The last thing on her mind should be a brain tumor
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I am not a pin cushion!

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Monday, October 6, 2008
I apologize for not posting for nearly a month. My father has been in the hospital and my time has been very limited. Daddy has had six heart attacks in the last six months and two in the past two (2) weeks. My father is a retired dairy farmer and is 83 years old. He is a man's man, tough and strong. His arms are weathered and worn to say the least. He also has had severe vein damage due to all the IVs and medical procedures, medicine, etc. Lately we have been dealing with the problem of getting an IV or drawing blood from him.

It is the hardest thing to watch someone you love who is already in pain and
not feeling well be used as a pin cushion. They have stuck and prodded daddy for blood over 50 times in the last month. And, they always have problems.

I ran into this same problem when my son Cade was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 12 weeks. He was a fat healthy looking little boy, full of life and laughter. But after the diagnosis we had to take Cade for monthly MRI's. The very first time we went they stuck Cade 13 times in his fat little arms before they finally got a vein on him. I swore at that time I would never let him go through that unnecessary pain again. I called the Radiologist and requested that he give Cade something to knock him out before the IV. His response was that is not standard procedure. But you know me....I am persistent and unrelenting when it comes to the people I love. I am fiercely protective. So, I then called the hospital administrator and told him what had happened. He said "well what do you want me to do about it?" and I said I want an anesthesiologist to put the IV in and for Cade to be given a sedative. The hospital administrator just said okay, I will have someone contact you with the arrangement information. From that day forward we went to the hospital at 5:00 a.m. to have the anesthesiologist put the IV in and you know what, he got it every time on the first try.

Most recently with my father I have insisted that a specially skilled nurse put the IVs in and do the drawing of blood. This has saved daddy numerous unnecessary pokes and pain. I have also insisted that if the blood is not absolutely necessary that we do not draw it. I have found that sometimes doctors will request blood without necessarily needing it at that time. Lack of Coordination between doctors often results in blood being drawn a couple times one after the other because one doctor didn't know the other was requesting blood.

You are probably asking what you can do about it yourself when you encounter this situation. My answer is simply this.....expect the best and don't settle for less. There are always alternatives to situations you just have to ask and demand that those alternatives be explored. Insist that the person drawing blood is specially trained or licensed in that area. Try neonatal nurses,Medi-flight nurses and sometimes even anesthesiologists can be used. You have to demand that they do whatever is necessary to make these procedures as little traumatic as possible.

Most hospitals also have new devices that can locate veins and arteries by ultrasound that can help them locate good veins more efficiently.
Posted by Nancy Thomason

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