Severe phobia of blood tests

J

JellybeanDex

New member
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
3
Location
UK
#1
Hi Everyone!

New here and hope to get some advise on how to get through a blood test.
I’ve recently been diagnosed with an overactive thyroid and this requires a blood test every 7 days to monitor my levels and medication, unfortunately I have never been able to actually get a blood test done, the diagnosis was based on a finger prick blood test which the gp will no longer accept. I’ve had 3 appointments in the last 2 days to try and get my blood drawn, I’ve vomited, fainted and shaken uncontrollably at all 3 appointments making it impossible for the nurse to safely perform the test. I’ve tried beta blockers (propranolol 40mg) which I’m on 3 times a day anyway and also diazepam (2 x 2mg) an hour before the test but this hasn’t calmed me at all. I’m hoping to be prescribed some stronger sedatives on Monday to try and get me through it but the doctor is reluctant to give me anything much stronger. I’m so stressed about this, I really want the bloods doing but I can’t see how it’s going to happen, my reaction is completely uncontrollable. I’m worried for my health if I don’t get over this phobia but I have no idea how to do this.
Any advise would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
 
Jef Costello

Jef Costello

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May 11, 2019
Messages
50
Location
SE
#2
What is it that you're exactly scared of? The thought of getting your blood drawn, the procedure or getting stuck with a needle? CBT could be an option down the line to get rid of specific phobias, but since you require blood work every week, you'll need something drastic now. Not an M.D. so my recommendations are simply from an empirical standpoint. Alprazolam, lorazepam or clonazepam would help a lot more than diazepam. Especially alprazolam, because of the quick onset it has. There isn't any risk of addiction or tolerance build up if you take them for your blood tests only.

Midazolam is the optimal sedative in this case. It has a very short half-life, and it prohibits from making forming memories temporarily (for around an hour or so) and it's very sedative. You forget what anxiety even is while on midazolam. This is what they give kids and adults that are scared of dental procedures here in Sweden. Midazolam is always administrated and given in a hospital or G.P. clinic, so I don't think that Dr. even has to write a prescription, since they are the ones that will be providing it for you. Couldn't hurt to ask. Try to find some CBT practioner to help you rid yourself of your phobia. Good luck!
 
L

Lunar Lady

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Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
1,045
Location
UK
#3
Hi Jellybean

Explain your situation in advance of the appointment. My friend was equally phobic about having bloods taken and the hospital used to put a small patch of numbing agent on her skin before the injection. I always went with her as a distraction - she would hold eye contact with me and we'd keep talking whilst the blood was taken. It's reassuring to have someone go with you, holding your hand. I remember taking a magazine with us and my friend read out loud a letter from the 'Agony Aunt' page to me so her mind was engaged and she wasn't looking down.

Always make sure you have a full stomach, as you'll be far less likely to feel faint. At the very least, have a cup of sweet tea/coffee and a pastry in the hospital cafe before you have your test.

Blood tests are extremely quick. In our hospital, you take a numbered ticket and then get called in to a curtained booth. Whilst I was waiting with my friend, we used to time how long the procedure took (less than three minutes in most cases). Watching people stroll in and bounce out a few minutes later was reassuring that nothing bad was going to happen.

Wishing you all the best. You just need one 'better' experience of having blood taken to build on - then it will get easier and easier xxx
 
J

JellybeanDex

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Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
3
Location
UK
#4
Thank you for the replies! I’m unsure what it is exactly that I’m afraid of, it’s not the pain and I don’t think it’s the needle as I’ve had a couple of piercings and a tattoo without an issue. I’ll definitly mention the midazolam to my gp but he was very reluctant to give 2mg diazepam so I can’t see having much luck with that. I’m off to try again on Tuesday so hopefully I’ll be a bit better after reading these😊 xx
 
M

Mary26

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Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
150
Location
USA
#5
For very difficult (panic) situations, I blast Beethoven's Fifth Symphony because it's so powerful that it takes me away. Does any music do that for you?
 
J

JellybeanDex

New member
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
3
Location
UK
#6
Thanks everyone for all the advise! I’m happy to say today I had my first blood test! With a bit of help from Lorazepam and listening to music through my headphones. Hoping next weeks blood test will be a lot easier now I know what it’s like. Thanks everyone😊
 
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