Fear of getting blood drawn

It seems absurd to admit it as a diabetic who had injected himself multiple times a day in the past, but I still feel very anxious, uncomfortable, and in uneasy pain every time I do blood work. I know I ought to do it for health reasons but simply cannot. It's been awhile since I last did and I know I should. Anyone else have this problem and/or suggestions to resolve it?

Thank you.

Your feelings are not absurd, there are many people that feel uneasy having their blood drawn. I've read that actually some of that feeling and response by your body serves a purpose. If you have an injury and lose blood your body drops your blood pressure to reduce the rate of blood loss, possibly saving your life. But that can mean that having blood drawn brings on those feelings like you will faint, sudden chills and other responses. You are not absurd.

But I would tell you that over time you will become accustomed to the blood draw and the feelings should be reduced. What I would suggest is that you distract yourself in the time leading up to the draw and that you do that all during the draw. Read a book, listen to music, look away. And then over time you should have less anxiety and response. It will be ok and you shouldn't feel like your feelings are not natural or real.

I've had type1 a long time, and I hate, hate, hate, getting it done. I go every three months with my husband, and he distracts me pretty well. Like Brian says, distraction is the best tool. I always look away, but that's just because I hate seeing needles. I make note of the best phlebotomists (sp?) and request the ones I like. You can also ask for "the butterfly needle" which is smaller. make sure you tell them you are nervous. Make a plan to reward yourself after the procedure somehow.

Here's a couple of videos from Lorraine with her son Caleb getting his blood drawn. You can hear Colin in the back ground of this one, reading jokes out of book
http://www.tudiabetes.org/video/caleb-blood-work-10-he-rocks

Here's his first draw
http://www.tudiabetes.org/video/583967:Video:212913

Lorraine reminded him he'd be getting a toy after the procedure.

I don't have any suggestions, but can empathize. Giving yourself insulin shots as far as anxiety goes or potential painful experience doesn't come close to another person drawing your blood.

I gave myself injections. I was in control of the situation. I knew what had the potential to hurt and what probably wouldn't even be noticeable. Not even close to a blood draw. You're putting complete trust in a person you hardly know, using equipment unknown to you, in a situation that can be excruciatingly painful if done improperly. The worst I had was a person who jabbed the needle completely through the vein into my bicept muscles, then wiggled it around trying to draw the needle back into the vein.

Best of luck and I'm sure it's something that you can overcome.

Oh, Marie, that video of caleb was awesome.
I am afraid of blood draws as well, and I usually look away and try not to think about it. I tell the nurse not to tell me when she stings me, that makes it easier for me, that way I don't anticipate the pain. I don't like a countdown to the moment they put the needle in, the nurses often think they make it easier when they tell me: "3, 2, 1, and in!" But I don't like it at all.
If you are scared of the pain, you can try EMLA cream or EMLA bandaids.

"EMLA Cream is a local anestetic, with eutectic mixture of lidocaine 2.5% and prilocaine 2.5%. This means that each gram of EMLA cream is containing 25mg of lidocaine and prilocaine.
ELMA Cream is local anestetic, which is working by blocking nerve signals, on specific area of your body."
From here: http://emlacreams.com

Since I got my blood drawn as a child a lot, they always offered to give me some, and I usually took it, because I was quite scared. at some point I did not need it anymore.
The cream is sometimes also used for kids to put in a new pump set, however, it is very expensive, and can get pricey pretty fast if you use it every 3 days for set change. But I think for an annual or 3-monthly blood draw it is ok, if it helps you.

Valium. Seriously.

Talk to your doctor about this anxiety, make sure he understands that it is an absolute barrier to you getting your bloodwork done. Get a prescription for a few valium from your doc before your visit to have the blood drawn (or heck, s/he should just give you some samples). Then, take it an hour before you go, and have a friend or loved on drive you there and back.

Enough valium and you could have your finger amputated while you watch and the only reaction you'd have is you might find it funny :-)

Marie, your description is quite common -- one of my sisters can't cotton having blood drawn.

I find it fascinating the degree to which something like this varies from person to person. Me? I couldn't care less. I sat there once watching, and providing humorous commentary while the nurse took 4 full insertions before she finally got a "good one".

Didn't phase me.

I'm not try to brag or boast at all. Just quite intrigued about the psychology of this.

Ugh. I hate getting my blood drawn. I've had some horrible experiences, but I go in, take a deep breath, and try to chat about something else.

I've never liked having blood drawn either and I've always chosen to look away any time I'm having any type of medical anything that requires instruments of any sort - I don't want to see what they are about to come at me with! :)

The clinic I go to has partitions for the blood draw stations and most of the techs have pictures of their kids and drawings their kids have done on the wall next to the chair. I spend that time chatting and looking at those cute little pictures. That gets me through.

The other thing I've done since my blood work is usually fasting is I have my regular after blood draw carb heavy "treat" that I only have when I have blood drawn. A small serving of grits with butter, scrambled egg, with a nice hot cup of coffee. The southern girl I am loves, loves, loves grits but I just don't eat them very often because low carbing has helped me conquer some of my bg issues. So I actually look forward to blood draw days because I get my grits after! :)