We Can’t Find Your Vein

I have had a million and one experiences with doctors. From eye doctors to dentists, M.D.s to periodontitis, you name it and I’ve probably been there. When I was a kid, I had to get my wisdom teeth pulled because they were going to mess up the beautiful teeth my braces had already aligned and there was no way we were going to let that happen. So there I went, into the office to get them extracted. Fun.

Here’s one thing you should know. They put you under when they do that. They give you anesthesia, put you under and you don’t feel a damn thing. Here’s another thing you should know: For some ungodly reason, veins in diabetics contract. I don’t know why, it just does, which can lead to nerve damage and the like. This is when people get their limbs chopped off if they don’t take care of themselves, but let’s not talk about that. Anyway, so they’ve blamed me having virtually invisible veins on the fact that I’m diabetic. One of a million other things that they put in that category.

So, imagine this: They stick me once and can’t find the vein. Twice and they miss it again. They then move to the other arm. Nothing. Then my hand. By this time, it’s so painful that I want to scream. Tears start streaming. When you give blood usually it’s a thinner needle. Here, they’re putting stuff in you so it’s a bit wider. I am cringing as I write this out!!

They finally found it. And I was out. With a black and blue bruises, but at least I didn’t feel them.

They always check for crazy things in my system. Did you know that people who get blood work done are usually tested for about 20 different things from the amount of liver enzymes in your system to your blood sugar levels and the like? And I have to get pinched and poked for all of them. But at least I have learned throughout the years that it’s my right arm that has the best vein to stab.

A few years ago I got really sick. I was in the hospital for about a week and suffered some weird things with my liver all developing into DKA (Diabetic Keto Acidosis). This is when the sugar in your body that is not used by the cells in your system for energy, sits in your blood stream too long and eventually turns to acid, burning the crap out of your organs. Why this happened? I have no idea. None.

While in the hospital, my right arm was taken with a big, giant needle used to inject me with morphine, insulin, IV juices and the like. So when they came to draw blood, they pried, poked, and stabbed again– everywhere. By the time I was feeling better and left the hospital, I was about 20 pounds lighter with (no joke) about seven very large black and blue bruises on my arms and hands. I looked like a drug addict. It was awful.

The reason why I tell you about this, again, is to share the experiences. I’m sure there are more people who have experienced this or might have been through much worse. But here’s the beginning of a long line of stories. Questions? Leave a comment.


  1. I know this article is four years old and you’re unlikely to even see this comment, but I just wanted to say thank you. My 17 year old son is in ICU right now having them stab at his groin because they failed to find a vein in TWENTY FOUR FUCKING HOURS! He was diagnosed with diabetes last night and has mild DKA. They’re trying to get his blood sugar down but they can’t get the fluids and insulin into his body fast enough because they can’t put in a decent line. And I’m at home, laying in bed, unable to sleep and wishing more than anything that it was me laying there instead of him.

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