would help so I don't have to do this to myself, but if I were told I needed surgery, I would beg for self-catheterizing as an alternative. I'm such a baby sometimes.
     
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  15. Tony Page

    Tony Page Well-Known Member
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    Iui
    John
    I'm sorry to hear about your medical issue. This may sound crazy but is there any exercise you can do to strengthening the muscle?
     
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