Information For The Recently Diagnosed
Needle TalkIf you are on Coumadin® therapy you'll be getting your INR tested frequently. This means lots of blood draws. Your arm is going to eventually get tired of this.
One way to help your veins is to ask for a butterfly needle (ask for a 23 gauge needle- I like terumos). They aren't more expansive than regular needles (so if the lab starts that line you can inform them they are incorrect). It's up to you to be proactive with your treatment. If the phlebotomist is having trouble getting blood from your vein using a needle or butterfly, ask for another person. I have two favorite folks who stab me and I ask for them when I go in. At one point I was having a particularly bad time where my INR was all over the map. Because of my many sticks I knew when my favorite vampire was on duty and adjusted my schedule so that he could stab me.
You can also have your blood taken from your hand, feet, leg, femoral vein (ouch!) or you can have a PIC inserted. A PIC has to be replaced every few months. You can have a port put in. Having a PIC or Port inserted into your veins usually isn't done unless your other veins have scared. I had a PIC for several months when all my veins collapsed. It was heaven!
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