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RL9141
Newbie

Reged: 11/29/10
Posts: 9
Loc: Tennessee
LAB/BLOOD Work
      #253332 - 11/29/10 08:29 PM

Today- I went for my first round of lab work before my first appointment with the specialist. The blood work was a horrible experience. 7 vials of blood- I got sick, sweaty, almost passed out. It was horrible. Does this ever get better? Is the blood work that extensive throughout the entire treatment of HIV?

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will_live2
Regular

Reged: 11/20/10
Posts: 41
Re: LAB/BLOOD Work new
      #253333 - 11/29/10 09:00 PM

hi . i just found out that i have hiv.. and i going to the specialist on the 9th of Dec.. and im so nervous and i did not know that they take so many tubes of blood.. and i have skinny veins.. dang imma be there all freaking day... what else did they do...

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80stoonlover
Newbie

Reged: 09/24/09
Posts: 3
Re: LAB/BLOOD Work new
      #253342 - 11/30/10 03:50 PM

Trust me it will get easier as time goes on. The first time is always the worst. It all depends on what the doctor wants or needs. They have to check your viral load, cd4 count, cholesterol, liver function, kidney function, resistance test (only done first time to my understanding or should be done first time), besides the resistance test they have to check all of that or at least should to see where you stand health wise before putting you on medication. The resistance test is the most important i think. That way the doctor will know if any medications won't work because you have a resistant strain. The viral load and CD4 count will let the doctor know for lack of better term how well you are dealing with the disease.

The goal will be to get your CD4 up and viral load to undetectable. Each time you go to the doc you typically have to get blood work done two weeks beforehand. They check liver kidney and other things everytime to make sure you aren't causing damage due to the medication which is rare. if they are getting damaged then they should switch the medication.

The only way to know if the medication is working and doing what is supposed to do and not doing what it is not supposed to do is to do the blood test. Which the medication should if you take it like it is prescribed always and don't take a "pill holiday".

honestly in the long run you will be better off because the doc will catch any potential problems before they happen if you have a good one.

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RL9141
Newbie

Reged: 11/29/10
Posts: 9
Loc: Tennessee
Re: LAB/BLOOD Work new
      #253343 - 11/30/10 03:54 PM

Thanks buddy. I ain't gonna lie- it was awful. I don't do well with having blood drawn. Hopefully in the future they won't take quite so much at one time. I know it's for the best, but ugh--- it was horrible.

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RL9141
Newbie

Reged: 11/29/10
Posts: 9
Loc: Tennessee
Re: LAB/BLOOD Work new
      #253344 - 11/30/10 03:55 PM

This visit wasn't with the specialist. It was just with the lab for the bloodwork and all they did was take blood... a lot of it. I go to the specialist on the 6th.

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Saxmanalpha
Newbie

Reged: 08/05/10
Posts: 3
Re: LAB/BLOOD Work new
      #253346 - 11/30/10 04:30 PM

If you are just diagnosed and heading to the specialist, be prepared for a couple hours with the doctor(s). When I was first diagnosed, I got barraged by the actual doctor, then by the psychologist, the nutritionist, the pharmacist, case manager (will be your best friend), hiv nurse and the billing department head. They are all there to help you with various parts of HIV treatment.

As for the blood draws, expect 6 or 7 vials ever 3 months or so. They test you for EVERYTHING that could have a bearing on your treatment. Usually once a year you'll get 2 or 3 additional vials drawn to check other health factors. To help get through it, make sure you eat a good meal a couple hours before you go in (unless you have to fast for some of the test). And make sure you are hidrated (drink plenty of water that morning). It takes longer to suck out thick blood when you are dehydrated.

Other than that, make sure you like your doctor and everyone that comes with. If for some reason you can't get along with one of the team, find a team that works for you. Also, for the lab that draws your blood, find a nurse that draws blood really well and make sure to request them. I've had the same nurse for the last 4 years and hate it when she is on vacation when I have to get blood drawn.

I wish you the best of luck.

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iam1
Fanatic

Reged: 06/17/09
Posts: 164
Loc: Georgia
Re: LAB/BLOOD Work new
      #253347 - 11/30/10 04:43 PM

Oh no! You're about to be attacked by the blood sucking creature from Planet Zeta9. You are not dreaming! The have HUGE rusty needles and stick them in your arm repeatedly taking gallons of blood each time.

Either that or you're about to start a long, seemingly, neverending round of bloodwork.

Yes, the first couple of times they draw more blood as they need to do more testing to get a baseline to judge the rest of the tests on. But, you'll find in the future they'll often only need 3 or 4 vials.

I have my blood drawn from the back of my hand. Good veins there. And, no pain. I do NOT look at the needle going in. I can look after it's in but the insertion just gets to me. Besides when I was in the hospital having hip surgery I figure I've had blood drawn no fewer than 40 times in the past 10 years.

