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Fearing Blood Draws

Fearing Blood Draws

I do not know anyone that looks forward to or enjoys having bloodwork. I know that, in the beginning, I would get myself worked up about getting an IV or blood draw. I hated it.

With hep C, blood draws are frequent

How many of us are afraid of needles, and would rather walk on hot coal than get stuck with a needle? Unfortunately, when dealing with a serious health issue, this will become a required and routine thing now.  How does one get over the fear of needles? Or even hospitals or doctors for that matter?

I had a good friend that described her fear to me one day. She said she had been deathly afraid of doctors and needles and anything to do with hospitals- so much that she would get faint when walking in. I laughed and joked, saying, “Oh, that is just white coat syndrome”. But really, this is serious for so many and not a joking matter. My friend described how she got over her fear. Each time she was walking into the building, she would have a panic sensation come over her. She would stop a moment take a deep breath, and say out loud, “This is only a building”. And before each blood draw, she would say to herself in her mind, “This is only a small needle stick. This is only to lasts a few seconds”.

Coping with needle sticks

I decided to try her technique when I went in last visit.  I saw that the technician was about to insert the needle and counted in my head “one 1000, two 1000, three 1000…” and it was in. I didn’t feel anything after that point.  I wanted to distract from the now pain of that rubber band so focused to actually “feel” the needle stick.

Conquering our fears

I got to thinking about our fears. I have some fears that I have come to realize are made up because of the unknown. I believe that we fear because lack of knowledge, lack of seeing outcome, or lack of control. Once we get it in our minds to comprehend that aspect of our fear, we are able to then have the power over it. I know it may sound deep, but really, re-read what I said. Once we understand it based on the lack of knowledge, outcome, or control, we’ve won the battle. Get your mind set, turn it to “Ok, I am about to get stuck with needle”. Worst case here is I will hurt a maximum of a second, then it’s over and done. You face these fears with knowledge, because knowledge is power and that leads to control over that fear. Mind over matter!

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