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Needle Phobia

(17 Posts)
StudentMumArghh Fri 27-Oct-17 09:48:26

I have a blood test in a couple of hours and my anxiety is really kicking in. I know it's relatively painless and my fear is irrational but I can't help it.

When I was 13 I was given the BCG jab which really fucking hurt. It was very traumatic as I saw my friend having it first and she burst into tears. I then refused to have it and escaped from the hall. I was the last pupil of 230 odd children to have it, it took two teachers to drag me back to the hall and 3 to hold me still to have it.

I think this is what has triggered my phobia.

AIBU to think that a) this should never have happened. I should not have been restrained and forced to have it and b) at 13 my wish not to be vaccinated should of been my choice.

Since the above I've done everything I can to avoid needles. I've not had the HP vaccine, whooping cough etc. I had a blood test when pregnant but it took 3 cancelled appointment and DP to come with me sad

ny20005 Fri 27-Oct-17 09:53:16

At 13 it’s up to parents to decide what’s best for you.

Have you ever had counselling for your phobia ?

ExConstance Fri 27-Oct-17 09:55:12

I sympathise. I have always been nervous about injections and having blood taken and then when I was in my thirties inept attempt to insert a canula in my hand ended up in me running out of hospital and only being coaxed in again by my understanding consultant who found another anaethetist to attend. I was provided with a letter by the consultant confirming needle phobia some time after that on the basis of my experience. I have utterly refused any injections or blood tests since. I got through a second pregnancy and home birth without any blood tests and fortunately am remarkably healthy. The guidance in my letter says that EMLA cream should always be used and consideration of sedation if it is essential for me to have bloods taken or an injection. Fortunately dental things don't worry me at all as I've always had very gentle and understanding dentists. I see your appointment is very soon, if you are still around can you explain the situation and asked to be re-booked when they will have plenty of time to reassure you and have EMLA available?

StudentMumArghh Fri 27-Oct-17 10:06:46

@ExConstance I didn't realise I could buy cream myself, that's an option. But I don't think it's the pain that I'm scared of but the thought of something going wrong. As ridiculous as it sounds I'm terrified of flinching and making the needle go deeper or coming out making blood spray everywhere blush

moomin4071 Fri 27-Oct-17 10:07:50

I too have a major needle phobia. I had my very first blood test last year and luckily had an understanding nurse who got me distracted by going through the alphabet and giving a name for every letter like A is for Annabelle, B is for Beatrice etc etc
I was still shit scared but I got through it. I always take some chocolate and a drink as I'm a fainter 🙄

Caulk Fri 27-Oct-17 10:11:19

What do you imagine could go wrong?

In my mind, it’s like a smear test - if they found something wrong then the treatment would be much more stressful than just having the one test.

Say to the nurse beforehand that you’re nervous, don’t look and focus on something else. You could probably have counselling or something to help

TheBadgersMadeMeDoIt Fri 27-Oct-17 10:24:19

Try downloading a puzzle game on your phone so you can do that with your other hand to take your mind off it.

moonlight1705 Fri 27-Oct-17 10:28:38

I had this massively - didn't go got a blood test until I was 32. I ended up going for hypnotherapy to try and get a grip on my anxiety.

I've now had two blood tests and a flu jab (with the EMLA cream) and just cried at the nurse rather than faint.

The one phrase that the hypnotherapist gave me which I say in my head over and over is 'Its uncomfortable but safe' which really helped me.

SloeSloeQuickQuickGin Fri 27-Oct-17 10:45:36

At 13 it’s up to parents to decide what’s best for you.

Not when it comes to medical interventions it isn't!

Never heard of the Gillick Competency?

TammyswansonTwo Fri 27-Oct-17 10:52:04

I too have a terrible needle phobia and have had to unfortunately have many quite extreme tests and procedures involving needles despite this. It's a massive issue for me so I completely understand.