Some people never get used to it. You'll become more comfortable going to have it done. But, when you're in the chair with the band around your arm and the nurse is standing there with the needle you might always start sweating bullets. There is nothing wrong with this!

If your lucky enough to have a phlebotomist (the person who takes the blood) working in your clinic get to know that person. Like everyone else there he or she is probably a very nice person. I chat with our's. About her kids/her husband/her dog/a recent holiday. Anything to take my mind off the fact that she's taking blood.

If it's not a fasting blood draw be sure to drink beforehand. Not caffeine. And, you might want to have something on hand like crakers or a juice box. Just to give your stomach something to chew on.

When you're the one sitting there giving up all that blood it seems like a hell of a lot. Not to worry. Unless you're 3 feet tall your body can easily replace that much and more.

The next time you go for bloodwork talk with the phlebotomist beforehand. Expalin your extreme dislike for blood draws. Strike up a conversation to distract yourself. Don't watch the blood draw. Noone has your head in a vicegrip pointing it towards your arm. Look at posters on the walls. Look at the ceiling; the floor; out the window. Count hairs on your other arm. Anything to take your attention away from why your there.

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GirBot
Member

Reged: 11/23/09
Posts: 22
Loc: Western United States
Re: LAB/BLOOD Work new
      #253356 - 12/01/10 03:21 AM

The amount of blood, even in 7 vials, isn't as much as you might think. It's not like a Red Cross blood drive. Unless you're the size of a very small child, your symptoms were caused by something other than the volume of blood taken.

What you are describing sounds suspiciously like the vasovagal syncope reaction... the physiological changes associated with vasovagal trypanophobia or the fear of the sight, thought, or feeling of needles or needle-like objects including medical procedures involving injections or hypodermic needles. These symptoms include feeling faint, sweating, nausea, going pale, ringing in the ears, and panic attacks.

My first time was equally traumatic. Having been healthy all my life, my only direct experience with hypodermic needles was during my childhood immunizations. I had always attributed my antics to my age and lack of understanding. Curious of the whole procedure, I watched everything the phlebotomist did with eager fascination right up to the point of me falling off the examination table. I didn't have a conscious aversion to needles so I was just as surprised as she was.

This condition is easily circumvented. Just DON'T EVER LOOK. Curb your curiosity. Make direct eye contact. Don't look at the phlebotomist's paraphernalia before hand. Politely identify yourself as someone who may have issue with the procedure. Kindly turn your head away and concentrate on something else... your iPod, cell phone, a magazine, or even friendly conversation with your new vampiric friend. Before you know it, it's all done.

The fact you sat through it without passing out or running screaming from the room tells me you'll be just fine next time if you follow the rule; DON'T EVER LOOK. *laugh*

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will_live2
Regular

Reged: 11/20/10
Posts: 41
Re: LAB/BLOOD Work new
      #253503 - 12/10/10 07:33 PM

i went to the specialist on the 9th of Dec and they took 10 tubes of blood i thought i was going to pas out.. and he had to stick me twice cause one vein collapsed and stopped when he go down to the 7th tube... i cried the entire time while he took my blood.. reality hit me.. letting me now that the battle is jus beginning.. but imma stay strong.. its been a month now since i've been ++ Nov 10th to DEC 10th and im still standing

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GirBot
Member

Reged: 11/23/09
Posts: 22
Loc: Western United States
Re: LAB/BLOOD Work new
      #253510 - 12/11/10 03:16 AM

I am so sorry. That sounds like a truly horrific experience for you. It does get easier. The day will come that you will be a pro at all this. Hang in there. Be strong.

A collapsed vein?! What was the reason the doctor gave for that? That shouldn't have happened. A blood draw is a very straightforward procedure that should minimally impact the patient. I would discuss this with your physician. Maybe it is something as simple as properly hydrating before your blood draw. Regardless, I am confident your next experience can be more pleasant with your doctor's help.

I know you are fixated with the negative impact living with HIV has on your life. It's completely normal at this stage. Eventually, you will start to see a few positive effects. You see, not everything that happens to us is all good or all bad... it's usually a mix of both and HIV is no different. Not that I am saying HIV is a BALANCED mix... *laugh* It certainly isn't but eventually recognizing the few good things helps to fortify our resolve against the bad.

One of the several positive effects this disease has had on me personally is attention to health. I eat better, I exercise more, and know more about my body and the effects of all the things I put it through. Almost 6 years and counting and I feel and look better than I have in 15 years... and I'm just getting started.

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will_live2
Regular

Reged: 11/20/10
Posts: 41
Re: LAB/BLOOD Work new
      #253530 - 12/12/10 08:17 PM

GIRBOT/ i always had small vein.. dont matter how much water i drink my veins jus dont give a good out put of blood and .. they always use the butterfly needle on me ( u know the baby needle) lol i know im going to struggle wit all the blood draw by having small veins for the rest of my life..... im going to ask my doctors on what can i do to make my veins larger..

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