Where I live there are various ways to get a blood test - my gp practice has a phlebotomist who comes in once a week or you can go to the hospital. They're both great as all they do is blood tests so they're very good at it. Go for the most experienced person you can, ask for freezing spray or cream if there's time - I know it's not the pain but actually when you don't feel the pain it's a much calmer experience. I do deep breathing exercises and ask to lie down if possible. Hang in there x

trollarama Fri 27-Oct-17 10:57:26

Op, I'm with you on the needle phobia.

Like you mine started in a similar way. However thats by the by.

You can buy EMLA or Ametop gel over the counter in a pharmacy although you might need to get a bit persuasive about why you want it. If you are using it you WILL NEED a tegaderm dressing to go on top as well- usually something like a 5x5cm dressing.

I try and avoid needles as a rule but on the one occasion I had to have a blood test I asked the nurse to put all paraphenalia away beforehand. Could you do this?

Also is it documented on your patient notes that you're needle phobic. Like another pp I have it in my notes that I may require sedation due to an 'incident'. If you are able to go to the phlebotomy clinic in the hospital. They have entonox.

Lie down as well!

Ginnotginger Fri 27-Oct-17 11:26:20

My daughter was severely needle phobic to the point of panic attacks and she used emla cream. It needs to be applied for an hour before the blood test (it says 30 mins on the tube but the phlebotomist said an hour is better) and your arm wrapped in clingfilm.
My daughter used to get more and more anxious in the waiting room to the point of running out of the hospital but after discussions with the nurse at our local hospital we found a work around - she applied the cream in the car, spoke to one of the phlebotomists and explained her problem and that she needed to go straight in when her hour was up. She then went and got a drink at the hospital cafe and we had a chat to keep her mind off things then walked straight in and had the blood test.
She was so happy that she got through the procedure without tears and was a lot more confident about future bloodtests.
Speak to the staff at the hospital/gp surgery, you are not the only person scared of needles and if they know about your problem they can work with you to find a way to make the process as stress free as possible. My daughter has now had bloodtests at 2 different hospitals and our gp's and all three have been extremely helpful and understanding.

NotThereEileen Fri 27-Oct-17 11:27:43

Will talking through it help? If the needle goes too deep the phlebotomist will just pull it back.
If blood sprays everywhere (not likely) it'll get wiped up.
What else are you imagining?

ohfourfoxache Fri 27-Oct-17 11:31:56

Have you considered therapy?

I didn't believe in it at all, but I've gone from passing out and (literally) shitting myself to being able to do it with minimal fuss. The last time they had to try 7 times and I was fine.

I really do believe it's cured me completely

KimmySchmidt1 Fri 27-Oct-17 11:50:59

they didnt have it very well but people who dont get vaccinated go on to get the disease and pass it to children who then die from it because they are too young to be vaccinated.

so in my view you are being extremely unreasonable not to have a vaccination. unless you fvck off and live on a desert island so you cant infect and kill any children.

lots of people are frightened of needles - that's fine. irrational fear is OK, its something to get through and it makes you realise you are alive. not every day is a dream of bliss, try to rationalise it like that. And remember - the upset of your phobia is a lot less painful than the guilt of killing a child.

ExConstance Fri 27-Oct-17 12:18:39

KimmySchmidt1 - what a thoroughly unpleasant post. What vaccinations would an adult in this country be expected to have? I can't think of any. The OP's phobia arose when she was 13 following a very traumatic experience so presumably she had had all the usual childhood jabs by then. "The guilt of killing a ch;ild..."? get real.

DopeyDazy Fri 27-Oct-17 17:32:23

EMLA cream works well you get 2Tegaderm patches with a 5gm tube but cling film works just as well. If your nurse marks a ring around where she is going to draw from and puts an iced gem size blob and covers it with cling film 30 minutes later wipes it off and pops needle in you won't feel a thing. Works great on children and costs about £5.00 or you can get it on prescription. Pharmacy asks why you want it because sometimes it is used to delay climax against instructions in pack

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